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Jamie Gibbs

Should parents teach their children how to drive?


Should learner drivers turn to their parents for mentorship? Or is learning with a driving instructor more effective and generally better?

Driving instructor and a teen

Learning to drive can be a costly and nerve-racking experience. That’s why almost half of Britain’s learner drivers seek help from their parents or family members. Although these lessons might be free, new drivers end up paying an emotional cost.

It’s almost impossible to avoid having sweaty palms when behind the wheel. With one in seven (15%) admitting they were yelled at repeatedly, it’s clear that learning from a family member can actually be rather traumatic.

Parents vs driving instructors

Apart from being yelled at, one in seven (15%) learner drivers said they found learning from a parent scary and annoying. And one in 20 (5%) admitted to almost having an accident where a parent had to grab the wheel to avoid it.

No wonder learning to drive’s so daunting! Undoubtedly, an inexperienced learner and an overbearing parent is a recipe for disaster.

Driving instructor and a teen

Although the vast majority (84%) of driving instructors admit that taking lessons from a parent can help learners progress more quickly, almost just as many (79%) believe that teens can also pick up their bad habits.

According to a research by BSM, formerly known as British School of Motoring, the top five bad habits parents pass down to their children include:

The real cost of learning to drive

Before learner drivers can bin the L-plate, they have to be prepared to pay through the nose to get their driver’s licence.

Cost of learning to drive

With the cost of learning so high, it’s no surprise drivers-to-be seek financial help from their parents. Nearly a quarter of British drivers (23%) say that their parents bought their first driving lesson as a gift.

At the same time, one in five (20%) admit to having all of their lessons funded by the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Buying the right first car

It's not just the price of learning to drive that leaves a dent in parents’ pockets, but also the cost of buying a car. Our research showed that the average cost of a first vehicle in Britain is £2,907, and more than one in five (21%) actually spend more than £5,000 on their first set of wheels.

With costs like these, it’s important to find the right car that would suit your budget and needs. We have a handy guide if you’re unsure what kind of car to buy.


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