The law on learners driving on motorways is changing.

From 4th June 2018 learner drivers will be allowed to have driving lessons on a motorway, providing they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car, in England, Wales and Scotland.

This is one of the biggest changes to driver training for 60 years and has been implemented for a number of reasons.

  1. Driving on a  motorway can be very different to driving any other road types, even dual carriageways..
  2. The changes will give learner drivers a broader driving experience before taking their driving test, where they will learn how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly.
  3. In addition to this, drivers will also gain further experience travelling at higher speeds, understanding motorway-specific traffic signs, learn what to do if a car breaks down on motorways and give the confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their practical driving test.

Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “The shocking fact is that younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers over 25. Lack of experience contributes to their vulnerability.  

“Allowing learners to drive on motorways, with the support of an experienced driving instructor, will help them to develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely, and it will prepare them to drive on them alone.”

The changes have received widespread support from learner drivers, the driver training industry, road safety organisations. These changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland only.

Please note these changes are only applicable in England, Wales and Scotland.

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving. Our roads are among the safest in the world, but we’re determined to do more to make them safer.

“By allowing learners to have lessons on motorways, we are making sure learners get the skills and experience they need to drive on fast, busy roads.”

Only approved driving instructors with dual controlled cars will be allowed to give motorway lessons.

They will only do this if they are confident the learner has the skills and knowledge to drive on the motorway safely.

Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, said: “Safety is our number one priority and we welcome the change which will help equip learner drivers to drive safely on motorways when they have passed their tests.

“We look forward to supporting the motorway drivers of tomorrow as they develop these new driving skills and get invaluable practical knowledge and experience of using motorways.”

NASP chair Peter Harvey, MBE said: “The partners in NASP are very pleased to see that learner drivers are, at last, being allowed to drive on motorways.

“Driver trainers have been campaigning for many years to be able to teach learner drivers the vital skills needed on motorways before they pass their driving tests.

“We have been preparing for this announcement for quite some time, and have been and continue offering advice and training to our members on best practice when they take novice drivers on to a motorway for the first time.

“We have produced guidelines which are available on the NASP website. We are keen to emphasise to driver trainers that they should only take learners on to motorways when the learner is ready.

Remember only DVSA ADI’s giving lessons in a dual controlled car will be allowed to accompany learner drivers on motorways. Driving instructor will only be giving motorway training when the learners is considered to be ‘test ready’.”