There are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking about practising outside of normal driving lessons.
We have put this useful guide together to outline things you need to know about learning with family, relatives or friends.
Who is Allowed to be your Sponsor or Supervise You?
Really anyone who holds a full licence for a minimum of 2 years and over 21 years of age and qualified in Category B.
The persons supervising the learner must.
1) Be qualified in the type of vehicle they are supervising so for example if supervising in a manual car then they must be qualified in a manual car.
2) Held a full drivers licence for 2 years or more.
3) Have the legal car documentation including insurance, tax and NCT.
4) Display the required L plates front and back.
5) Not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sponsor Training
Really the best way to learn is with one of our Ladybird driving Instructors but in addition to the lessons it is recommended by RSA to use a sponsor who can supervise some additional training hours and fill out that relevant section of the EDT logbook.
So what are there the advantages and disadvantages of training with a sponsor.
1) Pupils will develop car control skills a lot faster due to additional driving time.
2)Confidence improves due to sustained time in car.
3)Can practice any time of the day or night.
4) Cheaper than paying for lessons.
1)The standard of driving by the sponsor may be poor as sponsors are not Instructors and therefore have driven a particular way for years.
2) Cost of Car insurance for learners can be huge and unachievable due to the premium being so high.
3) Sponsors car will definitely not have dual controlled pedals in the event that the car goes out of control.
4) Sponsor cars can be diesel, petrol, automatic and they all drive differently from car to car.
4) Pupils may end up coming back to lessons having picked up some bad clutch habits or no mirror work or poor observation so it can be a disadvantage if the sponsor doesn’t check all of this as well.
5) Sponsor may only keep pupils in car parks or shopping centres because they themselves are scared to take them to main roads.
However, all in all sponsor training or additional training really helps speed up the process a lot.
Carrying on what you learned from your driving lessons is what is required and we have found that drivers who complete 30-40 hours have a much better success rate passing their test first time than drivers only driving 12-15 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I practice during level 5 restrictions?
Yes, you can if it’s a family member within your bubble. You would need to keep within the 5km distance and it would need to be an essential journey.
So for example you might need to drive to the shop or pharmacy with your sponsor.
You might need to bring food to a vulnerable person or be a volunteer.
You may need to drive to work due to you being Essential such as building site workers, manufacturing, supermarkets or frontline hospital workers.
Travelling for exercise is allowed also.
Q. Would my insurance cover me to practice during a lockdown?
Good question. This depends on the reason for your journey. A non-essential journey may make your insurance void for that journey.
So if you drove from Dublin to Kildare and had an accident, then you may not be covered in this situation but we suggest contacting your insurance provider and get the facts on this.
Q. Can I do driving lessons during the lockdown?
EDT lessons can not go ahead on level 5 restrictions only those Essential workers who have an imminent test date coming up can take pretest lessons.
We will be back soon with our next instalment of #LearnWithLadybird but in the meantime check out some of our other advice pieces
14th of January 2021