Driving Lessons and Learning to Drive

Please note: You can drive a car when you are 16 if you get, or have applied for, the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

You can apply for a provisional driving licence when you’re 15 years and 9 months old.

You can start driving a car when you’re 17.

Learning to drive during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

You can take driving lessons anywhere in the UK.

In England, you and any passengers can choose whether or not to wear a face covering.

In Scotland and Wales, you and your driving instructor must wear face coverings during driving lessons and practice sessions.

If you do not wear a face covering, you must have a good reason, for example:

  • you have a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability
  • wearing it would cause you severe distress

Wearing glasses does not count as a good reason.

Check the rules if you’re practising with family and friends.

Fines for not wearing a face covering

In Scotland, you can be fined £60 if you do not wear a face-covering during a driving lesson. This will be reduced to £30 if you pay within 28 days.

In Wales, you can be fined £60 if you do not wear a face-covering during a driving lesson. This will be reduced to £30 if you pay within 14 days.

Rules for learning to drive

You must have a provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland when you’re learning to drive or ride.

You must be supervised when you’re learning to drive a car. This can be by a driving instructor or someone else who meets the rules, for example, family or friends.

The car you learn in must display ‘L’ plates.

You can drive at any time, day and night.

You can only drive on motorways if all of the following apply:

  • you’re driving in England, Scotland or Wales
  • you’re with an approved driving instructor
  • the car is fitted with dual controls

Speed limits

In England, Scotland and Wales the speed limits when driving with ‘L’ plates are the same as when you’ve passed your test.

In Northern Ireland, the speed limit is 45 miles per hour when you’re learning to drive a car.

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