There’s no getting away from it, driving lessons with an official instructor are expensive. And unfortunately, that’s unlikely to change any time soon. So, we understand completely why you might be considering your options. And what many people don’t realise is that there’s actually no legal requirement for learner drivers to undertake formal lessons with a DVSA-approved instructor.
However, there are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea.
Five Reasons Why You Might Not Want to Learn to Drive Without A DVSA-Approved Instructor
You want to pass your test
At DGN, we really encourage all of our learner drivers to practice as much as they can outside of their lessons. It’s a great way to gain confidence, experience of the road, and get used to how it feels to use a car. The problem is, when you sit your driving test, it’s not good enough to be able to control the car. So, while your parents might be able to teach you how to set up your mirrors, change gears, and reverse bay park, they’ll show you how to do it the way that they are comfortable doing it themselves. And after years of driving experience, there’s every chance that this will not be in the DVSA-approved way. Which might mean that you become an incredibly competent driver. But that you’ve picked up enough bad habits to mean that you cannot pass your test.
It still costs money
Cutting out a DVSA-approved instructor can initially seem like a great way to cut the cost of learning to drive. However, driving lessons are expensive for a reason. So, while you are, of course, paying for your instructor’s time, knowledge and experience. You’re also paying for the use of the car. For insurance – to protect you as well as your instructor, their vehicle, and other drivers. The car’s maintenance. The fuel you use during your lesson. And any minor damage or wear and tear caused to the car… And you’ll still have to cover all of those things when using a private vehicle. Learner driver insurance alone is enough to give you pause!
Learning to drive is pretty stressful
… And so is teaching someone how to drive. Now, you might have the most chill parents in the world. But it takes nerves of steel to take a loved one out in your car for their first driving lesson. Especially if you like your car! There’s not just the worry of damage to the car – and honestly, the sound of crunching gears can set even seasoned teeth on edge. It’s the natural need you have as a parent to keep you baby safe… Even if your baby is now several inches taller than you and considerably hairier. And this can make the whole learner driver experience unnecessarily stressful for both parties.
It’s likely to take longer
For all of the above reasons, plus the fact that you may not have a fixed schedule, independently learning to drive is likely to take much longer than with an instructor. If you’re not in a hurry, then that’s absolutely fine. But if you’re working with a specific event or deadline in mind, you may struggle.
Your car will need to be test ready
If your car is roadworthy, in full working order, with a valid MOT, tax, and the right kind of insurance, then it should be fine for sitting your test in. In fact, we see a several learners a year, who want to learn in their own cars. So, it’s no major hurdle. But it is something else for you to worry about. And it can be another expense to factor in when weighing up the pros and cons of learning to drive privately.
There’s nothing wrong with learning to drive without a DVSA-approved instructor. For some people, it’s the best option for their current circumstances. But it’s important to know that it doesn’t work for everyone. DVSA training not only gives driving instructors a wealth of knowledge, but helps them discover the most effective ways to teach new drivers. And that can make your learning experience a significantly happier one.
Find out more about learning to drive with DGN.