Legal underage driving - A Dent{P}

Am I right in thinking that driving off the highway does not require a licience?
i.e. someone under 17 could drive in a private field legally.
If that is right, does it follow that for a private field, read large empty supermarket car park.
Of course there are public liability issues because there would be no insurance, but I could take my 16 yr old son for a short legal lesson could I not?
Anyone know the situation here?
Thanks in advance
Legal underage driving - frostbite
A supermarket car park would be regarded as a public place and therefore not suitable/legal.

A field or disused airfield might well be.
Legal underage driving - smokie
FYI there are some proper driving schools for under 17s - mine attended one at the TRRL in Crowthorne. 1/2 a day was about £40 IIRC, but well worth it as a pre-road experience.
Legal underage driving - Hugo {P}
At 16 if I remember correctly, you can drive a Reliant Robin or similar on the road, unless the law has changed.

As it's classed as a motorbike you used to be able to drive one with the reverse gear disabled. However, this restriction was lifted.

This is all assuming you can still FIND a reliant robin at a reasonable price.

A friend of mine passed his test 2 weeks and 2,000 miles after his 17th birthday. His family run a bakery and his dad needed him to help with deliveries. The pressure was on when his dad threatened to buy him a Reliant Robin van to drive if he didn't pass his test first time!

Legal underage driving - Tom Shaw

You need to be hold a full motorcycle licence (Not power restricted) to drive a three wheeler, unless of course you have passed a car test. This actually precludes anyone under twenty one from the joy's of Reliant ownership if they only have a bike licence.
Legal underage driving - Tom Shaw
A small percentage of my income comes from teaching under 17's to drive off road. I use an area owned by the council which I pay for and have exclusive use of during the time I am on there.

There are no licencing requirments or age limit if the driving is taking place on private property to which the public have no access. This rules out car parks and such places to which others have legitimate access, as the Road Traffic Act extends to these.
Legal underage driving - Dwight Van Driver
A Dent.

You ask a question similar to how long is a piece of string?

A Driving Licence is required under the Road Traffic Act when driving a motor vehicle on a road.

Road is defined as : "any highway and any other road to which the public have access, and includes bridges over which a road passes. (S.192 RTA 88).

Whether a particular location falls within S 192 will ultimately be one of fact for the Courts to decide having reference to the character and function of the land in question.

PU will confirm that there have been a number of decisions as to what is and what is not. The law does not seem to be absolute but it has been held that on construction that only in exceptional circumstances that a car park would be deemed to fall within the definition of a road (Clarke v Cato, Culler v Eagle Star Insurance 1998).

Personally I would confine any under age tuition to, as you say, a field, or as suggested disused airfield, private land, with permission. There can then be no argument.

Legal underage driving - A Dent{P}
Thanks for all the replies. I'll forget the carpark idea then and start a search for driving orgs that'll do this. (maybe it will wait till GCSE are over though!)
Thankks again.
Legal underage driving - Cliff Pope
There may be other rules applying, eg Health & Safety, ability to reach the pedals, supervision of young children, etc.
There is for example a minimum age for driving a tractor anywhere, 14 I think.
Legal underage driving - Galaxy
A Dent

I don't know where you live but there is the "Cardrome" in Hornchurch, Essex that offers exactly the facility you are looking for. Both my own teenage nieces have driven whilst underage, quite legally, using this facility. Other friends have also taken their own children out here, too. You can either use your own car, or hire a school car, complete with instructor; this was the method we ourselves used.

Have a look at:

and click on "Cardrome Learner Center" at the bottom of the homepage for further information.

I'm sure there are similar facilities elsewhere around the country, I can't believe this to be the only one.

Good Luck!


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