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Can Learner Drivers Drive at Night?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 7 Mar 2015 | comments*Discuss
Learner Drivers Provisional Driving


Are learner drivers permitted to drive at night time?

(Ms Vanessa Kattau, 20 October 2008)


As a learner driver who has not yet passed their practical driving test, there are certain restrictions placed on you until you graduate from a provisional driving licence to a full driving UK or EU licence. Being able to drive at night unaccompanied is one of these restrictions.

Driving at Night as a Provisional Licence Holder

Learner drivers are actually encouraged to practise driving at night (between the hours of midnight and five o'clock in the morning) to gain experience in preparation for passing the Driving Test. Thousands of young people are involved in night time driving accidents after passing their driving test because they neglected to take enough driving lessons and private practice at night.

Taking Driving Lessons at Night

Getting experience of driving at night time is considered to be particularly important for young drivers, as many accidents involving this demographic happen after dark. This should be done through lessons with your Driving Instructor as part of your driving lessons.

Most driving schools and driving instructors offer driving lessons after dark, as many drivers find that they are not as confident as they could be when driving at night after having passed their driving test and gaining their full driving licence, as they did not get enough practice beforehand.

As well as taking at least a handful of driving lessons after dark, it is a good idea to have some private practice too. This should be done with someone who has experience of driving in the dark in case you run into difficulties. This should be an adult aged over 21 who has held a full EEC driving licence (for the car that is being driven) for at least three years. You will need to display your red L plates.

Driving in the dark

When it comes to driving in the dark, certain rules apply. These include:
  • Using your headlights in failing light and when darkness has fallen
  • Making sure that your sidelights and rear registration plate lights are on
  • Using dipped headlights in built-up areas
  • Not wearing tinted glasses or lenses while driving in the dark, as these can restrict your vision.

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