Can I use my international driving license in the UK?
If you plan on visiting the United Kingdom or becoming a resident, you may be asking the question, can I use my international driving license in the UK? The short answer is yes; you can. Whether you are a learner or have a full license, there are a couple of stipulations that we will cover for you below.
When I am in the United Kingdom, will I need to retake my test?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. When you arrive in the UK, your Non-EU license is valid for 12 months. Once the 12 months are up, you will need to contact the DVLA and apply for a UK provisional license. From here, you will need to take a UK driving test and pass before you are legally allowed to drive on the roads by yourself again.
It is also worth noting that your international license will become invalid once you have received your provisional license. This still applies even if you still have time left on your international license.
How does my insurance work?
The insurance rules in the UK can cause confusion, which is why invalid car insurance crops on more than a couple of occasions. Essentially, you can insure yourself with an international license. The problem occurs when you apply for your provisional.
Once you receive your provisional license, you are no longer allowed to drive the car on your own, therefore making the insurance invalid. You would need to reapply for your car insurance once you have passed your driving test. In the UK, it is worth noting that if you fail your driving test, you will not be allowed to retake it until an additional ten days have passed.
Can I drive in the United Kingdom if I hold an EU license?
When it comes to a driver holding a license which they received within the European Union, the rules are simple. Once you become a United Kingdom resident, you can drive in England for as long as you like, as long as your driving license is valid and has not expired.
When your EU Licence runs out, you are allowed to swap it to a UK full driving license. Please note that some rules may change after Brexit, once there has been some clarification on the matter.
Should I take driving lessons before taking my test?
Whether or not you should take driving lessons comes down to how confident you feel on the road. Some people don’t mind driving on the other side of the road and don’t find it an issue, whereas others do. You may find that you can drive, but you have picked up some bad habits that cause you to fail your driving test.
Roundabouts aren’t very common in America, for example, whereas in the United Kingdom, you will come across them a lot. These can cause some confusion.
Safety is paramount on the road, so you may want to consider taking a few lessons before your test. Alternatively, you could take one of our intensive courses to brush on your technique. Our driving instructor will then advise you on whether they think you are ready to take the test or should continue with a few more lessons.
What happens during the test?
Five different aspects will be tested when taking a driving test in the UK. This will include an eyesight check, vehicle safety questions, general driving ability, reversing your vehicle, and an independent drive. Your driving test will last for 40 minutes unless you take an extended driving test, which lasts 70 minutes. The test is the same for Manuel and Automatic cars.
During the test, your driving inspector will score your driving ability assigning a minor for anything small or a major for anything that could potentially be dangerous. If a major is given, this is an automatic fail; however, you will not know about this until the end of the test when the examiner gives you your results.
It is a big thing moving to the United Kingdom, let alone adding the stress of the legal parts of your driving license. We know it can get confusing, but we hope we have cleared some points up for you. If you are looking to take an intensive course or a few weekly lessons, do get in touch as we would love to help.
Alternatively, if you have any questions about our driving courses, feel free to drop us an email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.