The ins and outs of learning with friends or family to get your license.
Many people take the decision to learn how to drive with family or friends, normally
because of the financial benefits. If you decide to take this option, there are
a few things you should be aware of before you start.
Insurance – You still need a provisional license if you are driving with a member
of family or a friend. You also need to be accompanied by someone who has had a
full UK license for at least 3 years and needs to be over 21 years old. You will
need the appropriate insurance, the car owners insurance is not enough and if you
are caught you will get the car owner in trouble as well as yourself. Short term
flexible car insurance which is perfect for learning with family or friends can
be obtained by clicking the following link:
We at Fineline Driving Academy do not recommend taking this route to get a license,
mainly because the individual teaching you may not teach you the correct information
as it could be outdated, the information could also be incorrect and might include
some bad habits that they have picked up over the years. Also, they probably haven’t
got a dual controlled car and therefore your safety will be at risk if you make
a mistake on the road. We recommend starting out in a large open space (perhaps
a car park) with little or no obstructions to ensure you don’t have any knocks.
If learning with a member of family or a friend, we strongly recommend taking a
chunk of lessons with Fineline Driving Academy or a driving school local to you
to get the basics out of the way and to ensure you won’t be a danger on the road.
Once you can perform the basics of driving, for example moving off/stopping and
dealing with junctions/roundabouts then it will be less dangerous to learn in a
car which isn’t dual controlled.
At this point, you should take full advantage of our driving tutorials, where we outline many aspects of the driving test including all the
manoeuvres you will need to know. Additionally, you can check out our forum for
information regarding the driving test including the ‘ask the instructor’ segment
where one of our instructors will get back to you as soon as possible if you have
any questions. There are some priceless PDF files made available on the official
DSA website to help you understand traffic signs, you can download them here.
Don’t forget to clearly display an L-plate on the rear and front of the vehicle,
this is required by law if you are using a vehicle without a full license for learning
purposes. You can print out an L-plate from this website, just right click the image below and save it and then print it out, we recommend laminating it to protect
it from being ruined by rain and ensure it is securely attached to your vehicle
so it doesn’t fly off
In terms of taking your test, your driving test day vehicle will not require dual
controls, but should be roadworthy for the purpose of the test. The following are
the conditions which must be met for your driving test vehicle;
• be properly insured and have a valid tax disc
• be roadworthy and have a current MOT if it needs one
• be checked and fixed if it has a known safety fault
• have a seatbelt for the examiner
• have an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner (these are available from most
• proper side mirrors (not cracked or taped on)
• have a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)
• be a smoke-free environment (you can’t smoke in the vehicle just before or during
• have 4 wheels
• be able to reach at least 62mph
• have a speedometer measuring speed in mph
• have no warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning light
• have L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
• have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kilograms
• cannot be a BMW mini convertible/Ford KA convertible/VW beetle convertible/Toyota
• cannot be a convertible of any type
• be using a space-saver tyre
If you turn up on the test day with a vehicle which doesn’t satisfy the above conditions,
your test will not be taken and you will probably lose your test fee.