learner driver - when do I take DS out in my car?

(19 Posts)
MrsAMerrick Fri 20-Sep-13 13:52:47

My DS has just received his Provisional Licence and is due to have his first driving lesson this weekend. I have agreed that I will insure him on my car (at vast expense ) and take him out to practise. I've just ring my insurance company and been told that they won't insure any drivers under the age of 18, so I have found an alternative company who will insure. However, my insurance is up for renewal in 8 weeks time. If swap insurers now, I'll have to pay a cancellation fee, which I wont if I wait 8 weeks. DS will have one (2 hour) lesson a week so is it better to cancel the insurance in the next couple of weeks and take out new policy, so he can start practising, or wait 8 weeks but eh won;t be able to practise in my car. I had thought he's need 3 or 4 lessons until he was read to come out with me anyway. WWYD?

lagoonhaze Fri 20-Sep-13 13:54:48

I'd wait. When I learnt to drive instructor gave me the nod to go out with other drivers.

Good to have a few hours of lessons before you start with someone else whose driving skills may not be perfect!

MirandaWest Fri 20-Sep-13 13:56:05

I personally needed all the practice I could get from the beginning but when I was learning to drive insurance costs were a lot less and so there was no problem with my mum putting me on her cars insurance.

However my boyfriend didn't put his DS onto his car insurance, he didn't do any practising at all between lessons and passed first time (suspect he is naturally better at driving than I am!)

How much is the cancellation fee and do you know how the different insurance companies compare in cost?

bigbluebus Fri 20-Sep-13 14:33:21

DHs car insurance has just come up for renewal and DS will be 17 in Nov, so we have just phoned around and got 'hypothetical' quotes for adding DS to the policy. This has resulted in DH changing insurers on renewal to a company who will be cheaper for adding DS.

We then had a discussion about exactly when we would add DS and concluded that we probably wouldn't add him straight away as it would be wise to get some instructor lessons under his belt first. DS has already had 2 lessons with an instructor (off road) who said he was "a natural", so it depends how he gets along in traffic. I will be delaying him driving DHs car as long as possible as not sure my nerves will stand it and I will also be delegating the task of taking DS out to DH

I suppose it depends on how much you are going to lose by cancelling the policy and if you are prepared to lose that amount of money or not. But I wouldn't think that waiting 8 weeks is a problem, unless your DS needs to pass his test quickly for some reason.

BearPear Fri 20-Sep-13 14:39:56

I insured both of my teenagers through Young Marmalade - it's an online company specialising in learners & young new drivers. It was pricey at £90 a month. My own insurer at the time was Sheila's Wheels and they don't touch any young driver. My premium was really low at around £250. Moving to another insurer would have been way too expensive all round.

MrsAMerrick Fri 20-Sep-13 15:10:56

Thanks for the advice everyone. I will have to change insurers as mine won't insure him. I've been given a quote of £998 pa (if I say it fast enough it dens't sound so bad!) and there's a cancellation fee of just under £100 so I think I'll wait and then change when I renew. I suspect it will rocket again once he passes his test and can go out without adult supervision.... if I let him!!

DS1 started in January. The instructor told us to wait until he said he was ready for practice before adding him.
Once he did drive with me we were advised to stay 3 lessons behind if you see what I mean.
When I renewed my insurance (before he was 17 ) I rang round and the best deal for adding him as a named driver was with Direct Line. He was driving about 6 weeks I think before we added him. DL also give named drivers a no claim discount if they eventually insure with them. They did not increase the premium when he passed his test because it was within the year, but I am due to renew again in November so I hope it doesn't go up too much. It cost me about £800 for 10 months.
If you think it's nerve wracking having him learning to drive with you just wait until he drives off alone after passing his test. I let DS use my car a couple of times a week.

Rascalls3 Sat 21-Sep-13 18:34:10

Great, spot on post by secretscwirrels. Definitely wait until his driving instructor gives the go ahead before going out in your car and even then be prepared to be scared stiff. Look at Provisional Marmalade monthly policies until your car renewal. I am another fan of Direct Line- they were one of a few companies who would ensure 3 young divers on one car. We now have 3 cars insured with them. They also allow you to add a young person onto your insurance policy for short periods ( ie summer hols when home from uni) very in expensively, although they do need to have held a full driving license for a year to do this.

They also allow you to add a young person onto your insurance policy for short periods Oh thanks, I didn't know this, was wondering what I would do when he went to uni.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 22-Sep-13 22:15:08

We were able to add DD as a learner on my car for one month at a cost of only around £45. I did this once the instructor gave the nod and made the effort to taker her out several nights per week and also on Sundays when the roads were quiet.

We mostly drove around industrial estates as these give plenty of junction and roundabout practice without having too many other cars to worry about.

livinginwonderland Mon 23-Sep-13 07:26:57

I would wait. My instructor told me I was "ready" to go out with my parents after about two months, so the timing is actually pretty good.

wol1968 Tue 24-Sep-13 00:19:46

I never practised in between driving lessons when I learned, because (a) my mum's car was a weird little Daf that didn't have a manual gearbox and would have confused the heck out of me (its steering was also distinctly eccentric) and (b) both my parents couldn't have stopped themselves commenting on my every move while I was driving, which is extremely off-putting. Sometimes the relationship just isn't right for that sort of thing.

I still passed first time, after a year of weekly lessons.

a year of weekly lessons = that would cost £1100+, most 17 year olds have far fewer lessons.
Having said that there is a proposal to have a one year minimum as a learner, along with a few other things to try and improve young driver safety.

Almostfifty Thu 26-Sep-13 09:36:43

I'd wait till the instructors say to go out. They get bad habits from us!

alreadytaken Thu 26-Sep-13 09:41:37

as you have a cancellation free wait - and spend the money you would have spent on cancellation on extra professional lessons.

You should know that once they pass the test the insurance goes up even more. You might want to consider how long you want to insure him for and what you'll do if he passes his test, some people pass and don't drive for a time afterwards as insurance is so expensive.

Almostfifty Thu 26-Sep-13 16:42:28

They don't always go up. My insurance didn't.

Candlefire Thu 26-Sep-13 16:59:55

The poster paying £45 per month has a DD. Sadly boys cost more as the stats for them having accidents are worse. DS premiums are more like the £1000 per year mark I'm afraid. It does drop dramatically in price as they get older though.

MrsAMerrick Fri 27-Sep-13 18:26:14

I thought that the couldn't charge more for boys than girls? I have spoken to DSs driving instructor who says he will need at least 8 - 10 hours of lessons until he is ready to go out with me, so I will wait until i renew insurance and then see if i can get a better deal. Thanks for all the advice.

MrsAMerrick you are right, the law changed last year so insurance companies can't charge less for women.

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