learning to drive

How to stay legal when supervising a learner driver

Supervising a learner driver can be so rewarding, but you also need to ensure you’re obeying the law. It is illegal to check your phone, be over the drink-drive limit, or fall asleep, while the learner is being supervised. Read on to ensure your staying legal when on the road with your learner!

Age and experience

Just because you have a driving licence, it doesn’t mean you are allowed to supervise a learner driver. You need to be at least 21 and have held a full driving licence for three years.

But that’s not all. Because you are responsible for the learner and the car you must obey the same rules as if you were in the driver’s seat.

Not knowing is no excuse

Drivers risk fines, disqualification or even jail because they don’t know the rules on supervising learners, according to an AA survey. The law states that somebody supervising a learner driver is effectively in control of the car, which is why in one case, a supervisor was jailed after the learner was involved in a crash that killed two people. The law states that somebody supervising a learner driver is effectively in control of the car.


The survey also suggested that drivers frequently break the law by drinking, sending text messages, or failing to wear their glasses while on practice runs with learners. Some 23% of respondents didn’t know they’d be breaking the law by using a mobile phone while supervising a learner.

Meanwhile, 13% were unaware of the need to wear glasses if they used them when driving themselves, while 9% didn’t realise that falling asleep in the passenger seat is illegal. A total of 4% of respondents who had supervised learners admitted breaking at least one of these laws. The figure rose to 22% among supervisors aged 21 to 24.

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