As a learner driver, it’s easy to get confused by all the rules and regulations you’re expected to follow while motoring. If you’re struggling, don’t panic – there’s plenty of information out there that will help you to get on the road.

Take a look through some of these common questions asked by learner drivers, as well as some key learner driver rules and advice, you might just find the answer you’ve been looking for.

Can a learner driver drive on a dual carriageway?

Yes, but only if they have an accompanying driver who is over the age of 21 with more than 2 years of driving experience on that side of the road. This must be in the front passenger seat.


Since 2018, learner drivers are allowed to drive on motorways. But, only in a car fitted with dual controls and occupied by an approved driving instructor.

motorway at night

Does a learner driver need to display L-plates?

Yes, red “L” plates (or D plates in wales) are mandatory for learner drivers. They indicate that the driver is in training and not permitted to drive without an accompanying qualified driver.

Green P-plates are sometimes used to signify that a driver has passed their test, but are not required by law.

Is it illegal for a learner driver to drive alone?

Yes, it is illegal for a learner driver to drive alone on a provisional driving licence. In order to gain driving experience, learners are required to be accompanied by a qualified driver, even while driving their own car. Anyone supervising a learner driver must have held a full valid driving licence for the vehicle being driven for at least 3 years.

Can I drive on my own as soon as I’ve pass my test?

Once you have passed your driving test and gained a full driving licence you are legally allowed to drive unaccompanied, regardless of how many hours of experience you have.

Can learner drivers carry passengers?

Learner drivers with a provisional driving licence are permitted to carry passengers as long as they have a qualified supervising driver sitting in the front passenger seat with a full driving licence. Despite this, it’s not recommended as learner drivers will need full concentration when learning to drive. They should only carry passengers when they are confident enough in their driving ability and can concentrate on the road.

What sort of car must I drive when learning to drive?

Learner drivers can learn to drive a car, automatic or manual, which is taxed and insured for use on the road. They are not allowed to practice driving a vehicle that does not

Keep in mind that a manual car licence will allow you to drive automatic cars, but not vice versa. This is because manual driving tests require trainees to learn and demonstrate specific skills such as the use of a clutch pedal.

An automatic licence is designated by the inclusion of “Auto” after the licence category.

Can my friend act as a qualified driver to supervise me?

The person who is accompanying you must be at least 21 years old and have held an unrestricted driving licence (not a provisional licence) for the correct vehicle category for at least 3 years. They must also be sitting in the front passenger seat with their seatbelt on. Anyone supervising a learner driver should not be using their mobile phone while doing so. They should also avoid alcohol and any distractions that could cause them to lose concentration.

Some insurance companies require the supervising driver to be over 25, so it’s worth checking your insurance policy for more information or finding an insurance provider without this restriction if necessary.

How long does a provisional driving licence last?

A provisional licence will need to be renewer every 10 years to remain valid. This applies to both the photocard licence and the paper counterpart.

Is it possible to fail a driving test more than once?

Yes, for many people the process of learning to drive can take several attempts, with the average driver taking around 2 tests before. This is not a reflection on how capable you are as a driver, simply a difference in learning styles. Don’t be disheartened if you fail your driving test the first few times – stick with it and you will eventually pass!

The same goes for the theory test, which has an average pass rate of about 47%.

It is legal, however, you are required to have full attention on the road at all times. Driving without due care and attention can result in a court summons and a significant fine. It’s generally recommended to avoid any potential distractions, and hearing can help with being a defensive driver.

How long does it take to learn to drive?

Every person learns at their own pace, some people pass quickly, others take longer. That being said, on average you are looking at around 50 hours of lessons before taking the test.

Check out our other article on this topic for more information.

Will insurance companies cover me as a learner driver?

In many cases, learner drivers are required to have a fully insured qualified driver in the car with them at all times. If this is a qualified, approved driving instructor then you will be covered by their insurance. If you are learning to drive with a friend or family member, then the car must be fully insured in your name for it to be legal to drive on the road.

In addition, there are specific insurance policies available to learner drivers that offer lower premiums and excesses. This can sometimes help to reduce costs, although your rates will likely still be higher than those with experience.


Will driving tests be cancelled due to bad weather?

If there are extreme weather conditions, e.g. it has started snowing heavily or there is standing water on the road due to heavy rainfall, the driving test may be cancelled by the examiner. This needs to be assessed at the time of your booking and you should be notified if it is cancelled.


Can learner drivers drive at night?

Most driving instructors will give lessons during the day, but there’s no restriction on when a learner driver can drive. As long as you’re not tired or fatigued, then there’s no reason to limit the time of day you’re learning to drive. Just keep in mind that any rules previously mentioned, such as having a supervising driver, still apply.