From mobile phone use to licences, there are lots of rules around who can sit with a learner driver. But if you get it right, it could save you cash. Learning to drive can be a costly business. You’ve got lessons, tests, and learner driver insurance totting up the ££££s. So it makes sense to get as much practice as you can between lessons. Whether you’re a parent or friend, here’s what you need to know about who can sit with a learner driver.
Who can sit with a learner driver?
To supervise a learner driver, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Hold a valid, full licence for the vehicle being driven (either automatic or manual) from the UK or a country in the EU or EAA.
- Have held that valid licence for a minimum of three years.
- Meet the minimum eyesight standards for driving.
The car you use for practice will need to display ‘L’ plates on the front and back. As the supervising driver, you are also responsible for making sure it is roadworthy, and that the correct insurance is in place.
Can I sit with a learner driver if I’m currently disqualified from driving?
No. Only drivers with a currently valid licence can accompany a learner driver.
Can I sit with a learner driver if I’ve been disqualified from driving in the past?
The rules on who can sit with a learner driver specify that you need to have held a valid licence for at least three years. This is so only drivers with relevant experience can sit with a learner driver. If you passed your driving test three years ago but lost your licence for 12 months during this time, you will only have held a valid licence for two years. That means you would not be able to sit with a learner driver.
What happens if I drive on a provisional licence without a qualified driver?
It’s illegal to drive on a provisional licence without a qualified driver beside you. If you are caught, you’ll receive a fine and penalty points, which will be added to your licence once you pass your driving test. This could mean you are banned from driving. The police have the right to take your car away too. And in the longer term, your future car insurance premiums are likely to be much higher.
Can a learner driver pay me to sit with them?
It’s illegal to take any money or other payment for accompanying a learner driver unless you are an Approved Driving Instructor.
Can you have passengers as a learner driver?
As long as the front seat passenger meets the requirements for who can sit with a learner driver, it is okay to have additional passengers in the back.
Can a child be in a car with a learner driver?
As long as the front seat passenger meets the requirements for who can sit with a learner driver, it’s legal for children to also be in the car. However, given the potential distraction of having a child in the car, it is not advisable. Consider having just the learner driver and appropriate, experienced driver in the car for at least the initial practice sessions.
Can I leave the ‘L’ plates on when a qualified driver is behind the wheel?
No. You should remove your ‘L’ plates (‘D’ plates in Wales) after each practice.
What about drinking alcohol and taking drugs when supervising a learner driver?
When you’re supervising a learner driver, you have all the same legal responsibilities as when you’re driving. That means it’s not okay to be supervising a learner driver if you are over the legal drink-drive alcohol limits or if you have taken illegal drugs. If you do supervise a learner driver while under the influence, you can be charged, fined and potentially lose your licence.
Can I use a hand-held mobile phone while supervising a learner driver?
No. Even if you are sitting in the passenger seat, if you are supervising a learner driver you cannot use a hand-held mobile phone. If you do and you are caught, you’ll receive six penalty points and a fine of £200 – the same penalty as if you were the actual driver.
What insurance do I need to sit with a learner driver?
If you’re supervising a learner driver in a vehicle that you own, you need to make sure that your insurance specifically covers a learner driver with a provisional licence.
You should also double check the small print. There may be a curfew imposed, for example preventing the learner driver from being on the roads at certain times of the day or night.
If you are supervising the learner driver in a vehicle that they own, you’ll normally be covered by their learner driver insurance. Once again, double check to see if there are any restrictions on the age of someone supervising the learner. Many insurance companies will specify that the supervising driver needs to be at 25 years old or more.
Making sure that the right insurance is in place is imperative. Without it, the driver can face an unlimited fine, be banned from driving (after passing their driving test) and the penalty points will make future car insurance premiums even higher.
As the supervising driver, you could also be prosecuted for allowing a learner driver to drive without valid insurance. So, if you’re not sure if the learner driver is covered, speak to your insurance broker.
Call Park Insurance for cheap learner driver insurance
Park Insurance is a trusted independent insurance brokerage with 30 years’ experience of helping learner drivers. Our expert team will shop around some of the UK’s best insurance companies and negotiate a deal on your behalf. We’ll find you learner driver insurance cover that lets you hit the road safely and at a price that suits your budget. Read our blog for top tips on saving money on your learner driver insurance, call us on 0117 9556835 or get a free quote today.