Motorway Rules

Motorway Rules Theory Test


The Motorway Rules Theory Test consists of 58 questions.
You need 50 out of 58 (86%) to pass. There is no time limit for this test.
Click here to read our Motorway Rules Theory Test revision notes.

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Motorway driving is very dangerous, as many motorists habitually break the speed limit of 70 mph, and the problem of congestion leads to frustration and careless driving. The law has recently changed to allow learner drivers on motorways, providing they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor, and the car is fitted with dual controls.  As a learner driver, you must be familiar with motorway rules and regulations so that you are ready to cope with motorway driving after passing your test.

Crawler Lane, Emergency Refuge and Hard Shoulder

  • The crawler lane is found on steep gradients
  • The emergency refuge area can only be used in an emergency or the event of a breakdown
  • The hard shoulder is for stopping in emergencies only, unless the overhead lane sign shows a mandatory speed limit, in which case it can be used as a running lane

Prohibited Vehicles

  • Car learner drivers unless accompanied by a registered driving instructor in a car with dual controls
  • Learner motorcyclists
  • Farm tractors, horse riders and cyclists

Joining the Motorway

  • Use the slip road to build up speed similar to traffic on the motorway
  • Always give way to vehicles already on the motorway
  • Keep to the left hand lane after joining
  • If you are in the left hand lane, and traffic is joining from a slip road ahead, you should move safely to another lane

Speed Limits

  • Unless signposted otherwise, the speed limit is 70 mph in all lanes
  • When towing a trailer, the speed limit is 60 mph
  • Restricted speed limits may be in place if there are roadworks
  • The overhead signs may show variable speeds, with the intention of reducing congestion
  • A contraflow system will generally have lower speed limits
  • The vehicle ahead may briefly flash their lights to indicate that traffic is slowing

Exiting the Motorway

  • Position yourself in the left-hand lane before reaching the exit
  • If you miss the exit, never reverse, carry on to the next exit

Stopping On the Motorway

  • Only stop if there is a genuine emergency such as a breakdown
  • If red flashing lights appear on the overhead signs, you must stop and wait
  • You must stop if signalled to do so by the police or a Highways Agency Traffic Officer

Reflective Studs

  • Amber – found between the central reservation and the carriage way
  • White studs are between the lanes
  • Green studs are situated between the motorway and the slip road
  • Red studs are on the left of the carriageway

Breakdowns on a Motorway

  • In the event of a breakdown, pull off onto the hard shoulder and switch on your hazard lights
  • Use the emergency roadside phone rather than a mobile, as it allows the emergency services to find your location quickly
  • To find the emergency phone, walk in the direction shown on marker posts, and stand facing the traffic when using it
  • Do not attempt to fix a puncture yourself, call for assistance
  • After your breakdown is repaired, join the motorway by gaining speed on the hard shoulder

Motorway Rules Theory Test Tips

It may be beneficial to take a ride on a motorway with a qualified driver to look at the various road markings, signs and other special features. Driving on a major road or dual carriageway will give you experience of similar rules relating to lane changing and driving in traffic at high speed.