Learner Driver

Preparing Your Car for a Learner Driver

Planning on teaching someone how to drive? Here's how to prepare your car for a learner driver.

Road rules

Although your learner driver will have already obtained their learner's permit, it's a good idea to quiz them on the road rules before letting them get behind the wheel, just to ensure they're still fresh in their mind.


As long as your learner driver is accompanied by a licensed driver, they are likely covered automatically on your car insurance. However, policies do differ so contact your car insurance provider before commencing lessons to see if you need to add them to your policy.

L plates

The first step in preparing for a driving lesson is to attach L plates to the front and rear of your vehicle. These can be purchased at most service stations and retailers, or you can make your own using this L plate template.

Once you have your L pates, they must be displayed so that the letter 'L' can be seen at the front and rear of the vehicle from 20m away. If you are teaching a learner driver how to drive in your own car, you may be fined if the L plates are not displayed correctly. In addition, your learner driver will get 2 demerit points recorded on their traffic history.

Unless you are an accredited driver trainer, you could also be fined if you leave the L plates on your car after your learner driver has obtained a provisional or open license.

Ban mobile phones

It goes without saying that using a hands-free mobile phone while driving is illegal, but did you also know you could get fined for using your mobile on loudspeaker whilst your learner is driving? If you need to take or make a call during a lesson, do so with a headset or put the phone to your ear so as to not distract the learner driver.

Also ensure your learner driver is aware that if he or she is under 25, they cannot use a mobile phone at any time, whether it is hands-free or not. Failure to comply will result in a fine and 3 demerit points recoded on their traffic history.


Although it probably feels just perfect to you, it may take some time for your learner to get comfortable in the driver's seat. Play around with adjusting the seat until it's forward enough for their feet to easily reach the pedals and in a predominantly upright position, so that their head and neck are supported.

Also ensure they have adjusted their rear view and side mirrors so they can see clearly behind them. A good method is to have them lean their head against the window and adjust the mirror until the edge of the car is barely visible, then repeat for the passenger side. If the learner driver can still see the sides of the cars in the mirror, then they are creating blind spots.


If this is the learner's first time behind the wheel, you need to thoroughly familiarise them with the vehicle’s controls. Point out windscreen wipers, indicators, heater, demister, horn and headlights, as they will need to be able to operate them while driving.

If it is a manual vehicle, show them the gear pattern and have them practice the action (making sure the handbrake is on). If it is an automatic, show them where park, drive and reverse are all located.


By turning on the ignition key far enough to activate the gauges without actually starting the engine, you can point out the speedometer, the temperature, the fuel and oil pressure gauges to the learner driver, as well as the various warning lights that most modern vehicles have indicating improperly closed doors or unfastened seat belts.

Ready to hit the road? Read up on teaching your learner how to merge properly, and helping them choose their first car.