Learner drivers will be allowed on motorways from 2018

Posted by admin on August 24, 2017

Learner drivers will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor in a car with dual controls from 2018.

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary. It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough to have a motorway lesson.


How this will affect Pass Plus
By allowing learner drivers on motorways, we aren’t trying to get rid of Pass Plus.

It’s still a good way for newly-qualified drivers to improve their skills and drive more safely. It does cover other types of driving which you’ll have already included in their lessons, including rural roads, dual carriageways and driving at night.

We’ll continue to support Pass Plus. If you haven’t already, you can register to teach Pass Plus.

Dual-controlled cars
Any lessons with a learner driver on the motorway will have to be in a dual-controlled car. The consultation on the plans asked for views on whether this should apply to specially-adapted cars for people with a disability.

As a result of the feedback, it’s been decided that specially-adapted cars will need to have dual-controls when used for motorway lessons for a learner.

Asking new drivers what they think
The Department for Transport held some focus groups with new drivers to find out what they thought about the plans. Here’s what a few of them said:

I think that would be a really good idea actually. It would save you from panicking when going on the motorway for the first time… with an instructor it would just be the next step.
It’s hard to think of a downside to it, to be honest, it just makes sense. You’ve got to go on the motorway anyway, better to have it with an instructor than one week after you’ve passed your test on your own.
I think it’s good, you’re going to have to go on a motorway at some point, so it makes sense to go on with someone who knows what they are doing.
Many of them thought that they’d have had the confidence to go on the motorway sooner if they’d had motorway driving lessons as a learner.

Some also felt that it would make them feel more confident in their motorway driving.

If you’d already learnt, I wouldn’t be as fearful of the motorway so I’d be more confident to go on it [sooner] than if I hadn’t taken the lesson.

So while motorway lessons will be voluntary, we think that a lot of learners drivers will want to take up the opportunity. However, we know it’s not going to be practical in every part of the country, where access to the motorway could be several hours away.