If you live somewhere like Birmingham and the Black Country, the chances are that travel will frequently take you towards a motorway. And for new drivers – for any drivers, really – that prospect can be a bit scary. You’ve not only got the high speeds and multiple lanes to deal with, but merging and the unique rules of the road. Going it alone on the motorway for the first time after you’ve passed your driving test is always nerve-wracking. But it can be a little easier to deal with if you’ve had past experience. So, what are the rules for motorway driving for learners?
Motorway Driving for Learners: Everything You Need to Know
Can learner drivers go on the motorway?
Until 2018, the answer to that question was a resounding ‘no’. But thankfully, the powers that be began to question the wisdom of setting totally inexperienced drivers loose on the most dangerous parts of our road networks. And new legislation was brought in. Today, learner drivers CAN drive on UK motorways. But there are a specific set of rules that you need to abide by.
What do learner drivers need to know about motorway driving?
You can only drive on a motorway with an approved driving instructor
For safety reasons, learner drivers can only drive on a motorway when accompanied by a DVSA approved driving instructor. So, no quick trips out with your parents to gain confidence. And if your usual lessons are handled by a trainee driving instructor (this is perfectly fine), you will need to ask if one of their colleagues can help you with motorway driving lessons.
Motorway driving lessons must take place in vehicles with dual controls
While many learners decide to undertake their basic driving lessons in their own cars, this is not an option for motorway driving. It takes time to develop your reaction speed as a driver. And on the motorway, there are times when you have to act fast. In a dual-controlled vehicle, your instructor has the power to take control should it become necessary. It’s the best way to keep everyone safe.
You must also ensure that your vehicle has visible L-plates before you set out on a motorway driving lesson.
Do I have to have motorway driving lessons?
No. Motorway driving lessons are not compulsory for all learner drivers. However, if you think that you’re ever likely to face motorway driving in the future, then it’s a good idea to get some experience under your belt. It’s also a good way to learn how to drive at speed safely. If you would like motorway driving lessons, talk to your instructor. They will let you know whether they think you are ready.
Will motorway driving be part of my driving test?
No. At this stage, motorway driving is not mandatory for all UK learners. So, it is not currently featured in practical driving tests. There is some speculation as to whether this might change. But it seems unlikely in the near future, partly because it would limit the potential locations of driving test centres.
How many motorway driving lessons will I need?
Every learner driver is different. For some, motorway driving can be incredibly daunting. While others find their feet almost immediately. There is no pressure to get it right first time. Like the rest of your driving lessons, you can take as many as you need.
Motorway driving can be intimidating. Especially for those who are already nervous behind the wheel. But taking lessons before you independently take to the road is a definite step towards easing the way. And a sensible precaution when embarking on your driving career.
To find out more about driving lessons in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sutton Coldfield, and the surrounding areas, get in touch with DGN Driving.