IF you are reading this im guessing you are heading for that journey to learn to drive. But you want to double check the latest L Plate Rules when you are Learning to Drive. You have most likely seen cars with red L’s on the front and back, the L plates. They are used on any car that a learner is driving to let other vehicles know that it is a learner driving, not an experienced driver. This allows other vehicles to give the learners more room to react to situations as well as giving you, the learner, more time to react to unpredictable maneuvers from them. Read on for everything you need to know about L plates.
L Plate Rules when you are Learning to Drive – Do you have to use L plates on the car ?
The short answer is YES!
The long answer is having a regulation-size L plate on the front and back of your car whilst you are driving is a legal requirement. These must be clearly shown and visible for any other vehicle to see.
If you do not have L plates on your car and are pulled over by the police you can receive anything from a warning up to £100 fine and 3 points on a license you do not yet have. When a learner is not driving, the L plates should be removed or covered. The only exception to this is Driving schools and Instructors.
Where should I Put L Plates on the Car?
L plates must be highly visible on the front and rear of the vehicle. There is nothing saying exactly where they should be. It is not advised to place the L plates on either the front or back windows as it will reduce the driver’s visibility, on either bumper as it will be difficult to see by other vehicles, or on the front grill as it will most likely fall off due to airflow. Use your common sense and make sure it is obvious for other vehicles so you do not get a fine or points on your soon-to-be driving license.
If you are looking for advice with teaching your teen check out our latest blog on How to Teach Your Teen to Drive.
L Plates on your Personal Car for learning
Some learners like to use their own cars for their driving tests. If you do this make sure your L plates are showing clearly and in good condition as the test taker has the discretion to reject a car if they are not. It is also advised you keep a spare set in your car at all times in case either plate falls off.
1. What does an L plate signify in the UK?
An L plate in the UK indicates that the person driving the vehicle is a learner driver. These plates are designed to notify other road users that the driver is still in the process of learning and might not be fully competent in all aspects of driving.
2. Are L plates mandatory for learner drivers in the UK?
Yes, L plates are mandatory for all learner drivers in the UK. They must be displayed prominently on the front and rear of the vehicle whenever the learner is driving. You should however not have L plates on the car if you are not currently teaching someone to drive.
3. What are the size requirements for L plates in the UK?
The official size for L plates in the UK is 178mm x 178mm. The letter “L” on the plate should be red on a white background.
4. Can I drive alone if I’m a learner driver?
No, learner drivers are not permitted to drive alone. They must be accompanied by a qualified driver who is over 21 and has held (and still holds) a full driver’s licence for the same type of vehicle for at least three years.
5. Can a learner driver carry passengers?
Yes, a learner driver can carry passengers in the car as long as the qualified supervising driver is present. The supervising driver takes legal responsibility for the vehicle, so the number of passengers must not exceed the number of available seats and seatbelts.
6. Where should L plates be placed on the vehicle?
L plates should be placed on the front and back of the vehicle. They need to be easily visible, not faded or dirty, and must not obstruct the driver’s view.
7. What happens if I don’t display L plates as a learner driver?
If a learner driver doesn’t display L plates while driving, they can face a fine, penalty points on their provisional license, and potentially a court order preventing them from driving until they pass their test.
8. When should I remove my L plates?
L plates should be removed as soon as the driver has passed their driving test and holds a full driving license. It’s illegal to display L plates if you’re not a learner driver.
9. Can I drive on motorways with L plates?
Since 2018, learner drivers in the UK have been allowed to drive on motorways if they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor (ADI) and driving a car fitted with dual controls. If you are not with an approved driving instructor then you cannot go on a motorway.
10. Are there alternatives to L plates?
Yes, in Wales, you can use a D plate (D for Dysgwr, the Welsh word for Learner) instead of an L plate. The rules for D plates are the same as those for L plates.