Tips for accompanying drivers

There are a number of things you can look out for when you are out practising with your learner:

Use of mirrors. Use the mirrors BEFORE:

  • Braking (top mirror)
  • Signalling (top mirror and door mirror for direction turning to)
  • Changing position (top mirror and door mirror for direction moving to).
  • Check top mirror every 8 - 10 seconds while driving to keep updated.


The handbrake should be used if stationary for more than a few seconds, or if fully stopped on a hill.


The gears are normally selected in sequence when changing up (ie 1,2,3,4) but when changing down, you can skip straight to the gear you require (ie 4th to 2nd). It is no longer required to change down through all the gears in sequence - this means taking hands off the steering, and modern brakes no longer need the assistance of the gears to slow the car.


This is one of the most common reasons for not passing, whether not looking in the mirrors at the correct time, moving off, at a junction or when reversing.

  • When moving off from a parked position, as well as the mirrors, check over your shoulder into the blind spot.
  • Observe thoroughly at junctions and roundabouts - a quick glance is not normally enough.
  • BEFORE reversing, observe in front, all mirrors, over both shoulders, and out the back window. Keep re-checking frequently throughout the exercise.