How to teach someone to drive

Teaching someone to drive
  • Initial lessons with a driver training expert at the NRMA will prepare you and your learner driver to progress steadily towards passing the driving test
  • An hour with an accredited instructor from the NRMA counts for three hours towards your learner’s 120-hour logbook requirement

Teaching someone to drive is a big responsibility. Here are our top tips for teaching someone to drive as safely as possible.

Choose an appropriate time

If you’re rushed or stressed, this will make your learner stressed too, and you may not be in the right frame of mind to teach them in a calm and ordered way. Once the learner has gained experience, regular trips can become a time to practice and log hours.

Show the learner how to set their driving position correctly

To find your optimal driving position, start by sliding the driver’s seat to allow easy reach of the pedals with a slight bend in the knees. Then, set the steering wheel using the tilt and reach adjustments (if the car has reach adjustment) to allow the driver’s wrists to sit on the top of the wheel rim with a bend in the elbows. This ensures a comfortable position of control. Set the interior and side mirrors to ensure a good view that minimises the blind spots alongside the rear of the car.

Choose somewhere quiet to start

Your new driver has enough new skills to master without dealing with traffic or other challenges on the road. Choose a quiet, open expanse such as a parking lot or an industrial area (on a Sunday). Focus first on low-speed steering, accelerating and braking. Once your learner has developed these basic driving skills, work up to different kinds of road driving as their skills and confidence grow, starting with quiet suburban streets and slowly building up to night, rain and motorway driving. The RMS Learner Log Book provides an overview of the right order to introduce new driving skills and experiences to your learner, along with key points that need to be covered.

Praise good driving

Reinforcing good driving practices and providing constructive criticism will reduce conflict and help your learner develop sound, safe driving habits. Talking forward is a teaching technique that’s part of the driver training approach at the NRMA. For example: “We will be turning right at the next set of lights. What do you need to do to prepare for this?”

Start in an automatic

Initial drives in an automatic car will help your learner focus on the basics by removing the extra challenges of clutch operation and gear selection. It’s a good place to start, even if they wish to do their test in a manual. (If your learner takes their P1 driving test in an automatic they will not be legally able to drive a manual until they get a P2 licence 12 months later – except when they are driving with an unrestricted driver in the passenger seat).

Book a lesson with a driver training instructor at the NRMA

A lesson with an accredited driving instructor in the initial stages of your learner’s driving will prepare both of you for a planned progression towards becoming a safe driver and passing the P1 test. You can be present for the first lesson, which will equip you to build on the instructor’s lessons during driving practice with your learner. It will also give you a valuable insight into your learner driver’s level of skill.

Booking lessons with the driver training experts at the NRMA means those daunting initial stages of learning to drive are in the hands of a qualified professional and in the safety of a dual-control car.

Hour-long lessons with an accredited instructor at the NRMA count for three logbook hours, to help your learner reach the 120-hour logbook requirement (up to a maximum of 10 hours, which are recorded as 30 hours in the logbook).

Book a driving lesson

NRMA driver training is one of the safer ways to get your licence because you’ll be taught by the NRMA experts