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Learner drivers are allowed on the motorway

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

June 4, 2018

Driving advice News 5 min read

Today is the day! From now on – Learner drivers no longer have to wait until they’ve passed their test before they can head out on the motorway. Motorway driving lessons will now be offered, helping to give learners that extra skill and confidence when heading out onto the big bad road.

It’s also good to remember that motorway driving lessons are voluntary! You won’t be marked on this, and it’s not a part of the driving test. It’s simply to help give new drivers the experience of the motorway before they’re faced to do it on their own.

Why the change?

These changes are to help new drivers have more confidence in real-life driving situations when they pass their test.

Many new drivers are scared of tackling the motorway for the first time – some even avoiding it all together, for as long as possible. In a recent survey* of 500 learner drivers, 57% said they wished motorway driving was including within their driving lessons. Hopefully, this welcome addition to driving lessons will help new drivers to realise that motorways aren’t as bad as they may think – and it should give them the skill and confidence to tackle the road head on!


Motorways do come up in day to day driving, so it’s best to not be afraid of them, but know how to deal with them. The new rules will also give learners the change to practice joining, leaving and overtaking on the motorway as well as driving at higher speeds. As a bonus, driving on the motorway in driving lessons will show learners motorway specific signs in a real-life situation.

How do I arrange a motorway driving lesson?

As a learner driver, you can only drive on the motorway with an Approved Driving Instructor.

  1. If you’d like a motorway lesson, discuss this with your Driving Instructor (or find an Approved Driving Instructor if you are learning to drive privately).
  2. Your Driving Instructor will advise if you are ready to take a Motorway lesson (as it is only suitable for learner drivers that are test ready)
  3. Book a convenient time for the lesson with your driving instructor
  4. The motorway lesson must be taken in a car that has dual controls (so you won’t be able to use your own car)


We wanted to know what learners and their parent’s thoughts are on the change to driving lessons, so we ran two different twitter polls asking just that!

What do parents think of the change?

We asked parents – “Do you think the addition to motorway driving in driving lessons is a good idea?” and 58% of the 914 parents who answered agree! Mark on Twitter said, “I’m gutted I didn’t have this when I learned to drive – so many people don’t know how to use a motorway as they never get the chance. Luckily I got lessons after I passed but most people don’t have the opportunity.”

It seems however that not all parents of learner drivers are on board – with 31% of them saying they think the addition to driving lessons is a terrible idea! Steve on Twitter said he didn’t agree with the change, but thinks that “after you pass the normal test there should be another (smaller, cheaper) test before you can drive on a motorway. With perhaps a minimum of one year’s experience required.”

What do learners think of the change?

We want to know how the mix up to motorway driving is making the learners themselves feel because let’s face it – the change is to help them! Out of the 892 learner drivers who voted in our poll, the response was split pretty evenly across the board, with 30% saying they’re excited and a further 30% saying they’re nervous. The lessons are a big shake-up in the way we learn to drive, so the split of those feeling ready and those who are apprehensive is expected.

What’s worrying, however, is the 27% of learner drivers who are still adamant that they will be avoiding the motorway all together! Let’s hope that the change in learning on the motorway will bring this figure down, and get learner drivers confidence and skill up!

*This online survey of 500 UK learner drivers aged 17-25  was commissioned by Marmalade Car Insurance and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected between 13/04/2018 and 27/04/2018. All participants are double-opted in to take part in research and are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. This survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team, who are members of the MRS and have corporate membership to ESOMAR. 

Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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