PM promises to explore graduated licensing07 Feb 2018

Young drivers disproportionately involved in serious crashes

Theresa May has pledged to explore the introduction of a graduated licensing scheme for young drivers.

She was responding to Jenny Chapman, the Labour MP for Darlington, who asked her during Prime Minister’s Question’s whether she “would consider the introduction of a graduated licensing system for the UK as they have in other countries?”

Mrs May said:

“I will certainly look at the request she has made and I will also ask the Department for Transport to look at this as an issue.”

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said:

“A quarter of people killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads are hurt in crashes with young drivers, even though this group makes up just one in 14 of all license holders.

“A central part of a graduated system is limiting newly-qualified young drivers’ exposure to risk during the crucial first 1,000 miles of motoring, while recognising that being able to drive is key requirement for many jobs and education opportunities.”

In 2013, the RAC Foundation outlined three core things that a graduated licensing scheme might contain:

  • A one-year minimum learning period during which they would need to have experience of driving in a variety of circumstances: e.g. during the winter, in darkness
  • A one-year post-test period during which there are passenger restrictions and conditions for late-night driving
  • A final full licence with a two year probationary period (which currently exists and during which if a driver receives six penalty points they have to take a retest).


Other countries that have some form of graduated licensing include: America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: