Last Updated on May 1, 2024

Since 2018, learner drivers have been able to drive on the motorway with an approved driving instructor in England, Scotland and Wales.

No matter where you live in the UK, the chances are your journey will take you towards a motorway. If you’re a new or learner driver, the thought of driving on the motorway can seem extremely daunting. You’ve got the high speeds, multiple lanes and rules of The Highway Code to think about. But it can feel a little less nerve-wracking if you’ve had experience with an approved instructor. So, what are the rules and when can learner drivers go on the motorway?

What are the rules for learner drivers on the motorway?

Before the government introduced new legislation on 4 June 2018, provisional licence holders could not drive on motorways. Thankfully, this changed to allow learners to get the level of experience they want, especially if they’re going to find themselves on the motorway as a new driver.

For safety reasons, there are motorway driving rules that provisional drivers must follow.

Learners must be accompanied by an approved driving instructor

To go on the motorway as a learner driver, you must be accompanied by a DVSA approved driving instructor. You’re not able to go out with trainee driving instructors or someone who is over 21 years old with a valid driving licence for three years, like you ordinarily can when driving on A Roads.

Teenage Girl In Car Having Driving Lesson From Female Instructor

If your car, or a family member’s or friend’s, has learner driver insurance, you cannot use it on a motorway

When learning to drive on the motorway, you must be in a dual controlled vehicle. This means you’re approved driving instructor can take control if necessary. If the vehicle does not have an instructors rooftop box fitted, it will need L plates on the front and rear.

Is it compulsory for learners to take motorway driving lessons?

No, you do not need to take driving lessons on the motorway and motorway driving is not included in the driving test. If you think you would benefit from learning to drive on the motorway, speak to your driving instructor.

What are the benefits of learning to drive on the motorway?

The government brought the new legislation into place to allow learner drivers to:

  • Gain more diverse driving experience
  • Familiarise themselves with motorway specific traffic signs
  • Practise driving at higher speeds
  • Improve confidence ahead of independent driving post-driving test pass
  • Clearly understand how to join and leave the motorway and use lanes correctly 

Can you drive on the motorway with learner insurance?

If your car, or a family member’s or friend’s, has learner driver insurance, you cannot use it on a motorway. You can only drive on the motorway in a dual controlled vehicle with an approved driving instructor.

However, learner driver insurance is great for building your confidence and gaining experience on the likes of A Roads.


Learning to drive on the motorway can give you a confidence boost for when you pass your test and are able to drive independently, but ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to gain this experience. If you’re unsure, speak to your instructor to discuss the best option for you.

If you, as a provisional license holder, do not want to drive on the motorway, you can always consider the benefits of Pass Plus training. This practical course targets new drivers and covers driving on motorways, dual carriageways, rural roads, at night, and in all weather conditions.