New Drivers Could Face Second Driving Test After Two Years

by Brady Myles - 2 Min Read

As part of a series of restrictions being considered by the Government, new drivers could face a new driving test two years after qualifying.

The Government is exploring a potential Graduated Driving Licence, which would see new drivers under the age of 24 facing serious restrictions. For two years after passing the driving test, they would:

• Not be able to drive after dark or drive cars with larger engines

• Not be able to drink alcohol before driving because of a lowered drink drive limit

• Have to take another test at the end of the two-year probation period.

The proposals are part of a push to tackle the number of deaths that occur on UK roads each year with 17-24 year-olds responsible for a quarter of all accidents that lead to death or serious injury.

The Prime Minister has stated that, “there are too many people who suffer a loss and tragedy at the hands of learner drivers and we will look at that”. While we suspect she means new drivers, not learner drivers who are supervised by a professional instructor or suitable adult, the Graduated Driving Licence still has serious ramifications for drivers who have just qualified.

But could there be a silver lining if the Graduated Driver Licensing proposal is given the green light? New drivers currently spend up to 10% of their earnings keeping their car insured but experts believe that the new style license could drive down insurance costs.

The idea behind these new plans is clear, and these measures should result in safer roads for all. While it may initially feel like a harsh restriction for new drivers, it’s worth considering that these limitations on their licences should reduce their insurance risk profiles, which could ultimately see the cost of their insurance reduce significantly.”
– Simon McCulloch,

The idea of a Graduated Driving Licensing system isn’t as outlandish as it might first seem either and would actually bring the UK in line with other countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand where drivers are unable to drive at night or drive with passengers who are under the age 25 unless there is someone older supervising. And according to Brake, the road safety charity, the changes can’t come soon enough.

“Young and novice drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of road crashes and the introduction of a comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing system is critical to reverse this trend,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “Brake is calling upon the Government to bring the UK’s licensing system in line with best practice worldwide, requiring a minimum of 10 hours professional tuition for learner drivers and introducing a novice licence, with restrictions in place for two years after passing the practical driving test.”

With the new driving test plus stricter penalties for mobile use when driving, it’s clear that the Government is determined to cut road deaths on UK roads – the question is are the new proposals going too far?

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  1. Chris Wood

    Although I agree with a graduated licence I don’t know how they can enforce the after dark. This means they can’t drive before 8am (roughly) and after 3:45pm (roughly). How can they hold a job down?

    Also a lot of younger people have jobs in the restaurant industry/ pubs etc. and with the public transport not great how can they live. What about a couple who may be in this bracket with kids? If they are worried about the dark then make them have professional tuition in the dark before getting a full licence.

  2. Avis ryder

    This is a good idea, also they should consider minimum amount of lessons for this age group. Although personally I think 17 is too young to be responsible.

  3. Mick Bull

    What a great idea!

    I think a second test after one year of driving (verified by insurance in drivers namewould make more sense), and consideration should be given to young couples, possibly with children, who are both under 24, as they will need to be able to drive together as a family.

    Small engine cars are a must, and no modifications until driver has 12 months experience as some modifications now make cars less stable (lowering suspension too far) and no extreme loud music as this stops the driver from hearing emergency vehicles and other drivers sounding horn!

  4. Kirsty

    I’m not sure how banning them when it is dark is going to be fair especially in the UK winter months when it is dark by 4pm. Will there be a time cut off as it would make it impossible for people to drive to work.

    Also, people who have children younger than 24, does this mean they won’t be able to drive their car with children without a supervisor driver? I think it is important to help keep drivers safe on the road, but also feel it needs to be fair.

  5. Angie Quest

    A second full on driving test seems harsh. Perhaps a check drive (like the one older folk can do to make sure they are still safe drivers). Perhaps a theory checker too?

  6. Terry

    I have experienced the problem with a new driver that passed his test in the morning and then drove his dads car straight into the back of my stationary learner car ( which has livery all over it so no mistaking it’s a learner car). I agree with this call but it’s not just recently passed.

    We have to renew your photo every 10 years so why not renew the license every 10 years and making it compulsory retesting before having your licence renewed. That would further reduce insurance and bad drivers that are more common and we see every day.

  7. Joe McGrory

    The driving at night aspect needs to carefully thought out as a lot of youngsters work in the service industry and need to drive at night . I think this is a good step forward , however to raise overall standards maybe all drivers need to take mandatory refresher lessons similar to CPC required for wagon and buses, something like 5hours to reasess and update skills every 5 years.

  8. Clive Copeland

    So my 19 year old son who passed his test 12 months ago will lose both of his part time jobs due not night time driving restrictions. He’ll have no income, never mind I guess he can sign on ……..

    And, the waiting times for these 2nd test will be how long…..? There’s not enough examiners for proviosional licence holders so unless the DVSA double the amount of examiners it’ll put the industry into meltdown. What if they ‘fail’ ? Do they have their licence revoked ? With massive consequences such as losing their jobs/homes etc….

    Few days early for April 1st me thinks………

  9. Barbara Davis

    A graduated licence system as described is a good idea. I have just 2 points to qualify- I think a second test after 1 year and not to restrict the new driver from driving at night or after dark as many 17 to 24 year olds either have uni lectures in the evenings and / work unsocial hours,ie nights or evenings and would drive to get there or back in the dark, especially in winter.
    Restriction to engine size at under 1200cc and no modifications.

  10. Mike

    I think this a ridiculous idea you tarring all young people with same brush . Not all young people are bad drivers . In my experience as a driver who has been driving for quite some years that the so called experienced drivers on the road are just as bad and just as likely to cause an accident.

    I’ve seen drivers in there 40’s and 50’s right up the back of learner drivers and even more recently driving far to fast in bad weather. So maybe it should be the older drivers who should be retested not the new ones . If this new law comes in I think that it’s just going to make more young drivers drive illegally. The idea for them passing there test is so they have more freedom to go places and have friends in the car .

    I think the best way to deal with this is after they have passed there test they then have to do a course on speed awareness and the dangers and how to handle the car in different situations. This would be far better than the restrictions being suggested.

  11. Neil Grist

    I totally agree with the two part driving test. I have for a long time. Lower engine speed, no alcohol, P plates mandatory. However I don’t agree with them not having people in the car under the age of 24 ( are police have enough to do without stopping every 5 minutes to see how old everybody is in somebody’s car) and I don’t think banning people from driving at night is fair somebody might have a job that involves some getting home from work after a late shift or getting to work for early in the morning.

    I also think everyone should do some form of theory test even if it’s only the hazard perception every 10 years to renew your driving licence.

  12. Craig P

    Pros and Cons I think. Young people are increasingly having to drive after dark to work. Its part of their independence. If you remove their ability to do this then you are having a serious impact on the young being able to break free from the reliance on parents and create their own independence. Indeed, too many young people are killed on the roads each year and involved in collisions. But there are many more that are not.

    Any form of graduated licensing needs to be sensible. A curfew perhaps of 11pm. With shorter days in winter, under current suggested proposals, a ban after dark would mean in winter months young drivers would not be on the roads after 4pm. What wold the impact if this be for the wider community and employers.

    We could overcome some of this by introducing a mandatory minimum number of hours tuition. Yes, it might prove a bit more expensive, but what price is a life?

    And perhaps considering driver education at a much earlier age. It could start at 14 in schools. Attitude plays a large part in why young people get involved in incidents each year.

    I do think that in principal this is a good idea and I hope that the government will enlist the support and views of the people who are going to be affected by this

  13. Wendy

    That statistic “17-24 year-olds responsible for a quarter of all accidents that lead to death or serious injury.” One quarter, 25%.

    How about we try and do something about the remaining three quarters and give the young new drivers a break?

  14. Jeff Tuck

    I think the proposals are good and mean well, however it needs to be policed in a suitable manner.

    The introduction of maybe the ‘Black Box’ could be a solution for the curfew of driving after dark etc. This could be made compulsory to have it fitted as standard practice. Also I’ve always said that the Pass Plus could also be made compulsory as part of a graduating licence too so that learners have to do motorway driving as part of a curriculum in order to get their full licence.

    I personally think the licence should be in two parts, the first as like the normal test and the part 2 as a Pass Plus. I do welcome the changes if it means lowering the deaths on the road by young inexperienced drivers.

  15. Suzanne Williams

    My son works for the railway. He starts at 4am on an early shift and finishes around 2am on a late shift. Despite his skills he would not have got the job without a driving licence and access to a car, initially mine until he could buy his own. He has been followed home in the early hours by the police until they see him in uniform and know he has just finished working.

    As others have posted, a curfew on night time driving will unfairly impact on work options for young drivers, in this area a lot are working shifts at the airports as well. I acknowledge the issues with new drivers but again, as others have posted, a big part of their problem is the way so called experienced drivers behave around them.

    All drivers need to brush up their skills and we need to treat young people as responsible adults when they are not only old enough to drive but old enough to vote and hold down a responsible job and try not to demonise them as a group because of their age.

  16. Greg Gasser

    Why not make the retest every 10 yrs to tie in with the license photo, then update everything at once at the test centres?

    I definitely agree with the engine restrictions, at the end of the day they are a novice and don’t know how to handle more powerful cars. Motorbikes are in restricted categories, do the same with cars.

  17. Natasha Grove

    I think this proposal is ridiculous, since passing my test I can say the pressure on young people when it comes to driving is HUGE!

    In my experience so far I can say that I have had to perform evasive manoeuvres on many occasions, all of which have been the fault of a person over the age of 25! I think this proposal should be extended to everyone because it is unfair that younger people, who have just had the latest legal training, are blamed moreso than someone who has passed there test 20/30 years ago and have had no training since.

  18. Peter

    Hi. The stats say a quarter of serious or road deaths are caused by 17 to 24 year olds. I wonder how many of those had actually had their licence for over two years. Some of these could have potentially held a licence for almost 7 years. If so it’s to do with that age period and not the 2 year probation. I’m all for road safety. But let’s not punish all new drivers for the sake of a few as we always seem to do. A good start would be to punish governments who don’t allow enough money to councils for making our roads safer. Most roads where I live are not fit to drive on. Or punish councils for not putting money they are given for roads into making roads better.

    A big problem as far as younger people are concerned is attitudes. They quite often have wrong attitudes. And this is a problem developed long before they start to drive. So how about attitude lessons in school instead of free periods. Just a thoughts.

  19. Sam Grimes

    Personally I think these changes are unnecessary at the current time. Two tests won’t change the immaturity of new drivers racing about as young people tend to enjoy doing. At a time when there is a decline in young people taking and passing tests this will be a further deterrent.

    For decreasing costs don’t you think the prospect of stating that as the driver you have a graduate license will still make an insurance company target these type of clients with an extortionate insurance rate?

    Personally I think a one chance type scheme will be more successful. Where a younger driver will have one chance and if they crash then they can experience high extortionate insurance prices as they have proved that they are not mature enough to drive.

    The question is how do we restrict the level of maturity of young drivers?

  20. David Saunderson

    Looking at the many comments it is clear to see who has young drivers in their families and who certainly do not.

    A staggered driving test to restrict drivers is fair enough, but the idea needs to be carefully looked at. Restricting night driving with the appalling transport system would put many thousands of people out of work and unable to attend colleges and universities in the evening.

    As for no young passengers until 24yrs old, what sort of crazy is that… so no longer would you be able to drive to work in the dark but you would also not be able to drop the children off or pick them up.

    The other points like restricting engine size should be HP and cc with no mods and lower limits for Drink etc are a must.

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