Provisional Licence you can't drive a car!

If you have a provisional driving licence you can not drive a car in the UK unsupervised under any circumstances, so stop looking for excuses that allow you to do so, if you get caught by the ANPR police, you only have yourself to blame, and will have to deal with the penalties.

To legally drive a car with a provisional license, here are the conditions you need to fufil.

1. You need to be insured to drive the car either by having an insurance policy that covers you specifically for the vehicle, or by being a named driver on someone else's (parent, family friend or spouse/partner) insurance certificate for the car you intend to drive. As a provisional driving licence holder, you can get comprehensive insurance for one car which will also give you 3rd party coverage on any other car (provided you have the owner's permission to drive), but this policy will not come cheap, so not many learner drivers are able to use this option.

2. You need to be supervised by a FULL UK licence holder who has been qualified at least 3yrs for the category of car that you are driving, and is over the driving age of 21. This means that you can not drive a manual car with a provisional licence if the person supervising you has only passed the UK test in an automatic car no matter how old or long ago they have passed. This also means you can not be supervised by a Foriegn licence holder including EU even if they have been in the country for less than 12months.

3. You need to be displaying 'L' plates everytime you drive on the public roads in the UK with a provisional licence, no exceptions, and it is an offence under the road traffic act not to do so.

4. The car or vehicle you are driving should be road worthy, and have a valid MOT if required for it's age. Note that having a current MOT does not make the car road worthy if the tyres are bald, lights are not working (headlights, brake lights) or is in a dangerous condition.

5. You need to have applied for and received a provisional driving licence from the DVLA. If there are no records of your details with the DVLA confirming that you have been issued with a licence, then you can't drive a car even if you fulfil steps 1 - 4 above.

Your supervising driver does not need to be insured to drive the car you are in charge of (or have any insurance for that matter) unless they intend to actually drive the car, and it is your responsibility to make sure that they have the necessary licence to supervise you and are agreeing to do so (if stopped by the police and they deny being your supervisor, then you are in trouble, not the passenger besides you).

You currently (Feb 2014) don't need to have had any previous professional driving lessons with an instructor before you can be supervised by someone else, but it does help.

If you are driving a car in the UK on a provisional licence and do not meet all the 5 conditions above, then it is only a matter of time before the police and their ANPR camera equipped cars catch up with you, and you can be assured a minimum of penalty points on your licence, a fine or even a ban.

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  1. Anonymous11:09 am

    Hi, I'm a provisional licence holder and i'm insured on my husbands car who supervises me whilst driving. I wanted to know if it is ok for my 2 year old to be a passenger whilst i'm driving, she has her own suitable car seat, i didn't know how it stood her been a passenger?

    1. Yes it is okay as far as the law is concerned. The question is will you be able to concentrate and learn with a 2yr old in the car?


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