Government ministers in the Netherlands have declared it legal for driving instructors to offer lessons in exchange for sex. The controversial law dubbed 'a ride for a ride' states that instructors can offer lessons on the promise of sex as long as students are over the age of 18.

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands where women who sell sex are treated as self-employed persons. They are free to advertise their services in newspapers and on the internet.

Gert-Jan Segers, from the socially conservative Christian Union party condemned the practice which has been branded 'undesirable' and called for it to be made illegal. He said that learner drivers would not have an escort license, and would not be declaring the sexual services for tax purposes, The Telegraph reports.

Netherlands Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and Justice minister Ard van der Steur defended the law in a letter to parliament. "It's not about offering sexual activities for remuneration, but offering a driving lesson.

"It is important that the initiative lies with the driving instructor, and focuses on offering a driving lesson, with the payment provided in sexual acts. When a sexual act is offered in lieu of financial payment, that is prostitution," they stated.

Web searches for instructors offering "a ride for a ride" have recently increased, it has been reported. The Deputy Prime Minister, Lodewijk Asscher, has called the legalisation of prostitution "a national mistake".