Wondering how to teach your kids to drive in the UK? Or maybe you’re a bit more serious and wondering how to become a driving instuctor? If it’s the latter, pop over to our ADI instructor page to see how you can qualify. If it’s the former, and you’re looking to teach driving to your kid or someone else, read on…

Teaching your child to drive is like a right of passage, both for the child and for the parent!  While teaching someone to drive when their older has its own dynamic, teaching your teenage son or daughter to drive can be daunting, but it can be enjoyable and a lot of fun if done properly.

I have started teaching my son to drive recently and so far it is going well. As a driving instructor myself I am starting to see things from a parents perspective instead of a driving instructor.

 

Getting started with teaching

When you are teaching someone so close to you, your son or daughter for instance, if they make a mistake and you correct them this might then upset them, but unlike a driving instructor, you have to go home with them. Some good advice I have said to my sonis:

  • Whatever happens in the car must stay in the car.
  • Keep the lessons separate from home life.

It has so far worked for me. Try and have empathy with them, we all make mistakes, it’s how we learn if you never make a mistake you can never learn.

Some of the top tips might seem like common sense because it is, but do read up on this link: The Driving Test Changes of 2017

 

Some expert tips to help you start to teach your child to drive properly

Before we start, here are some other tips for parents teaching a child driving that we’ve produced in video format so you can be sure you’re teaching the correct driving techniques:

How to use a roundabout – coming on and off large roundabouts, using the correct lanes and how to change lanes.

How to do a 3 point turn – turning in the road, often called the three point turn.

How to perform an emergency stop – learn the correct emergency stop procedure

Parallell parking – learn the correct technique and tips for parallel parking

Reversing around a corner to your left – learn positioning and technique when teaching how to reverse around a corner

Reversing into a parking space / bay – How to start, line yourself up and reverse into a parking bay

How can you avoid dazzling drivers behind you – although not in your test, knowing how to deal with dazzling drivers both behind you and in oncoming traffic can make you a much safer driver and more relaxed in your test, too

 

General advice on teaching someone to drive.

Next, we’re going to cover some general tips on how to teach someone to drive that will help you set your expectations and some general, helpful rules to get the most out of it and give the pupil the best chance at passing. 

1) Start off on a quiet road

When you first start to teach your child to drive, being on a quiet road will be a massive help. This will help with getting used to your car, especially the biting point of the clutch. Stay on the quiet road until you are very sure they can handle busier roads. Driving has a lot to do with confidence.

Start off on a quiet road

2) Be patient

Your teenage daughter or son are not making mistakes just to annoy you or wreck your pride and joy car. By being patience they will find learning to drive a lot easier.

Be Patient

3) Be calm

For the same reasons as being patience, when people learn to drive in a calming environment they tend to pick up things very quickly. So remember, you may be their parent, but you have to treat your daughter or son as you would someone else you were teaching and keep yourself relaxed so that they are calm too.

Be calm

4) Stay on roads that you know very well

Stay on roads that you know if you really want to teach your kids to drive well.

By staying on roads that you know well you will know what to expect on the road ahead. This will make it easier for you to teach them how to drive.

Stay on roads that you know very well

5) Cover more difficult roads

When they are at the right standard of driving take them on more difficult roads, Your son and daughter will need to learn to drive on more challenging roads. Not only for test reasons but you want to make sure they are safe while out driving lone after passing their test

Cover more difficult roads

6) Control

Be in control of the lessons at all times. You are legally responsible for them on the road. If they break the speed limit while you are teaching them you can also be prosecuted as you are deemed to be in control of the lessons.

Control

7) Drive like you

Make sure they can drive like you, (that is if you are a good driver), you want your children to be safe drivers not just pass a basic driving test. If you know little safety tips, like the 2 second rule for keeping the correct driving distance, then teach them to be that bit safer.

Drive like you

8) Enjoy

This is a really important one, learning to drive should be fun, you are getting bonding time with your daughter or son. Making memories that will stay with you and them for life. If they or you are not enjoying the driving lessons then stop and hire a good driving instructor.

 

Enjoy

9) Waiting times

Waiting times for theory test and practical tests can be long so book the tests up well in advance, they will need to have passed the theory test before they will be allowed to book a practical driving test.

10) Test day

On their driving test day, don’t make to much of a song and dance of whether they will pass or fail. What will be will be, as the saying goes?

Important skills to teach someone learning to drive

 Here’s a quick rundown of key skills you’re going to want to teach someone. These are drawn from many years’ experience as a driving instructor:

  • Using the satnav – It can be a major part of the driving test. On most driving tests but not all the DVSA examiner will put on the satnav. The person taking the driving test will be asked to follow the directions the satnav gives. The satnav will be on for up to 20 minutes of the driving test. The more you practice with the satnav the better prepared you are for this part of the driving test.
  • Hill starts. You will more than likely be asked to move off on a hill, You will need to do this without rolling backwards and at the same time checking your blind spots and mirrors to make sure it is safe to move off.
  • Parking on the opposite side of the road. A new part of the driving test first introduced in 2017. You will be asked to park on the opposite side of the road, often behind a parked car, the examiner will then ask you to move off and re-join the traffic. This can sometimes be difficult especially if it is a busy road. Make sure it is safe before moving off.
  • Show me, tell me. The show me tell me part of the test changed in 2017, you may be asked to turn on the headlights while driving wind down the window and or turn on the wipers. It’s a good idea to get used to doing these things while practicing learning to drive.
  • Familiarise yourself with local roads in your test area. Once you have booked in the driving test I would advise spending as much time as you can around the test area as you can. The more familiar you are with the roads in the test centre area the better prepared you will be on the test day. It should also help with nerves as you would know the road layout ahead. Each test centre area is unique, no 2 test centres routes are the same.
  • Roundabouts, big and small. You will be asked to cover roundabouts on the driving test, some small (mini roundabouts) and some large and busy roundabouts. Try and get as much practice as you possibly can on these types of roundabouts as this can be a large part of the driving test.
  • Dual Carriageways. On most driving tests you will be asked to drive on dual carriageways, changing lanes at high speed, this is an important skill to learn, I would advise practicing this for many hours so you are comfortable and confident, it can be a little nerve wracking the first few time you do it but with practice it will get easier.
  • Country roads. Often a forgotten skill that people fail to master. Country roads often throw up many hazards i.e. animals on the road, cyclists and slow moving tractors.
    You may have to over take these on winding roads where your visibility may be hindered. It’s one of the more important skills to learn so the more practice on these roads the better. If you can’t see far ahead it may not be safe to over take, wait until you have good visibility.
These are just basic tips on how to teach your kids to drive, it is always best to get the opinion of a fully qualified driving instructor to make sure you are on the right track. If you are really serious about teaching your kids to drive, check first this guide from the GOV.UK website: Learn to drive a car: step by step.

Learning to drive should be something that you look forward to doing not just a choir. If you enjoy teaching them then they will enjoy learning to drive. It can take up to a hundred lessons to get someone up to driving test standard if you a not a professional driving instructor.

You and your son or daughter will have good days and bad days, this is what memories are made of.

Teach your kids to Drive

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Last updated: 20/05/2024

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