A simples guide

Can I learn to drive in my parents’ car?

You can learn to drive with anyone, provided they are 21 or older and they’ve held a full licence for three years. But you’ll need to make sure you’re insured for the car you intend to drive before you hit the road.

Learning in your parents' car

Before driving off for the first time in your parents’ car, you’ll need to make sure of the following:

  • You must be 17 (the exception to this is if you receive disability living allowance at the higher rate) and hold a provisional driving licence.
  • Your parents’ car must be roadworthy, and have an MOT and valid road tax.
  • The car will need to display red L plates (L or D plates if you’re in Wales) when you’re driving – and they’ll need to be on the front and back of the car.
  • You must be insured to drive your parents’ car as a named driver.
  • You’ll need to drive responsibly and well within your limits. Driving school cars come with dual control, allowing the instructor to, quite literally, step in if required. Obviously your parents’ car won’t be fitted out in this way so you need to take care.
learner car

Consider using a driving school or an instructor

We know that driving lessons are quite expensive and it might be tempting to get a parent to teach you instead, but here are a few things to consider:

On average, it takes a learner driver around 45 hours of expert instruction (plus another 20 hours of private practice) to get to test standard. So, unless you’re lucky enough to have a parent who’s a driving instructor, this means it could take you longer to reach the required standard.

A qualified instructor will have taken tough practical and theory tests. They’re also regularly assessed to ensure they’re able to offer a high standard of tuition.

They’ll know exactly what you’ll be examined on in the practical and theory tests, and will be able to tailor your tuition to get you to the required standard efficiently. Importantly, they won’t teach you any bad habits that could unwittingly trip you up in the test itself.

Think about combining approved lessons with some top-up time from a willing parent. This way, you’ll get all the best driving instruction alongside some road-time practice.

Your insurance options

If you’ve decided to take lessons with a driving school, your insurance will be included in the cost of the lessons (as will the fuel). But if you want to learn to drive or practice in your parents’ car, you’ll need to be insured. You have a couple of options:

You can become a named driver on your parents’ car insurance. Adding you as the named driver could significantly increase their premiums, though (the insurance provider will take both drivers’ information into account and create a price based on each of you sharing the car).

Alternatively, you could take out learner or provisional driver insurance. This usually allows you to learn to drive in any car, but you’ll need to be with a qualified driver aged 21 or over who’s held a full licence for at least three years.

How can I get a good deal on learner driver car insurance?

It’s easy, just start a quote with us today. We’ll compare policies from more than 100 insurance providers so you can find a policy that suits you, at a price you can afford.

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