Watching your kids take to the road for the first time can be a nerve-wracking moment. But learning to drive and driving independently after they pass gives them a new sense of freedom which is so exciting to see. There are ways you can help them as young drivers, from setting a good example to reducing insurance costs. Here’s how.

driving lesson with dad
You can help your teenager gain confidence with some lessons in a quiet car park

Creating a supportive learning environment

Confidence behind the wheel is one of the most important things for any young driver to develop. This, and competence, is often built during the learning phase. As a parent, you can help to create a supportive learning environment by being patient and encouraging throughout.

Taking your teenager out for driving practice between lessons is a good way to help them build confidence and that all-important road time. Always provide constructive feedback to reinforce lessons learned and stay positive to help them overcome tricky situations.

teenager driver imitates his dad
Lead by example, as your children learn behaviours from you

Setting a good example

Young drivers often emulate the driving habits of their parents. The more you can demonstrate good driving practices, such as always adhering to speed limits, avoiding using your mobile phone and wearing a seat belt, the better example you’ll be setting for them.

To reinforce these habits further, you may also want to explain why these behaviours are important. The consequences of reckless driving can be significant, not just for drivers and passengers but other road users too.

crashed car on country road
Accidents happen, so make sure they are fully ensured

Helping out with young driver insurance

One of the biggest challenges facing young drivers these days is the high cost of car insurance. Premiums for the newly passed have reached as high as £3,000 in the last year, typically due to the perceived risk associated with inexperienced motorists. But there are ways you can help as a parent.

First, influencing your child’s choice of car can minimise the amount they have to pay. Cars in lower insurance groups, usually smaller, less powerful vehicles, often cost less to insure. If you’re buying them their first car or passing down one of yours, the lower the insurance group the better.

You may want to add them to a family or multi-car insurance policy to help bring premiums down. However, you must make sure the details are correct to avoid invalidating the policy. If they’re getting their own policy, consider the cost of young driver insurance. Adding a parent as a named driver can help to bring premiums down if this is the case.

Promoting responsible car ownership

Owning a car is a big responsibility. You have an important role to play in helping your young driver understand the importance of regular upkeep and maintenance. Teach them some basic car maintenance tasks such as checking tyre pressure and oil levels. This way, they’ll be better prepared to handle minor issues independently.

Don’t forget to discuss the costs associated with ownership, including fuel, insurance and servicing. Whether they’re car owners yet or not, it’s never too early to prepare them for the financial responsibilities ahead.