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Learner Driver.

(46 Posts)
Calendargirl Thu 30-Sep-21 10:49:57

GS will be 17 next year, will have driving lessons. Our son, his dad, has a company car and learner drivers not allowed on the insurance, ok when test passed.

DS has asked if we would be willing to put GS on our insurance, to practise in between lessons. DS would supervise. DS would pay the extra cost of insurance.

We have two cars, both a few years old. DH and I are the only named drivers, maximum no claims discount, very reasonable insurance.

I am not keen to do this and said so. DS has said in the past that when his children are old enough to learn to drive, he will buy a small cheapish car for them, GD is three years younger than GS. But doesn’t seem keen to do that now. He and DIL are in good jobs, and could afford to do this.

DH sits on the fence, as per usual, doesn’t want to upset anyone.

AIBU to think that although we always try and help out wherever possible, I do feel this is not really something we need to be involved in?

To be fair, we don’t use the cars to a huge extent since we retired, and DS pointed this out! “ Your cars are sat on the drive most of the time!”

I left it that “Well, we’ll see nearer the time” but feel unhappy about it all. DS obviously thought we would agree straightaway, and looked a bit miffed.

So, please tell me, AIBU?

Calendargirl Thu 30-Sep-21 18:49:19

Thank you for all your helpful comments, advice and suggestions.

Should have said that our car is not an ideal learner’s car, a medium size one with a 1600 engine, so the insurance would be substantial.

I feel justified in my opinion as you all seem to agree with me that it really isn’t up to us.

I hope that DS has now thought more about buying a cheapish runaround, as I genuinely think that is the better option. Someone asked if DIL has a car, no, DS’s company car is their sole vehicle, so it would be useful for both of them.

We won’t be offering to contribute to the cost if that’s what they decide, they can afford to do this, but Mum and Dad’s car would be an easier option.

We have 3 other GC in Australia, 2 of them are drivers, we haven’t been asked to contribute anything towards their driving experience.

Will update in due course.


Beswitched Fri 01-Oct-21 09:21:01

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. I can understand that they couldn't let him learn in a company car, but buying a smaller cheaper car makes more sense than expecting him to be allowed use your car.
Apart from insurance, there is likely to be considerable wear and tear from a learner riding the clutch, scraping against walls when learning to park etc etc

Ro60 Fri 01-Oct-21 10:14:33

Big fat No from me too!

Alis52 Fri 01-Oct-21 11:19:16

I understand your reluctance to put any leaner driver on your insurance but it may be that regardless of having well paid jobs your DS is not as comfortable as he may appear financially. Cost of children just seems to scarily escalate the older they get. However that’s not your problem but - and only if you can afford it - you could offer to help out a bit with the purchasing of a cheap car to learn in and/or offering to pay for some lessons. Shows you’re interested & concerned but maintains your boundaries. Once your GS has a driving licence he will need a car to use anyway so your DS may as well get the car now.

Coco51 Fri 01-Oct-21 11:30:05

If your DS is prepared to reimburse you for additional costs - including years of increased premiums should the worst happen. But is he proposing to use your cars to teach GS and GS? I would suggest, if he intends to buy GS a car, he should bring the purchase forward so that GS is used to the car he will be driving after he passes his test. If your cars are elderly and there is accidental damage you may find that your insurance compasny will write off rather than repair - then you will have lost more than an insurance premium.
I had this problem a couple of years ago, I was hit by a driver who accepted full liability but the insurance companies wanted to write my 15 year old car off - the damage was cosmetic and I’d had the car from new, very well maintained and with very low mileage, I could never have found a reliable replacement for what they were offering. After much argument, and paying for my own repairs they did actually pay out, but I was in danger of losing everything when the accident was not even my fault.

GraceQuirrel Fri 01-Oct-21 12:54:54

My parents wouldn’t have helped me or their only GC with anything like this. I presume it’s because their parents wouldn’t have helped them out in any respect concerning money etc so they treat us the same. I can see your son taking umbrage at this though.

MaggsMcG Fri 01-Oct-21 13:02:29

Actually, its not that more expensive to put a learner driver on your insurance because they have to be supervised. You try putting an under 25 who has passed their test on your insurance then you'll know what expensive is.

If DH is prepared to pay and also to have the repairs done if there is an accident I don't see what the problem is. Or why not offer to sell one of the cars to your DH for a minimal sum then when the DGS has passed his test and no harm has come to the car your DH can either buy it outright for his son or give it back.

Septimia Fri 01-Oct-21 13:08:11

When I had driving lessons (many years ago, admittedly!) my father wouldn't change the insurance on his car for me to drive it. He did pay for my lessons and took me a few times to places where I could drive on private land. I passed my test, first go, in the autumn but he didn't change the insurance until it was due for renewal in the spring. Then he made me drive, with him beside me, 30-odd miles to the coast!

When DS had lessons we didn't change the insurance on our car but did pay for his lessons. But he went off to uni before he finished and completed his lessons elsewhere.

I don't know if having a car to practise on is a good idea - too much opportunity to develop bad habits!

If you don't want to change your insurance, could you offer to pay for some lessons or make a contribution towards the cost of a car instead? Probably cheaper than increased premiums.

fluttERBY123 Fri 01-Oct-21 13:12:36

I would consider it if DS agreed to cover all extra expenses, including any ongoing increase in premiums in the long term. A hassle keeping the account, though.

Jess20 Fri 01-Oct-21 13:32:13

We bought a cheap car for DSs to learn to drive. The issue isn't just the increased insurance, it's all the NCB you'd lose. Maybe look at something like Marmelade, they will insure a learner day by day and it won't affect your insurance if they write off the car. Personally, I'd expect the parents to do this but it may be that if you have two cars and hardly use them you could help, but check with your insurer and check out Marmelade and see what you think. I'd consider my least good car as the one to potentially sacrifice for this purpose, also consider how new/valuable/easy to replace the car is.

Gabrielle56 Fri 01-Oct-21 13:34:04

Hmm...I think they've got a cheek asking!! Cheap cars are so easy to buy at rock bottom prices now! Don't risk your NVR and also a risk of any accident will push up your premiums for a very long time. Kids are so selfish nowadays! One of my DS has 3(yep) cars and when I asked to borrow one for 1.5 hours other week to go to choir he replied "I don't lend my car's out, why don't you ask dad to borrow a courtesy car?" My ex owns the garage where he works!!! Remembering all the times I drove all over the bloody north west with him and his mates/girlfriend/ complete strangers getting free lifts!!!! Don't do it! You'll regret it!

Gabrielle56 Fri 01-Oct-21 13:34:45


Hmm...I think they've got a cheek asking!! Cheap cars are so easy to buy at rock bottom prices now! Don't risk your NVR and also a risk of any accident will push up your premiums for a very long time. Kids are so selfish nowadays! One of my DS has 3(yep) cars and when I asked to borrow one for 1.5 hours other week to go to choir he replied "I don't lend my car's out, why don't you ask dad to borrow a courtesy car?" My ex owns the garage where he works!!! Remembering all the times I drove all over the bloody north west with him and his mates/girlfriend/ complete strangers getting free lifts!!!! Don't do it! You'll regret it!

NCD no claims discount!!!

4allweknow Fri 01-Oct-21 14:04:30

Offer to sell your DS one of your rarely used cars. He intends to buy a car once GS passes, why not now? Or is he thinking it would be cheaper GD added to yours than if he was the on an insurance with your DS. Otherwise say no.

Riggie Fri 01-Oct-21 15:18:53

Personally I could see this being a stealth way of them getting another car. Starting off with the "oh it seems daft to bring it back to you when we are borrowing it again tomorrow, shall we keep it at our house" and ending up with your gs passing his test and just assuming he can continue to use it.

And that's without potential accidents and loss of no claims bonus/increased premiums etc.

So I'd explore a different way to help them out.

Calendargirl Fri 01-Oct-21 15:44:45

Thanks again for further replies.

To answer a few-

Although our cars aren’t used every day, they are still used quite often, particularly the one they hope to borrow. As stated previously, it’s not a small, ideal learner car, and to be honest, we have no intention of selling it yet, to DS or anyone else.

It worries me that if say, the clutch goes, it might be a case of “Well, it was probably on its way out anyhow”, and cause ill feeling on both sides.

DS and DIL can or should be well able to buy and insure a little car themselves, they usually have an expensive holiday every year, not happened with Covid, and have often said how much they have saved over the last 18 months, not going out etc.

I love DS and his family dearly, but over the last few years since we retired we have done a lot for them, school pick ups, babysitting, sleepovers, meals with us, help with decorating and gardening, etc. etc. I don’t begrudge any of it, but sometimes feel that DS just assumes we will do anything, and I honestly think we are one step removed from this and it’s up to him to sort it.

We paid for him and his sister to have driving lessons and practise in our car, 30 odd years ago, and I don’t think we need be involved again for the GC frankly.

Haven’t spoken to him since the request, feel it will be ‘the elephant in the room’ situation.

icanhandthemback Fri 01-Oct-21 19:27:37

Putting a Learner on the car is not as expensive as you would think and if you have protected no claims bonus, it should not be a big risk to you. There is often a bigger excess to pay if the young person has an accident but your excess would stay the same. The real loading of the premium comes when they have passed their test because without supervision, they are likely to do stupid things.
Personally, I would happily help out my grandchildren in that way but would probably expect their parents to pay the additional premium and excess in the event of an accident if it wasn't my idea. Alternatively, perhaps you could fund a small second hand banger so they have something to practise in whilst their parents pay for the insurance!

justwokeup Sat 02-Oct-21 01:14:33

I don’t really understand DS’s thinking here. Your car isn’t really suitable for a learner or new driver and DGS will need his own car fairly soon anyway so why doesn’t he buy an old runaround for him to practice now? I’m probably biased because my car was hit by a young new driver showing off to his mates in his mother’s powerful car. So I wouldn’t let him use your car until he’s been driving at least a couple of years - by which time he probably won’t want to! Unless your DS comes back with some good reason which makes sense to you, I agree with saying no for the reasons you’ve given.

Txquiltz Sat 02-Oct-21 05:32:00

If she had an accident, you would be without your car until insurance settles. The poster that suggested renting the dual control had a great suggestion.

Nashville Sat 02-Oct-21 06:31:50

I sold my 12 year old Fiat Punto for £500 with 10 months mot to just such a learner driver as you describe your gs. I would not put my grandson on my car insurance. It is the parents job to sort this. Just say no, you don’t want to share your car with either your son or grandson and close the subject. I wouldn’t contribute to a second hand car either. Might pay for 10 lessons though. I remember I paid for my grandson to have motorbike lessons when he reached 16. When I went off to college my dad bought me a second hand car and I eventually paid him back. He probably used half his savings to buy it. Wouldn’t have dreamed of asking my grandparents for money.
Said grandson eventually got a car and insured it in his own name but the insurance was over £1000 pa I remember.

Shelflife Tue 05-Oct-21 23:37:58

I wouldn't entertain the idea ! May store up problems later. Your cars are yours !!! As has been suggested you could perhaps consider chipping in towards a decent second hand car, but bear on mind if you do this for one grandchild you must do it for others.