The Rules for Private Driving Practice During Lock Down

As well as taking automatic driving lessons with Paul’s Automatic Driving School in Basingstoke, I have always encouraged my learner drivers to take private practice where they can.  Private practice with a friend or family member in addition to professional driving lessons, can greatly strengthen the skills of any learner driver and boost a learners chance of passing the driving test first time. However, the rules for driving lessons and private practice have now changed due to the Coronavirus and the government’s lockdown rules.

The latest rules on private practice

The DVSA are the governing body that oversees all driving lessons and driving tests.  The latest news from the DVSA issued to driving instructors is that all driving tests and driving lessons are postponed until further notice.  This includes private practice (unless it is part of an essential journey).

The rules surrounding learners taking private practice and the guidance is that private practice cannot go ahead as non-essential journeys during the lockdown are banned by law.  Also, travel outside of your local area is also banned by law.

Therefore it has been made very clear that private practice must not go ahead at this stage.

There are limited exceptions

All non-essential journeys are banned at this stage. But, some journeys are still legal and it is possible that a supervised learner driver could use these for practice.  These include essential travel only: journeys to and from a place of work (when you cannot work from home), travel for educational purposes (taking a child to school), journeys for medical appointments, essential shopping trips etc. Please check the government’s website for any more exceptions.  However, it is recommended that every safety precaution is taken and that the law is followed at all times.

The Police are enforcing the rules

The rules and regulations surrounding the lockdown are written into the law in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Island. The police will be enforcing these rules and it is likely that if the police see learners out practising that they could be stopped and asked why they are out practising.  If a journey is not considered to be essential then it is likely that a fixed penalty fine would be issued.

Insurance issues

Before taking any private practice during the government lockdown it is recommended that people check their driver’s insurance, as some policies will no longer cover non-essential journies.

Lessons will resume as soon as allowed

As soon as the restrictions are lifted or eased then automatic driving lessons will resume again.  It is not known when this will be or how long this latest lockdown will last, but as soon as the DVSA or the government releases any more information, then we will prepare to reopen the driving school again. It is at this stage that private practice will be permissible again.

Please note that the current lockdown rules will be in place until the government reaccess the situation on 15th February 2021.

Additional Information



The information in this post if for guidance only.  This post was written by Paul Loader ADi who offers automatic driving lessons in Basingstoke and is the owner of Paul’s Automatic Driving School. For more information please visit our website


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