Coaches play a big part in helping someone learn to drive. A driving coach is someone who’s willing to teach a learner driver how to drive competently, legally, and safely.
Because a learner must always have a supervisor with them when they drive, you should be prepared to commit to the time needed. When you’re the supervisor, you’re the one who’s responsible for the safety of everyone in the vehicle. You’ll need to be a skilled and confident driver with plenty of patience.
To be a supervisor, you must:
Remember, when you’re supervising a learner driver:
Conditions of a learner licence – Waka Kotahi
If your learner is driving with a class 1 or class 6 learner licence, L plates must be displayed on the vehicle. L plates show other road users that they’re a learner driver. L plates:
Learner licence information – Waka Kotahi
It may have been a long time since you looked at the road rules. If you’re going to coach, brush up on your knowledge of the New Zealand road code and think about any bad habits you may have when driving.
The official New Zealand road code – Waka Kotahi
You might want to look at using a professional driving instructor to support your coaching. A professional driving instructor is useful at any stage, but can be very helpful at the start. They can help your learner set up good habits as they learn the basics and will plan the lesson to suit the needs of your learner. The instructor can also provide you with guidance on what tasks to work on with your learner. A good way to use a driving instructor is 2 or 3 sessions in the beginning, then a few check-in sessions along the way before a final session to prepare for the restricted test. Professionals can also be helpful if you find you are both struggling to make progress on a particular part of driving – reverse parallel parking is a common one.
As a coach, you can ask to sit in the back of the car for the session. This means you can pick up what the instructor is saying and back-up the teaching in your own sessions.
Driving instructors charge a fee for training and must:
Before the first session, ask the instructor to show you proof that they hold a current driving instructor endorsement.
You and your learner will need to consider whether to learn to drive in an automatic or manual car. If they sit their restricted licence test in an automatic vehicle, they’ll only be able to drive automatic vehicles while on their restricted licence, unless they have their supervisor with them. Once they have their full licence, they’ll be able to drive either vehicle type.
Safe vehicles play a big part in keeping people safe on our roads. Almost every vehicle has a safety rating from 1 to 5 stars. This rating indicates how well the vehicle is likely to perform in a crash. Vehicles with 4 and 5 stars are the safest, while 1- and 2-star vehicles provide less protection in a crash.
When thinking about which car your learner will practise in, choose the safest vehicle you have available. If you’re buying a vehicle from a motor vehicle trader, look for the safety rating label.
You can search for a car’s safety rating on the Rightcar website.
You’ll also need to consider insurance. Car insurance in New Zealand isn’t a legal requirement but it’s a good idea to have some type of insurance cover. This will protect you and your learner from financial loss if they’re in a crash or event that causes damage to your or someone else’s car. If your learner will be practising in your car, check with your insurance company to make sure they’re covered.