As lockdown measures continue to ease, new drivers in England can now start taking driving lessons and theory tests again and practical tests from 22 July.
However, with only key workers able to take driving lessons and tests since 17 March and the DVLA only starting to take applications for provisional licences again since mid-June, GoCompare Car Insurance experts estimate there may be 370,000 new drivers held back by lockdown and now keen to get behind the wheel.
With a four-month backlog to tackle, booking lessons with one of the UK’s 40,000 professional instructors may be difficult, and some learner drivers may also be reluctant to share a car with someone outside of their usual ‘bubble’. If parents or friends are happy to become stand-in instructors, they will need to know the rules regarding teaching someone to drive to ensure both they and their student stay on the right side of the law and their insurers.
The rules of the road
- The learner must be at least 17 years old and hold their own provisional driving licence
- Supervising drivers must be aged 21 or over and have held a full driving licence for at least three years
- The supervising driver and the learner must both be insured to drive the car
- The vehicle must display L-plates front and rear, which can be removed when not being driven by a learner
- If you are supervising a learner driver you are legally in charge of the vehicle but both of you can be penalised depending on the infringement. If the learner breaks the speed limit they may be fined and receive penalty points on their licence. However, if you are using your mobile phone whilst supervising a learner driver, you will be the one prosecuted.
- You can’t take a learner driver on a motorway – only approved instructors in cars fitted with dual controls can do that
- You can carry other passengers (though it’s best to avoid distractions)
- You cannot be paid to give lessons unless you’re a qualified professional instructor