Supervising a learner Driver!
This usually falls to mams and dads so here is some information you should know.
In order to supervise a provisional driver, you must have held a full licence for at least 3 years, the licence must remain valid, and you must be at least 21 years of age, unless you are a member of the armed forces acting in the course of your duties. The 3 year requirement does not apply to the supervision of large goods or passenger carrying vehicle provided the other requirements are met. Please remember that you could teach a learner driver bad habbits that you yourself do without realising so if you think that the profesional route will be more effective please use our directory of driving instructors and driving schools to find the appropriate one for the needs of a learner driver.
The supervising driver must
- be at least 21 years old
- have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle they are supervising in - manual or automatic), which must have been held for a minimum of three years
- ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition
- meet the minimum eyesight standards
- ensure the car displays L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) if a learner is driving
The Age and Driving Licence of the Supervising Driver
To help ensure that the supervising driver is likely to have significantly more driving experience than the learner, the law sets a minimum age of 21 years for anyone who is supervising a learner driver.
The law also requires that the supervising driver has held their full driving licence for at least three years. This prevents someone who has only just passed their Test, and so not had time to gain sufficient driving experience, from supervising a learner.
Make sure that your car insurance policy includes the learner. You must check and take note of any restrictions.
If the supervising driver wishes to drive the vehicle themselves at some point during the practice then remember that they would also need to be insured to drive the vehicle.
The supervising driver must ensure that the car is in a safe and legal condition, including being properly licensed, taxed and MOT'd. It is a good idea to have the car checked and serviced before starting private practice.
You must also ensure that L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) are displayed whenever a learner is driving. Remember to remove them after each practice drive.
You must meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving. In good daylight, you must be able to read an old style A123CBA number plates from a distance of 20.5m or a new style AB12CBA number plate from a distance of 20m.
If you need glasses or contact lenses to read these number plates then they must wear them when supervising a learner. If in doubt, visit an optician for expert advice.
When you are supervising a learner driver, you have the same legal responsibilities as if you were driving. For example, the drink drive laws and the ban on using mobile phone applies to anyone who is supervising a learner - you are deemed to be in control of the vehicle.
Supervising Learner Drivers of category C1 and D1 including vehicle plus trailer combinations (DSA INFORMATION)
We intend to clarify the accompanying driver rules in respect of holders of pre-1997 licences who supervise learner drivers in category C1, D1 including vehicle plus trailer combinations. We consulted on this change in 2007 and subsequently announced that the change would be introduced - but not earlier than 6 April 2010.
Before January 1997, drivers who passed the car driving test were also granted implied entitlement to drive small lorries, buses and vehicle plus trailer combinations (categories C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E) subject to certain restrictions.
Learner drivers should not drive a vehicle on public roads unless they are being supervised by a qualified driver. The qualified driver (also known as the accompanying driver) must hold a full licence for the category of vehicle being driven and must have held that licence for the relevant period of time - usually 3 years. In our view, implied rights entitlements do not meet the first of those criteria because of the restrictions attaching to the licence. Also, there are road safety issues involved where a person who has never passed the relevant driving test acts as the supervisor for a leaner driver in a category C1 or D1 vehicle (including +E combinations).
These changes will not affect anyone's existing entitlement to drive C1 or D1 vehicles or vehicle plus trailer combinations. But they will prevent anyone from acting as an accompanying driver in such vehicles if they only hold pre-1997 implied entitlements.
Anyone, particularly in the training industry, who currently relies on implied entitlements and wants to continue to act as an accompanying driver in C1 or D1 vehicles ( including +E combinations) after the change is introduced, will need to pass the relevant driving test(s) before 6 April 2010. We will ensure that such people are already considered to meet the requirement relating to the length of time that the full licence must have been held - usually 3 years - from the date of the change.
If they pass the relevant driving test(s) and meet the appropriate medical standards after the 6 April 2010, they will have to wait until they have held their new entitlement for three years before they can act as the supervising driver.
However, if they have passed a driving test for one category of vocational licence and have held that licence for a period of three years, they will only have to wait a period of one year from the date they pass the test for another category of vocational vehicle before they can supervise a learner driver in that category of vehicle. The table below gives further details:
Column 1 Column 2
(Licence held for three years) (Licence held for one year)
C1 +E D1 +E
D1 +E C1 +E