If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s looking to get behind the wheel for the first time, then teaching them yourself is always a good option. It’s more affordable than hiring a professional, and it’s extremely gratifying, too. You’ll be able to keep track of your student’s progress along the way, and you can always supplement your sessions with a few professionally-led ones. That way, you can be sure that you haven’t overlooked anything.
What does the law say?
When you’re instructing someone to drive, you’re legally responsible for the safety of your driver and other road users, just as if you were driving yourself. You’re not a passenger. You’ll need to have a full driving license for the type of vehicle you’re teaching in, and both your student and their car will need to be insured. Specialised learner driver insurance can provide the necessary cover in the short-term.
Let’s run through a few of the top tips you’ll want to consider if you’re going to get the best out of your experience.
Have a plan
You’ll want to know what you need to achieve in any given lesson. If you decide to simply drive around aimlessly, then your student will pick up experience – but not the essential skills that they need to pass – like reverse parallel parking and turning on the road. Then, after you’re done, you can look back and judge whether the session was a success.
Learning to drive can be a long and challenging process. Sometimes it can feel like success is a very dim and distant prospect. Plus, all drivers learn at different paces, and for some, it can be a particular struggle. Your role as instructor is to encourage and reassure, as well as demand improvement.
If it looks like your student is over-stressed, then it might be time to take a break. Don’t push your student when they’re getting flustered – if you do, then they might call a halt to your lessons altogether!
Choose the Right Location
You’ll want to pick a time and place that’s not too crowded, and your learner won’t need to worry too much about other road users. For this reason, a quiet suburban estate on a Sunday morning is usually a good shout. A cul-de-sac is usually fit for purpose. When your lesson has a particular purpose in mind, you’ll want to scout your location accordingly. For example, if you’re going to be turning on the road, find somewhere with a wide road.
When your driver gets a little more experience, it’s worth exposing them to a little more traffic in a controlled way. This will help them to overcome nerves, and keep them observant.