Dual Control Cars — Everything You Need To Know

January 25, 2023

Dual control cars are favored by driving instructors. They have pedals on both the passenger and driver sides. The extra pedals allow the driver’s instructor (passenger) to stop the car. This allows the instructor to maintain control of the vehicle at all time. We’ll get into more detail below.

If the car is a manual dual control, it will have two pedals: brake and clutch. A brake pedal will be the only one if it is an automatic dual control car. Two types of dual control pedals are common:

  • Dual controls: These pedals on the passenger’s side don’t move when the driver learns to drive. This means instructors don’t have the concern of getting their foot stuck to one of the pedals when the learner presses down on the clutch or brake. However, the instructor will not know if the student is coasting or using the brakes incorrectly. This is especially true when driving at night.
  • Passive dual controls – passive controls, on the other hand, will follow the student’s foot pedals. Instructors can benefit greatly from this because they can follow the student’s movements even when it is dark. On the other hand, instructors could get their foot stuck, so they need to be alert!

Why instructors need dual-control cars?

You must be able keep your student safe in your car to become a qualified instructor. You can only share driving tips and pearls of wisdom. Sometimes learners make stupid mistakes or road users become impatient, which can have serious consequences for all involved. Instructors need to be able take control of situations like this.

Dual control car hire allows instructors to do just that. Instructors can use dual control cars to stop the car in the event of an emergency. This will prevent any dangerous situations from ever happening. This is a great safety net and reduces the chance of an accident occurring during lessons.

Is dual control mandatory for instructors?

This is a very funny question. We’ve already discussed this in our guide to becoming ADI. However, the government doesn’t require that instructors have dual pedals in their cars. It would be very difficult to find an instructor who doesn’t have dual control cars.

While instructors are able to alert learners to impending danger, enabling them to take steps to avoid it, there will be rare occasions when they will have to step in. Accidents are inevitable if the instructor does not have dual controls. A learner who wants to practice motorway driving must use a DVSA-approved instructor and a dual control vehicle.

Using dual controls

Although there are no DVSA guidelines for how instructors should use dual-pedal driving, there are some “obvious” rules to follow in order to make sure learners get the most from their lessons.

How to use them…

Dual controls provide a great safety feature during driving lessons. Dual controls allow instructors to be more flexible and take the appropriate actions no matter what. They also make it easier for learners to relax knowing that they can call on an instructor if they make a mistake. These controls should be used only by instructors in emergency situations, which is to say, when immediate action is required.

It’s best to encourage the learner to solve the problem themselves in non-emergency situations. If an instructor is always there to correct a student’s mistakes, they won’t really learn. This is an example of this:

“Your student is approaching a roundabout, and they aren’t slowing down despite the buildup of traffic. Is it better to warn them and wait for them braking? Should you stop the car? ”

It all depends on how quickly your student reacts. If they have the time to react, you can give them a warning or recommend action. Prepare to intervene if they don’t act. You should also use your control if they don’t have the time.

If you use them in a lesson, you should talk to your student afterwards. Talk to your student about the situation and explain why. Make sure you explain what would have happened if you hadn’t intervened. This will help you to prevent the learner from making the same mistake again.

Why they shouldn’t…

Dual pedal use will vary according to the ADI. However, they should not be used to make life easier for students or instructors. Driving lessons are not just for learners to pass their driving test. They also serve to help them become confident and safe drivers. This is an example of this:

“Your student comes to a halt at a junction, but doesn’t realize that the road is uneven. The car is rolling ever-so slightly. Do you press the brake automatically (not commenting on it as it is such a minor issue)? Do you want to point it out so they can stop it? ”

It’s quite simple. It all comes down to the learning experience when taking driving lessons. Students will learn to not make the same mistakes twice if they are forced to do so under pressure. However, if you are constantly taking over for your student, you will not be helping them in long-term.

Instead, you are teaching your learner to not worry and that you will always be there for them if they need it. They’ll make more driving mistakes if they are too complacent during the practical test. They’ll also be dangerous to other road users if they pass their test.

Where do you find dual controls?

You might be wondering where to begin if you are a driving instructor looking into dual controls. If you are looking for a car with dual pedals, there are options. A dual-control car could be leased.

However, the easiest way to go is to have your car fitted with them. These controls can be installed on most cars and the process takes only a few hours. The UK has two main dual control systems: He-Man Dual Controls or Universal Dual Controls.

He Man Dual Controls

Dual Controls cost around PS135 and are a popular choice for many ADIs. These controls are tailored to each model of car. This means that the controls you fit to your car may differ from those fitted to another model. He-Man Dual Controls’ inflexibility is one of its biggest drawbacks. If you change cars, your controls won’t transfer. You’ll need to buy another set.

Universal Dual Controls

While they are more expensive than He-Man Dual Controls, at around PSD203.95— universal dual controls can be a cheaper option for instructors. Because they can fit in any vehicle, You can also move the controls around if you change cars. It saves money, as most instructors will have to change their cars at some point in their careers. Cables are the only thing that will need to be replaced.

Can someone buy dual controls?

Although there are no regulations that say they should only be used by instructors, it is not a good idea for anyone to have these controls installed. They are only needed to teach someone how to drive. Your instruction is not as good as professional tuition from an ADI. You should know that if you don’t have a certificated instructor, it is illegal to teach learners.


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