For some years there have been calls to allow learner drivers to go on UK motorways. The view was that this would give them a good grounding in what to expect when they pass their test.
From 4th June 2018, the law changes to make this a reality in England, Scotland and Wales.
However, there are currently no moves to include motorway driving techniques within the practical driving tests.
Why the change?
The reason many people applaud this change is that not all roads are the same.
There’s a world of difference between a winding one-track country road and zooming along at 70 miles per hour on a three-carriage motorway.
Learners now have the chance to perfect the different skills needed, as part of their driving education.
Learning to drive on the motorway
It’s important to make it clear that unlike other pre-test driving experience with a friend or family member, you can’t go on motorways with L-plates unless you are with a fully qualified driving instructor.
You also must be in a car with dual controls – those are the vehicles used to support learner drivers by providing the instructor with a chance to intercede if required.
If this is something you think would scare you away from having driving lessons, then fear not.
This motorway experience is currently voluntary. Also, driving instructors have been mandated to only offer the opportunity to learners who they feel are ready and capable.
What you could learn
What’s so challenging about motorways? In a nutshell, the speed you travel at and therefore the way in which you must respond quickly to situations and actions.
Your instructor can help you to master motorway rules and develop your skills in driving on slip roads to enter and exit the flow of traffic and using lanes in an appropriate way including overtaking.
For some drivers, coping well on motorways will hone their driving skills and show a readiness to take the test as it displays their ability to handle a vehicle at speed.
What else do you need to know?
The change in law has been widely publicised to all drivers, to enable them to show patience and awareness when learners are using motorways to gain valuable experience.
Just one quick cautionary note; the change in law applies to cars only. Learner motorcyclists are still not allowed on UK motorways.
If you choose not to have motorway driving experience prior to your test – or you need to top it up afterwards – then it’s strongly recommended that you sign up for Pass Plus. This is voluntary additional training to enhance safety and driving skills for newly qualified drivers.
Contact us for details of expert coaching for pre-test and post-test motorway driving.