Your Teenager Learning To Drive On Your Car Watch Out

My Car met with a minor accident while being driven by my son who only has a learning license? Will the, insurance,company pay for the repairing charges?
This rather interesting query came to us on our portal This set us thinking on queries that the consumer had not even asked. If in this case a loss is caused to a third party due to the car accident, will it be borne by the insurer or it will have to be paid by the insured himself?
We spoke to a few insurance companies but most companies said since the driver was not holding a valid driving license they would not pay for damage to the car itself. The motor accident tribunal could rule on the compensation payable to a third party and also decide who will bear the loss whether the owner or the common fund set up for this purpose.
Does that means that if a car meets with an accident while learning how to drive should never meet an accident? And in case the car meets an accident, then the entire damage is supposed to be borne by the owner of the car and not the insurance company. Looked quite intriguing to us. So we looked up the Motor Vehicles Act and spoke to some lawyers active in this field.

Here are the findings:

First if the driver did not have a license at all then in any case the owner was fully responsible for any damages caused to the car or to a third party. That’s not all. The driver is in a lot of trouble since as per the MV Act, driving a motor vehicle without a valid license is a criminal offence.

The situation is a little different if the driver at least holds a valid learner’s license. According to the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, a person with a learner’s license can drive the car only accompanied by an instructor who has an effective driving license. Along with this the instructor should be sitting in such a position that he has complete control over the vehicle and he can stop the vehicle anytime. The car also needs to have an  mark on both, the front and the rear of the car in RED over a WHITE background. Along with that the ˜L’ mark should have a certain height and thickness. The above all rules are supposed to be followed when a learning license holder is driving a vehicle.
But the above clearly specifies that if the driver holding a learner’s license is not following any of the other conditions specified above then he would be treated as driving without a valid license. Typically it is very difficult for a person sitting next to the driver to be in a position where he has complete control over the vehicle and can stop the vehicle at any time. This is only possible if the person holding the learner license is taking classes under a motor training institute. They have special cars designed where the instructor has got full control of the car as they have another set of brakes and clutches with the instructor. Using this set of brakes and clutches they can stop the car anytime they want. So clearly if your teenager is driving a normal car even with a valid learner license and with the L marked as specified he still cannot fulfill all the conditions required to validly drive a normal car. This is the strict interpretation of the MV Act.

So watch out. When your kid’s want to learn driving, it is always advisable to send them to a driving school and not try to train them with your own car till the time they don’t have a valid driving license. Remember not only will your insurance company not pay for any accident caused while he (she) is driving but it is also possible that he (she) can be face prosecution for driving without a valid license.


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