Learner drivers need to stick to the rules to avoid fines and points on their driving records. Driving during the night is allowed, but there are rules that need to be followed.
If you wish to know what the law says about night driving, as well as find some valuable tips and tricks, keep reading!
Night driving & the law
In the UK, it is permitted for learner drivers to drive at night. However, they should be accompanied by an experienced driver who obtained their full driving licence at least 3 years ago. They should also have the correct insurance policy for the vehicle.
In Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland, you need to display your L plates, and in Wales, you must have your D plates visible.
Pros and cons of driving at night
While driving at night is considered riskier than driving during the day, it does have its benefits. Driving in the dark is unavoidable, especially in the winter, as it gets dark so early.
Here are some of the pros and cons of practising your driving at night:
Fewer vehicles are on the road in the middle of the night, which means that driving is often easier.
Better fuel efficiency
With less traffic to contend with, you can drive at a consistent speed, which means you’ll use less fuel than driving during the day when it’s busy.
While the scenery is often part of the appeal of a long-distance drive, it can be distracting. The darkness means that there are fewer distractions along the way.
Darkness causes poor visibility, which can result in accidents. While most towns have well-lit roads, rural roads often have limited lighting. Inclement weather can also make visibility worse.
Higher chance of tiredness
You are more likely to be tired at night, which can affect your response time and awareness. If you plan to drive at night, make sure that you have rested during the day.
Tips for night driving
Learner drivers often feel apprehensive about driving at night. This is normal, and there are plenty of experienced drivers who still feel a bit anxious about night-time driving.
Make sure you have the appropriate insurance policy for the vehicle you are learning in, display your L plates and have your provisional licence during your lessons.
If you follow the advice below, you should have an easier time on the road and increase your confidence.
Use your mirrors
Keep your mirrors clean, and use them often. This will have a positive impact on your night-time driving experience. They will help increase your awareness of the other cars on the road.
Clean your lights
Making sure that your lights are working optimally is important when going on night-time drives. Replace any faulty lights, and clean your light covers regularly.
Use your lights properly
Educate yourself about which lights are used in which situation. When it’s very dark and the roads are clear, it is best to use your high beams. But you’ll need to switch to low beams in busier or well-lit areas.
Avoid using your fog lights when it isn’t foggy, as they can disrupt the vision of other drivers. When it is snowing or very misty, avoid using your high beams, as the light will often refract and can reduce your visibility further.
Clean your windscreen
While your windscreen may seem clean during the day, as soon as it is dark and it is being hit by direct light from oncoming vehicles, you see how dirty it really is. We recommend cleaning your windscreen before embarking on any night drives to ensure your safety and improve your visibility.
Use the cats’ eyes
Did you know that the colour of the cats’ eyes on the road changes depending on the situation? Slip road entries and exits are marked with green cat eyes, and the hard shoulder is marked with red. Amber demarcates the central reserve and white is used for lane markings.
Make use of these reflective strips to guide you on the road.
Get temporary learner driver insurance with GoShorty
Learner drivers must drive with a supervisor driver no matter the time of day. This driver must behave as though they are in charge of the vehicle, be over the age of 25, have a full UK driving licence for over 3 years and be qualified to drive the car.
When learning to drive, temporary learner driver insurance is a great way to be insured and get out on the road. Temporary car insurance from GoShorty is quick, easy and entirely flexible. Choose from as little as 1 hour of insurance, all the way up to 24 weeks.