How to Help Your Learner Driver

September 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM

When your children are ready to drive the first step in their journey towards being a fully licensed driver is to obtain their learner licence (“L”). As parents, we can welcome the freedom that it will bring to our child, but at the same time it is another step towards adulthood. After the initial test has been taken and the young driver is ready to go with a learner licence, then a parent can help them in many different ways.

The first and most important way that a parent can help, is to supervise their young driver. Learner drivers are not allowed to drive alone in the vehicle and must be accompanied by a supervisor. Each country is different, but in New Zealand the supervisor must have at least two years of driving experience in the class of licence that the young driver is practicing.

Some countries use a logbook to log the learners driving hours, but in NZ that is not the case. In NZ it is recommended that learners drive a minimum of 120 hours. Preferably some of those hours are down with a professional driving instructor.

A parent can be helpful in these situations because they will have many opportunities to drive with their child. It may be that they pick them up from school and allow them to drive home or they go out for the evening and allow the learner driver to drive home.

As a parent is helping their learning driver, when they first start out they should take them to a quiet area where there is little or no traffic.


This is the best place to start practicing with driving by slowly pressing down on the accelerator and slowly braking.

The first time a learner driver gets behind the wheel they are going to feel very nervous and unaccustomed to the feeling of the vehicle, so they need to be in a location where they can get the feel for the vehicle controls, but in a safe environment.

Parents should let their learner driver experience a wide range of driving conditions. In the real world, driving conditions are never ideal. There will be rain, snow, country driving, traffic in the city, animals crossing the road, and situations where evasive action must be taken to avoid a collision.

Another way that parents can help their learning driver is to invest in driver training for them with a professional driving school.

L-Plates must be displayed when a learner driver is behind the wheel and the learner licence must be carried by the learner driver. Once you have helped your learner driver to drive 120 hours supervised and they have held their learners licence for a minimum of 6 months they are eligible to take their road test.

A parent must accompany the learner driver to the testing facility. A test must be booked in advance and then the young driver must show up at the appointed time. It is advisable that they arrive on time for their test or they will have to rebook because each slot is set for a certain amount of time for the driving test.

If you need advice at any time, please ask us:

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Category: Learner Driver Tips