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Minimum Age and Other Learner Rules

Before you learn to drive a car, make sure you know about the rules and restrictions that apply to you. Different vehicles have different minimum ages and restrictions. 

Rules for learner drivers:

Before you start to drive, you must:

  • Hold a valid, provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • Make sure that any vehicle you drive is roadworthy and properly taxed and insured

It is important to learn safe driving practice from the beginning of your driving career because bad habits are hard to break.

It is unlikely that anyone except an approved driving instructor (ADI) would have the experience, knowledge and training to teach you properly. Learning safe driving habits from the start will improve the safety of yourself and other road users.

If you want to practise your driving with an accompanying driver, the accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full, "clean" licence for three years.

As a learner driver you must display 'L' plates ('L' or 'D' plates in Wales) in a conspicuous position on the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving.

Minimum age at which you can take the driving test:

You can take your driving test once your provisional licence becomes valid.

Normally, for car drivers, the earliest date your provisional licence can become valid is your 17th birthday, however you can apply for the licence up to three months before your 17th birthday.

So, if you apply for your provisional licence before you are 17 you will still have to wait until your birthday before you can take your theory test.

Disability living allowance

If you are receiving disability living allowance at the higher rate your provisional licence will come into effect when you are 16, but you can apply for it within three months of your 16th birthday.

Source - Driving Standard Agency

10 Roman Road
Ayr KA7 3SZ
01292 225450