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As soon as most teens hit 17 they want to get behind the wheel, earn their ‘P’ plates and get on the road to freedom – often expecting the bank of Mum and Dad to pick up the tab!
We’ve teamed up with Driving Test Success – who’ve helped more than eight million learners prepare for their driving test, so here’s their top tips for getting your children on the road and keeping them safe.
1. Apply for a provisional licence – before your children can learn to drive or take any of the three driving tests (theory, hazard perception and practical) they’ll need to apply for a provisional driving licence.
2. Find an approved driving instructor – there are two types of driving instructors, an approved driving instructor (ADI) who is fully qualified, and a potential driving instructor (PDI) who has completed their training but hasn’t passed the final teaching exam. Use recommendations from family and friends, search engines or check the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA’s) list of registered instructors to find the right one for you. Make sure you also check the instructor’s badge which should be clearly displayed in their training car window.
3. Get the hours in – the DVSA recommends a learner has an average of 67 hours behind the wheel, made up of 45 with an Approved Driving Instructor, and 22 hours of private lessons with a family member or friend (must be at least 21 years of age and have held a full driving licence for at least three years). Once they’ve got several professional lessons under their belt and they’re confident controlling the car, take them out somewhere quiet for extra practice (don’t forget the insurance!).
4. Revise for the theory test – before the practical driving test can be taken, learners need to pass the theory test which is made up of two sections; multiple choice and hazard perception. With a wealth of revision aids available to practice with before taking the theory test, it is worth making sure your kids revise beforehand as it’ll save time and money in the long run.
5. Ease the cost – on average it costs £1,500 to learn to drive and get a licence. While there aren’t many ways to cut the cost, there are couple of things you can do to make sure you don’t end up wasting money:
6. Young driver insurance – if you are going to take your child out in your own car for private lessons they’ll need to be insured. Marmalade offers insurance which covers learner drivers and new drivers, on a temporary or annual basis. To find out more, visit www.drivingtestsuccess.com.
7. Book in advance – it’s important to remember that there can be up to a four month waiting time to sit the theory and practical tests. Sit down with your child and create a timetable to work out when will be realistic to book the tests in. Think about revision time, the number of driving lessons you can afford and how many private lessons you can fit in, in that amount of time. It’s also important to take into account if they’ve got other exams, coursework or holidays coming up. With regular lessons and revision, there’s no reason why your child can’t pass their theory test within 12 weeks of learning to drive, but it all depends on how much time they can commit.
8. P plates – once your child has passed their theory and practical test they’ll want to get behind the wheel at every opportunity. If they’re driving your car, or are lucky enough to have their own, make sure they show P plates so other drivers know they’ve just passed and can anticipate their behaviour.
9. Get a black box – unfortunately young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident, so if you are getting your child wheels of their own then you’d be wise to install a black box to monitor how safely they drive. Driving too fast or erratically will result in higher insurance and may even lead to the policy being revoked in extreme cases, giving them added incentive to drive carefully and resist peer pressure. You may even be pleasantly surprised at how much you can save on insurance if you get a black box fitted.
10. Pass Plus – to keep your child safe on the road and give them the skills to cope with different circumstances, adverse weather and motorway driving, consider enrolling them on a Pass Plus Scheme. This will equip them with the extra knowledge and confidence to stay safe on the road.
Driving Test Success is the UK’s best-selling range of revision aids for learner drivers and riders. Since 1997 we’ve been committed to producing the very best training tools for learner drivers.
To help young drivers get on the road, Trusted Dealers and Driving Test Success are offering ten people the chance to win a 12 month subscription to Driving Test Success’ Online Training portal. For your chance to win, visit the Trusted Dealers Facebook page.
The online training hub can be accessed from multiple devices (smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac) anytime and anywhere, giving your children access to all the revision resources they need to pass first time.
The Driving Test Success Anytime package includes:
To find out more about Driving Test Success, visit www.drivingtestsuccess.com