Do I Really Need A Driving Instructor?

Do you need to have your driving lessons with a qualified driving instructor or could you just learn to drive with a family member or friend, or both? 

According to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), to reach the driving test standard it will take around 45 hours of professional instruction with a quality driving instructor, when an extra 20 hours of supervised private practice is available.

So why not combine the two. Enjoy some driving lessons with a professional driving instructor and then practice the skills you have learned with a family member or friend.

Because simply put, the more driving practice you are able to, the quicker you'll learn, and the more confident you will feel.

Here are five factors that you might like to consider before deciding what's right for you. 

  • 9 out of 10 learner drivers who passed the driving test first time were taught by an approved driving instructor.


  • A parent or friend may not teach you correctly according to the DVSA standard required to pass the modern driving test.


  • Will you feel comfortable learning in a vehicle without the safety net of the dual controls fitted to all instructor training vehicles?

  • You will need to purchase insurance (which is a costly option) in order to drive with a family member or a friend. You will not need to purchase insurance if you are being taught by a driving instructor.

  • A qualified driving instructor will ensure that you learn to drive correctly and safely in line with the DVSA standard requirement.

Ensure that you listen carefully and always apply what you are learning from your driving instructor even when you are practicing privately.


A qualified driving instructor will ensure that you learn correctly and in accordance with current driving test requirements.


After all it may have been some years since you parents, or another family member or friend passed their driving test. You definitely don’t want to pick up weak or poor driving habits that may be hard to shift at a later stage. this would only prolong your learning period and make it more difficult to pass your driving test.

Its a driver’s responsibility (that's you if you are driving) to ensure that the car you use for practice is fit for use on the road.

So if you are learning in a friends, or in a family car, ask whoever is supervising you to ensure that the tyres, brakes, lights etc are all working and that the car is safe and legal for you to drive. that when YOU are driving, the car is under YOUR supervision and so YOU risk a fine and 3 penalty points on your driving licence if you break the law. You are not exempt from these things just because you are a learner driver.

A supervising driver should always be aware of exactly what is required to pass today’s modern driving test.