When learning to drive, there can be a comfort in using your instructor’s car. Maintenance is their responsibility. If something goes wrong, well, it’s their car and their insurance. And if you want to try motorway driving, then they have dual controls. But there is also a certain appeal to learning to drive in your own car. It helps to familiarise you with your vehicle, so you’re more comfortable when you’re going solo. And that in turn can improve your confidence. So, what do you need to know about learning to drive in your own car?
Everything You Need to Know About Learning to Drive in Your Own Car
Can I legally learn to drive in my own car?
Yes. It is perfectly fine for you to have all of your driving lessons in your own car. Either with a professional instructor, or privately with your parents or other qualifying licenced drivers. But if you decide to take that path, you need to be fully aware of your obligations.
What do you need to do to be able to learn to drive in your own car?
The first thing is hopefully obvious: you need to have a provisional driving licence. So, this means that you need to be at least 17 years old (16, if you qualify for PIP or DLA) and have received your first provisional driving licence. You should have L plates clearly displayed on the front and rear of your vehicle. And you need to be accompanied by a qualifying supervising driver at all times of your journey.
Who can teach you to drive in your own car?
Most people prefer to learn to drive with a qualified driving instructor. Primarily because that’s the best way to ensure that you are learning how to do everything correctly. While your parents might drive every day, it’s easy to pick up bad driving habits as you gain confidence. And as a learner, you don’t want to pick those up if you intend to pass your test.
But you can decide to learn privately, or supplement your official lessons and get extra practice with other drivers. You just have to make sure that that person is:
- is at least 21 years old
- has a full UK or EU/EEA driving licence
- is qualified to drive the type of vehicle you’re learning in (manual/automatic)
- conforms to driving eyesight requirements
- is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs
It’s also important to remember that it is illegal for a non-DVSA-approved instructor to charge you for driving lessons.
What are the vehicle requirements for learning to drive in your own car?
Firstly, your car must be roadworthy. This means making sure that it is in full working order, has a valid MOT, and is taxed and insured. Your insurance must cover both you and your instructor – whether professional or private. And any professional instructor will wish to see evidence of that.
Before your lessons, it will be your responsibility to check the tyres, lights, engine oil, water level in the radiator or expansion tank, brake fluid level, battery, and windscreen and rear window washer bottles.
It’s also a good idea to double-check that your car type matches your licence type. In other words, to make sure that you’ve not applied for a manual licence when you have an automatic car – or other the way around.
Learning to drive in your own car has its advantages. Particularly if you’re anxious about feeling comfortable and confident in your own vehicle once you’ve passed your driving test. But it can also be expensive. And it puts extra pressure on you as a learner. Ultimately, however, the choice is entirely yours. There is no right or wrong decision. You just have to go with whatever feels right for you.
If you’re looking for driving lessons in the West Midlands, get in touch with DGN.