Can learner drivers drive at night?

(Level 5)
20 May 2018 02:03, updated
04 May 2010, published

As a learner driver, you will have lessons in all sorts of weather conditions providing it is safe to do so. You will also experience different types of driving such as urban driving, dual carriageways and driving at night. As long as you are always supervised by someone who's held a full UK driving licence for at least 3 years and is over the age of 21, you are fine to drive provided you stay off the motorway. It is also safe to drive with a family member or friend provided the above mentioned criteria are met.

night driving

Driving lessons when it's dark

During the learning process, students are encouraged to drive at different times of the day - dusk, peak times and also in the evenings. As part of your tuition with a driving instructor, you may also have to drive at dusk just before it gets very dark. When you drive at dusk, your ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) may ask you to put on your headlights or side lights as this also enables the dashboard to light up so you can keep an eye on the speedometer and see other warnings. When the time changes in October, you will notice that it will get darker sooner; you may have to switch on headlights as early as 4pm and this is a good experience before you become a fully qualified driver.

There are many drivers who are newly qualified but due to lack of night time driving, they become nervous and refuse to drive after dusk. It can be daunting and reaction times can be hampered due to poor lighting in some places but after a few times doing it, it's just like driving during the day. Driving at night can be dangerous for new drivers or learners but the likelihood of having an accident at night compared to during the day is pretty much the same. It's best to drive at night on a familiar road that you are used to so there are no nasty bends or poor lighting to encounter.

Pass plus night time driving

When you pass your practical exam and become a holder of a full UK driving licence, your instructor may talk to you about pass plus driving. This is a short course that introduces you to other driving conditions such as the motorway, night time driving, rural roads and city driving. If you haven't had the chance to drive at night with your instructor, it may be handy to go on this course so you won't be so nervous when you get out onto the open road by yourself. You will also have the added advantage of getting reduced insurance premiums due to the completion of the pass plus course.