Learn to Drive with Parents: Pros and Cons

Learn to Drive with Parents: Pros and Cons

* Ready to start learning to drive?

* Can’t decide whether you should have a professional driving instructor?

* Want to make sure you make the correct decision?

In this blog my aim is to help you to be clear in your mind about the best choice for you. I’ll compare the pros and cons of both choices.

What is a Driving Instructor?

A government Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) can either be someone who has qualified to be a driving instructor by passing 3 qualifying tests. A theory test, a driving test and a test of their ability to teach. To do this they will have spent in excess of 100 hours training and many more hours teaching pupils to learn to drive.

They could also be a Potential Driving Instructor (PDI). This is someone who is learning to become a driving instructor. They will have completed a minimum of 40 hours training and passed the first 2 qualifying tests. The government has issued a Trainee Teaching Licence to enable them to gain the practical skills they need to teach effectively. 

Benefits of using a parent or friend

  • You save money
  • Possibly more flexibility on times when you can learn
  • You can learn in your own car
  • Good for private practice in between professional driving lessons

Disadvantages of using a parent or friend

  • You need learner insurance
  • Parent or friends don’t have teaching experience
  • No dual controls to make you feel safe
  • Potential for arguments!
  • Less likely to pass your test on your first attempt 
  • You may pick up the bad driving habits of the person teaching you 

Remember: the parent or friend must be over 21, with a full UK licence for at least 3 years

Benefits of using a Professional Driving Instructor

  • They have had many hours experience teaching people to learn to drive
  • They know how to teach you to be a safe driver and pass your test
  • They can help with the Theory and Hazard Perception test
  • Dual controls (brake and clutch pedals) In the teaching car are much safer way to learn to drive 
  • They know exactly what to say and do to help you learn and develop skills 
  • You will be learning in a suitable modern vehicle 
  • Fully insured
  • instructors all continually updating their knowledge to benefit you
  • with some instructors you will have access to online lessons to enable you to develop between your lessons 
  • instructors will be able to explain how you can develop between your lessons, and give you suitable private practise activities


  • The only disadvantage to having a professional qualified driving instructor teach you to drive is the cost of lessons.

An instructor will be able to teach you to learn to drive safely (and pass your test) as quickly as is possible.

Everyone learns differently and at different rates so they will be able to find the best ways of learning for you.

Imagine driving on a road for the first time with someone who doesn’t know how to teach and in a car with no dual controls! 

An instructor knows what to say and how to say it, so you always feel safe and in control. This builds confidence and an ultimately safer driver who passes their test with confidence.

An instructor knows how to instil a confidence into a learner driver and to enable them to make appropriate decisions for a lifetime of safe driving. 

Parents and friends will always try to do their best, but they are not professional driving instructors. They can be very uneasy when a learner driver makes a mistake and doesn’t realise that one or two accurately timed words could prevent dangerous incidents occurring. Learners making mistakes can then cause friction.

Family and friends often teach incorrect and outdated methods. You need to aware of this and make sure you are being taught to drive the whole syllabus so you can deal with any situation. Also, that you are taught how to drive around roundabouts, park a car, enter and exit roundabouts, overtake and so on using the correct system. 

If you decide to learn to drive with a family member or friend, it would benefit you to join an Online Driving Workshop, so you know exactly what procedure to follow. You can refer to the workshop, ask your family member or friend to watch the appropriate video, then practise these procedures in your driving sessions with them. 

You can find more information about our Online Theory Workshops and our Online Driving Workshops at our website. 

Let me know what you decide, and how it goes for you. 

Good luck and learn to drive safely.

Eddie Winterburn

Spot On Driving