The motorway can seem like a very daunting part of learning to drive, but it doesn’t need to be. While they do require caution, statistically the motorways are Britain’s safest roads, and they have rules like any other that are simple to follow.

Can I drive on the motorway as a learner?

You can, under certain conditions. Learner drivers are permitted on the UK’s motorways if they are accompanied by DVSA approved driving instructor. They must also be driving in a car with dual controls and L-plates clearly visible. The law was changed in 2018 to give learner drivers a broader experience of the country’s roads. This also serves to boost confidence and give drivers experience with motorways before going out on their own. This change only applies to cars, motorcyclists must still pass their theory, Module 1, and Module 2 tests before venturing onto the motorways.

How do I drive on the motorway?

We’ve put together some information that will help you begin to get to grips with motorway driving. Be sure to ask your instructor for more advice and check out the highway code to be fully informed of the rules of the road.

What do motorway lanes mean?

There are usually three lanes on a motorway, left, middle, and right. The general rule is always: keep left, except when overtaking. The highway code says that you should always keep in the left-most lane when the road is clear. Use the middle and right lanes to overtake slower traffic and then return to the left-hand lane. Sometimes left lanes become slip roads so you may need to change lanes to remain on the motorway.

How do I get onto the motorway?

You will usually join a motorway from a slip road, which is a smaller one or two-lane road that leads into the faster flow of traffic. Accelerate down the slip road to match the speed of traffic, wait for a suitable gap in the other vehicles, check your mirrors, indicate, and join the motorway. Remember to only move from the slip road to the motorway when the lines between the two are dotted, do not cross solid lines.

How do I drive safely on the motorway?  

There are a number of extra considerations you’ll need to make when driving on the motorway:

  • Speed: The speed limit on UK motorways is 70 miles per hour. It is the maximum legal speed at any time on the motorway. If you are towing a trailer, or driving a vehicle over 7.5 tonnes it is 60 mph. In bad weather conditions, remember to reduce your speed.
  • Stopping: Remember the importance of stopping distances. You will be moving considerably faster than on normal roads and will need to leave more space between you and the vehicle in front. At 70mph the stopping distance is 21 metres.
  • Signage: There will be other signs to alert you to hazards, closed lanes, and reductions of the speed limit as you travel. Learn what each one means and how to safely navigate them. Keep an eye out for them on the hard shoulder and gantries while driving

Should I book a motorway driving lesson?

Reading about the motorways online and consulting family or friends is no replacement for professional instruction. You should book a motorway driving lesson with a qualified instructor and consult the highway code before venturing onto Britain’s motorways. Call 020 8166 5678 to get in touch with Lanes School of Driving and arrange lessons with a professional instructor today. Learn how to safely navigate the UK’s motorways from the best.