Private Practice

Most good professional driving instructors, will encourage private practice as a supplement to the paid lessons they provide. However you cannot just jump in the a car with someone and teach them to drive. [The legal requirements] can be found on the .GOV.UK  website. 

Obviously the best person to learn to drive with would be a Professional Instructor.

‘You would say that’ I hear you cry, well yes it does help pay the bills, but there are other reasons too. Whilst you or your chosen family member or friend may well be perfectly good drivers. If you were to be totally honest with yourselves, some bad habits have probably been picked up over the years, (It happens) and are you sure you’re totally up-to-date with the current requirements of the UK Driving Test?

For instance: the ‘Pull up on the right’ manoeuvre, which was introduced in Dec 2017?

All ADI’s  (Approved Driving Instructors) have to go through a process of continual improvement and training to ensure they are full up to date with Techniques and Regulations/Requirements.

On top of that they have a Standards Check, effectively having to re-pass their final exam, every 2-4 years. So although I wouldn’t recommend private practice on it’s own, using it as a supplement to paid lessons from an professional is definitely beneficial.

Before you start there are a few things to consider:

Who can accompany a learner driver?

The accompanying driver must meet the following criteria!

  • Be over the age of 21.
  • Hold a licence to drive the type of vehicle you’re practising in (such as a manual or automatic car licence).
  • Have held this licence (which must be from the UK or an EU or EEA country for at least three years.

The accompanying driver must also follow the same legal rules as the learner.

  • Comply with eyesight rules regarding wearing any prescription eye-wear they would normally wear if they were driving.
  • Do not use the phone whilst driving – even when in traffic or pull up with the engine on.
  • Do not drive under the influence of Drugs or Alcohol.

And although not legally essential, it is always best for the student, if the teacher is a relatively experienced driver – remember you won’t have Dual controls.

Learner driver Insurance.

You will need insurance for the learner driver. When learning with an instructor, the lesson price will cover the cost of this insurance. However when practising privately, the driver will need to be insured, the insurance of the car owner, will not cover the learner! There are a range of options available:

  • Add the Learner to the car owner’s existing policy as a named driver
  • Getting short-term insurance.
  • Annual insurance, perfect the learner is practising in their own car

Please note being caught driving without insurance will lead to penalties including an unlimited fine, a driving ban and up to 6 points on your licence!

Other rules or restrictions.

UK - L Plate dimensions
Legal dimensions for UK ‘L’ Plates
  • L Plates whenever a learner is driving, the vehicle MUST display L Plates. They must be removed if a Full Licence Holder is driving.
  • Since June 2018 it is legal for learners to drive on the motorway, however they may only do so if accompanied by an approved driving instructor.
  • The accompanying driver must also ensure that the car is in a safe and legal condition. Which includes being Taxed and a current MOT.
  • It is illegal for anyone accompanying a learner during private practice to charge or accept money accept for reimbursement for insurance and petrol costs! Only DVSA Approved Driving Instructors (ADI’s) can charge for driving lessons.


  • Many of my students who have taken Private practiced, have waited until they get to a reasonably competent level with me,  before they start going out privately. 
  • Make sure you get a second internal rear view mirror.
  • Try not to practice anything not already started with me, and if you’re not sure about it call me and I’ll happily help.

If you have any further questions regarding Private Practice the please call me and I will happily advise you or point you in the right direction.