In the United Kingdom, learner drivers are required to have someone with a valid full driving licence in the vehicle with them at all times. If caught driving without supervision, they will be subject to various penalties.
A provisional licence does not allow you to drive alone – you may only drive on your own when you have passed your driving test and received your driving licence.
- Your insurance may be invalidated
- You will receive penalty points on your licence
- A substantial fine will be issued
- You could receive a driving ban
- There will be a permanent mark on your driving record
What happens if a learner driver is caught driving alone? This offence is not taken lightly by authorities in the UK. Keep reading to find out what penalties are involved.
Firstly, getting caught whilst driving alone while on a provisional licence will invalidate your insurance policy. It will also cause your future insurance premiums to rise.
2. You will receive penalty points on your licence
You may receive up to six points on your licence if caught driving alone. These points remain on your licence even when you have passed your test, and if you’re not careful, they can result in being disqualified from driving.
If caught driving alone, you will be issued a £1,000 fine along with the penalty points.
You will be taken to court if you accumulate 12 points on your licence. You will likely receive a temporary driving ban. This will have a long-term impact on your insurance premiums and will remain on your driving record.
Getting caught driving alone on a provisional licence will result in your receiving a permanent mark on your driving record.
While it may seem fun, the penalties that come with getting caught driving alone while you are still a learner driver should be enough to discourage you from trying.
Suppose a learner driver gets caught driving alone without learner driver insurance. In that case, they will be given a hefty fine, 3-6 penalty points for driving without supervision, and an additional 8 for driving without learner driver insurance.
This will often result in immediate driving disqualification before you have even become a qualified driver with your full driving licence. The vehicle owner will also be impacted, especially if they permitted you to use the vehicle, knowing you only had your provisional driving licence.
Getting caught driving without insurance and a supervising driver on a provisional licence will negatively influence your future options for insurance. Your licence will be marked, and insurers will loathe or be wary of insuring you.
If they decide to insure you, the premiums will be extremely high and likely unaffordable for the average Joe.
Driving without the correct insurance is not worth it – learner driver insurance can be pricey. Still, it is nowhere near as pricey as being caught without it.
To avoid fines and penalty points on your licence, you should follow the rules for learner drivers when preparing for your driving test.
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The rules may seem petty or annoying, but they are there for a reason, and the consequences of non-compliance make ignoring the rules pointless.
Learner drivers in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland must display L plates on any vehicle they are learning. These plates must be the correct size and the correct colour. If they are not to spec, you may be fined and receive penalty points on your licence.
A learner driver always needs to be accompanied by a supervising driver. This driver can be a friend, family member or instructor. However, they must meet the following requirements:
- Have a valid full driving licence from the UK, EU, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or Iceland
- Have been a fully qualified driver for more than three years
- Be qualified to drive the vehicle type you are learning to drive
- Be older than 25 years of age
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In 2018, Great Britain’s rules about whether a learner driver can drive on the motorway or not changed. Learner drivers are now allowed to drive on the motorways, provided that they are in a vehicle with dual controls and that the supervising driver is an approved driving instructor.
Northern Ireland still holds the law that learner drivers are prohibited from driving on the motorway.
Temporary student car insurance is a significant investment. It is illegal to drive without a valid insurance policy, and you need to ensure that the vehicle you use has learner driver-specific insurance.
Temporary insurance is more affordable, and you can purchase anything from one hour to a month of insurance. It also allows you to get a learner driver insurance policy for any vehicle in which you have driving lessons.
When going for your driving lessons, you should always have your provisional licence if you get pulled over. If you don’t have it with you, you and your supervising driver could be fined and receive penalty points on your licences.
Yes. In the United Kingdom, all learner drivers must be accompanied by a qualified driving instructor or someone with a valid driving licence for no less than three years.
Suppose a learner driver is caught driving without a supervising driver. In that case, they will receive a fine of one thousand pounds and have three to six penalty points added to their licence. Once you pass your test, these points will roll over from the provisional licence to your driving licence.
Suppose you accumulate twelve or more penalty points on your licence. In that case, you will be taken to court and will likely be disqualified from driving. You will also have a permanent mark on your licence, negatively impacting your insurance policies.
To start with, every learner driver should ensure that they have a temporary car insurance policy for any vehicle they are driving in.
This might not be necessary if you’re learning to drive through a driving school. Still, it is for any time you use another vehicle. Learner driver insurance will give you a safety net should you be involved in an accident when driving on your provisional licence.
If you are in an accident, you must first follow all the road rules for that particular situation. Start by coming to a complete stop before switching off the engine and switching on your hazard lights.
Next, check for injuries – if no one is injured, note this in case someone claims an injury later. Call the ambulance and the police as quickly as possible if there are injuries. It is essential to call both parties.
Try your best to remain calm, avoid getting into a fight, and avoid any admission of guilt, even if you did cause the accident. It is essential to remain as neutral as possible.
Make sure to record any damages to all vehicles involved, preferably by taking photos on your mobile phone: exchange contact and insurance details with the other drivers and passengers or witnesses. Also, be sure to find out if the other driver is the registered owner of their vehicle.
All learner drivers need to be supervised when learning to drive. While one may assume that anyone with a valid driver’s licence can sit next to you while learning to drive, this is not the case.
Only people who have been valid full licence holders for more than three years, who are over the age of 25 years and are qualified to drive the vehicle you are learning to drive in can offer supervision for learner drivers.
Suppose you wish to drive on the motorway before attaining your driving licence. In that case, you will need to be accompanied by an approved and fully qualified driving instructor, and you will need to drive in a vehicle with dual controls.
Learner drivers with a provisional licence are allowed to drive a car, a moped, or a quad bike. If you wish to learn to drive any other vehicles, you will need to get a licence specific to the vehicle you wish to drive.
Penalty points will remain on your licence for four years before being removed by the relevant authorities. More serious offences can result in penalty points or endorsements remaining on your licence for eleven years.
This will depend on your insurance policy. Many insurers only require you to declare your points upon renewal. Still, some immediate request declaration of any points received.
Make sure to read your policy carefully to know what to do if you receive an endorsement on your licence.
When driving on a provisional driving licence, it is imperative to make sure that you follow the rules. Breaking the law can have serious consequences that negate the potential fun of illegally driving alone.
Having the right insurance, driving with supervision, and respecting the rules of the road will prevent you from receiving fines and help you avoid transgressions that can result in endorsements of up to six points.