Home > Learning To Drive > Rules For Learner Drivers

Rules For Learner Drivers

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 7 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
Learner Drivers Rules For Learner

When you begin learning to drive there some rules to follow which will help reduce any risks to yourself and others on the road. Following these rules will also ensure that you stay on the right side of the law and start out with a clean driving licence.


In order to apply for your provisional licence you must be at least seventeen years of age. You can apply for your Provisional Licence no sooner than three months before your seventeenth birthday. Once you have your provisional licence you may sit your theory test providing you have turned seventeen; the law states that no learner driver may sit their Theory Test before their seventeenth birthday.

Driving Licence

You must hold a valid provisional driving licence before you get behind the wheel of a car to learn to drive. It is an offence not to hold such a licence and you could find yourself with points on your licence before you get it or a delay in your licence being issued. Also you should be aware that trying to drive any vehicle without a valid provisional or full licence negates your insurance thus leaving you uninsured whilst driving. This in itself is a criminal offence which can carry a hefty fine or in some instances a gaol sentence.


In order to supervise the person must have held a full license for the category of vehicle being driven for a full 3 years and have attained the age of 21. It is also worth noting that the supervisor is, in the eyes of the law, the driver of the vehicle. Hence they may not use a mobile phone without stopping the vehicle and they should pay attention at all times.

Is Your Car Roadworthy?

This is another important factor to take into consideration when learning to drive. You should ensure that all lights, brakes, mirrors and indicators are fully functioning and that the car has a valid MOT certificate. Many people learn to drive in a driving instructor's vehicle so this is not so much of an issue but if you wish to learn in a car that has perhaps been bought for you as a present then it must be 'road legal'. Any car that has been bought secondhand should be thoroughly checked over by an expert before it is taken out on public roads.

Insurance and Tax

You need to have insurance to drive the vehicle you are learning in. A driving instructor's insurance will cover learner drivers in charge of his or her vehicle but for your own vehicle your own insurance - in your name - is a must.

Of course your car should be properly taxed before it is taken onto any public road. Without the correct tax (now referred to by many as the Road Fund Tax) your car is not 'road legal' and should not be used on public highways.

Displaying L Plates

When you do make it onto the open road you must display 'L' plates so that fully licensed drivers are aware that you are learning. Displaying 'L' plates is a legal requirement and it is an offence not to display them. You can purchase 'L' plates from any car accessories shop or even supermarkets. They come as removable stickers or magnetic plates so can be taken off if the car is being used by a fully licensed driver. In Wales these plates can be represented either by the letter 'L' or 'D'.

Other Drivers

When learning to drive you must not drive on a public highway without another driver. The accompanying driver must have held, and still hold, a full UK Driving licence for at least three years and be over 21 years of age.


As a learner driver you are not permitted by law - even in the presence of a fully qualified driver - to be on a motorway. You can only use motorways once you have passed your practical test and been awarded your full licence.

Many younger drivers are obviously keen to get out onto the open road and experience the joy of driving for themselves but they should be aware - or made aware if you are assisting them as they learn to drive - that not adhering to the rules can put them, other motorists and their driving licence at risk.

If in doubt you should contact your local driving school or DVLA office for more information.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Emma - Your Question:
I have recently passed my driving test but am now being told my provisional was out of date at time of test (I am a diabetic and so needs renewing earlier than most).My Test pass has been negated. Will I have to sit my test again???Thanks

Our Response:
We don't know. Can the DVLA help you with this? Was this not checked by theDVSA at the time of booking your test?
YourDrivingLicence - 20-Mar-17 @ 12:45 PM
I have recently passed my driving test but am now being told my provisional was out of date at time of test (I am a diabetic and so needs renewing earlier than most). My Test pass has been negated. Will I have to sit my test again??? Thanks
Emma - 17-Mar-17 @ 5:26 PM
Hi, does the supervisoring driver have to have a full UK driving licence for three years and over 21, or can they have a full European driving licence held for over three years and older than 21?Surely, a French driving license is the same as Uk and visa versa?
Galvin - 25-Oct-15 @ 11:56 AM
@Toni. Your car should be insured against theft etc regardless of whether you are driving it or not. If your mother drove it, her insurance would only cover damage to 3rd party vehicle and not yours. This kind of cover is meant for emergencies only.
YourDrivingLicence - 22-Oct-14 @ 11:50 AM
Hi I'm a learner driver and want to drive my own car. My mom would be supervising me when I drive she is fully comp on her car. At the moment I'm not driving as my car is not insured, but my mom has driven it from where we picked it up to my house. As she is fully comp on her car does that mean she can drive mine or not. Thanks
Toni - 20-Oct-14 @ 1:59 PM
@DL. Motorway signs are clearly indicated before every entry point. As part of the driving test you are expected to know what all the road signs mean, so when your son studies the highway code he will learn to recognise a motorway sign. For signs such as A1 (M) - the M indicates it is a motorway. Learner drivers cannot use Motorways under any circumstances but can use expressways and dual carriage ways.
YourDrivingLicence - 18-Jul-14 @ 12:28 PM
Hi My son has just started driving lessons and its been a while when i did my test so i have a few questions. 1) What classifies a road to be a motorway.70mph? three lanes? etc? 2) If a learner driver cannot drive on a motorway what about an A road with a 70mph speed limit like the A17 3) What about the A1 or the A1(M) are there any formal and definitive answers as I think it would be unfair to put him in a position of potentially getting points through a lack of understanding. Thanks DL
DL - 17-Jul-14 @ 1:23 PM
Hello, I am supervising a learner driver however have sprained my leg and would not feel comfortable driving myself. Am I still allowed to supervise?
mj - 10-Jul-14 @ 1:48 PM
I have a Motorcycle Licence and only a provisional car licence. I want a Car Licence. Do i require a Theory Test before sitting the practical Car Driving Test?
Tony - 23-Oct-13 @ 12:07 PM
HI im learning as a provisional driver but in my own car and i am stated as the named driver on it! im insured as a provisional but does my dad need to be insured on it too? i cant find this information anywhere as it just assumes im driving someonelses car ! please help! thank you !
laura - 19-Sep-12 @ 4:28 PM
I am a leaner driver, can my 18 month old be in the car with me driving?
sara - 10-Sep-12 @ 5:39 AM
Can a learner driver drive without a licensed driver accompanying them?
Sandy - 13-Aug-12 @ 8:30 AM
Is there any way, shape of form a provisional driver can drive alone or with passengers under 18? Most sites say no, but are there any special circumstances or additional costs available?
katie. - 7-Aug-12 @ 2:54 PM
URGENT My daughter was born in 1983 she took her driving test when she was 17 and passed it. We have a 7.5 ton horsebox can she drive this with an L plate on the back and front with me sitting with her. I gained my entitlement by grandfather rights? - thanks
Soupdragon - 13-May-12 @ 7:10 PM
@Mo. As long as you have one on the back and one on the front - and they are both clearly visible it doesn't matter whether they are in the window or on the body.
YourDrivingLicence - 16-Apr-12 @ 1:59 PM
where by law can you put the L plates for a leaner driver ,we have had 2 sets of magnetic ones and lost them .can we put the L plates on the inside on the windscreenand the back window
mo - 15-Apr-12 @ 8:04 PM
my partner has been taking me out in our car for extra practice , but is the kids allowed in the car when im driving
preston09 - 12-Apr-12 @ 10:55 AM
Can just being named on a family policy allow that person to learn to drive that vehicle?
tramp - 5-Nov-11 @ 9:29 PM
When learning in my partners car am I allowed to take passengers aswell thanks jen
Jen - 15-Aug-11 @ 4:00 PM
You will need to ensure that you are covered on your father's insurance.
YourDrivingLicence - 12-Aug-11 @ 12:16 PM
Hello, I am a Learner driver. I want to practice driving in my father's car - he has fully comp. insurance. Will this cover me to drive his car as long as he is supervising.Thank you, Tim.
Tim - 10-Aug-11 @ 8:29 PM
Sarah, Yes, she can still supervise you, providing she is over 21 and holds a valid full driving licence for 3 years or more. She does not need to be insured on the vehicle but you MUST be. Drive safe and in accordance with the law and enjoy! Joseph, Why would you even ask that? Any driver should not have any alcohol in their system, let alone a learner... The current limit is 0.08% or 80mg per 100ml blood.
Steve - 25-May-11 @ 10:12 AM
What is the current BAC limit of a learner driver in the UK?
Joseph - 7-May-11 @ 7:38 AM
Hiya, my friend is 22 and has had her licence for 3 years and more but is not insured on my mum's car (I am) can she still take me out?? Thanks x
sarah - 5-May-11 @ 8:42 AM
Could you please tell me how many passengers an HGV can take and if they have to be a minimum age.Many thanks. Sue Syrett
Sue - 15-Mar-11 @ 10:48 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments