P plates are a contentious subject for both new and experienced motorists, but do they give peace of mind to the new driver and help other road users make allowances?

You’ve passed your test, ripped up the L Plates and then a kindly person presents you with P Plates. It was bad enough before when people overtook you, drove right up behind or generally got inpatient because you were a learner so do you really want people knowing you’ve only just passed your test?

At present there is no legal requirement to display them but are they a good thing and should all new drivers display them for 6 or 12 months after they have passed their test?

Having passed your test, the next achievement is going out on your own, a daunting prospect for most new drivers, at least if you display P Plates other road users know to take care around you, allow extra time for you to pull out of a junction or enter a roundabout. You will still get the occasional idiot who toots their horn impatiently but at least most of us will wait until you feel ready. You don’t have to have them on all the time, maybe just when you are doing a new route, long journey or at very busy times, until you feel confident to be driving on your own. It’s your car, your journey, your safety that you want to consider and if P Plates make you feel more able then don’t let the sceptics say otherwise. You’ve passed your test, so we know you are a capable and safe driver, this is just about you building up your confidence.

Surely, it’s better that people consider you as a new driver rather than a bad one if you inadvertently make a mistake or are P Plates a nuisance forced on you by your mum and something that can seriously damage your street cred.