Why Are There Learners On The Motorway?

Added: 05 July 2018

If you’ve been out the country for a pretty long time, you will probably be surprised to see the occasional learner driver on the motorway. Don’t be alarmed though!

Last year it was announced that learner drivers would be allowed on motorways from 4th June 2018. Although this new addition to driving law is now enabled, there are several things to know when it comes to learners being allowed on some of our busiest roads!

Learner Driver


If a learner driver wants to drive on the motorway they have to be in a lesson with an approved driving instructor and be driving a car which has been fitted with dual controls. This means that the person accompanying the driver is fully qualified to take over the vehicle and instruct the driver in the best way.

Although a learner can request to drive on the motorway, it is completely voluntary, and will be permitted at the discretion of the instructor to decide whether the learner is competent enough to drive on the motorway.

What To Expect

Learner drivers will not be restricted in the time of day they can use the motorway, so you can expect to see them in rush hour or in quieter traffic – 24/7!

If you’re wondering how you will know when there is a learner around, you don’t need to worry as they will still have learner plate at the front and rear of the car they are driving, with some cars having a rooftop box on the top too. Should you see a learner, you should bear in mind they are inexperienced with these types of roads, which in all types of traffic can be daunting and stressful, so patience is key when around a learner on the motorway.

Why It’s It Changed

The aim of this change is to help first time drivers to get broader driving experience before they take their test. You might find that drivers who have just passed their test are uncertain of how they should behave when driving on the motorway, therefore allowing learners to drive with support on our busy roads will make the roads safer once they have gained a full licence.

Learners driving on motorways will give them valuable experience with driving at higher speeds, understanding traffic signs, and train them on how to manoeuvre when a motorway is involved, so they will feel confident to ride solo once they’ve passed!

UK Motorway

You can find out more on the gov.uk website here.