Choosing an Instructor
To become a Driving Instructor it involves a rigorous testing and training process before qualifying. All registered Instructors must display their Green DVSA Badge in the windscreen of their car when training. Those who are in the final stages of the process may legally work with a Trainee Licence. Any qualified Instructor will be graded A or B and will be happy to share this information. It is also available at https://www.gov.uk/find-driving-schools-and-lessons#before-you-start. Many Instructors work on recommendation so ask around with friends to find out who is teaching to a high standard and not just to pass the test, or are the cheapest. Remember this is a life skill.
You may decide to help someone to learn to drive and if so there are a few things you should consider. If they are having formal lessons with an Instructor use private practice to reinforce what was covered. As the supervising Driver you are legally in charge of the vehicle at all times so make sure the vehicle is insured for both of you as you may need to take over. It must clearly display L plates front and back but remember to take them off when the learner is not practising. You must additionally not be over the legal drink drive limit, use your phone or allow the driver to commit any motoring offence. You can be prosecuted and gain points or fines even sat in the passenger seat!
Choosing your first car
Buying your first car can be both exciting and intimidating as there is a bewildering choice on the Internet to suit every possible driver. Consider what your budget is first of all and stick to it. Have a look on car websites to try to get an idea of what type of car you may want that suits your lifestyle and how many miles you may cover in a year. This will help as you will have to consider reliability if you are perhaps commuting some distance. Drive several cars before making a final decision if possible and do not be pushed into buying something that is unsuitable because of a good sales pitch. Take someone with you who understands what you may like and can guide you.
There is no getting away from it but Insurance for new drivers is expensive. Having decided on your possible first car get quotes for the Insurance before committing to the purchase as this may influence your final decision. Comparison sites are a great place to start. Costs can, in some cases run in to thousands but there are ways to reduce this and still keep the correct cover. Work out how many miles you may drive as lower annual mileage can reduce premiums but be honest or you could be penalised later. Will you be driving to work and if so ensure you have commuting cover, alongside business cover if you drive for work other than to the office. Can the Insurance company fit a “black box” which will monitor driving style and will encourage better driving? It is vital to get the correct cover as if you have to make a claim later the Insurance company may refuse to pay out on the basis of non-disclosure.
Once you have passed your test and have your own car everyone will start wanting lifts from you. Carrying passengers may be new to you so you will need to be aware that the car will handle differently due to the extra weight. This means that corners or stopping distances will vary to what you have been used to. Ensure that everyone is wearing a seat belt and ask them to keep distractions or noise to a minimum as you will need to concentrate. Do not be afraid to ask any passengers to keep the music down as their safety is important for all of you.