UK Motorway
M42 | Image Source

Need more practical revision? Take a look at our Online training.

The Department of Transport have announced they are considering allowing learners to drive on UK motorways with the supervision of an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) in a dual controlled car.

Whilst motorways are statistically the safest roads in the UK, they’re also a real source of anxiety and nerves for many motorists. It is currently illegal for any provisional licence holder to drive on a motorway, yet the moment a learner passes their practical test they are able to drive on a motorway, unsupervised, with no prior experience.

This may not be as much of a concern for learners who have a busy dual carriageway in their area but for many drivers who don’t the thought of motorway driving can be daunting.

The suggestion of UK learners having access to motorways is receiving a mixed response. It is important to remember that if the proposal does go ahead learners will only be able to drive on motorways when supervised by an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car.

In some countries, such as Australia, new drivers are given a ‘graduate driving licence’ which restricts access to certain driving environments such as motorways and night-time driving until they build up their experience and skills in ‘low-risk’ driving situations.

Although pass plus courses are available for new drivers the current test standard does not require a learner driver to have experience on dual carriageways or national speed limit roads. Many believe the test standard should require a wider range of ‘real life’ driving experience.

If a learner has their lessons on the same day, at the same time, on the same roads – then they’re unlikely to encounter a wide range of road and traffic conditions; potentially leaving new drivers under prepared for driving longer distances in different conditions.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation. “One in five young drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test so putting the learning process under the spotlight has to be a good thing,”

Do you think learners should be allowed to drive on motorways?


  1. Personally, no. However, if access to quiter toll roads was viable, then maybe. Then, having a step up programme to move onto busier times may prove worthwhile whilst their confidence is growing.

  2. In my opinion a motorway ban for 1 month after the test to gain experience then a lesson on the motorway under instruction to allow motorway driving could be a better idea

    • A time based ban on anything doesn’t work at all. You say that they are not allowed to drive on motorway for 1 month but how many new drivers really get up and driving in the first month. I know that I didn’t and at first I felt rusty so that might be even more dangerous.

  3. I think they should let learner drivers on the motor way defently with a professional driving instructor I’m learning to drive and I would like the experience on the motorway as I think it would be a bit draughting when I do pass my test I know a few people that have passed there test and won’t go on the motor way as there to frightened

  4. Yes I think learning to drive on a motorway should be part of the lessons you have with an instructor. It should have been introduced years ago to prevent new drivers from many many accidents.

  5. I think it would be good if this happened as I’m learning to drive I would love lesson on motorway and not having to wait till I have passed my test

  6. This is a considering sort of thing. Not it is going to happen. DfT has tried numerous times to get this through but groups like the Road Hauliers Association have lobbied the government to stop it passing. This won’t be mandatory, you will be able to do it if there is a motorway near you or the instructor may arrange with a few students to make a day.of it and drive out of area to do it. This hasn’t passed the statute yet and been made law but the consultation period was done a while back.

  7. I live in Plymouth but from Penzance upwards the nearest motorway is the M5 starting near Exeter. So how could Cornwall residents get access to the M5 as it would take 2 hours each way just to get from Penzance to the M5 before the lesson started.