Expatriates or travelers to the UK, if you want to rent or even buy a car in England, the country’s Highway Code requires you to have a valid driver’s license. Depending on your citizenship, Spotahome tells you how to convert or get your driver’s license so you can ride legally in the UK.
If you are a citizen of a European country
Citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area, you can use the driving license from your home country to drive in the UK, but you can also get a UK driving license if your country of origin has signed a license conversion agreement with the United Kingdom.
If you are not a national of a European country
If you are not a national of the EU or the EEA, you are allowed to drive with your foreign driving license only for a maximum period of 12 months. After this time, you will have to pass English driving tests in order to obtain the British driving license. This requirement applies in particular to nationals of South Africa, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Monaco, Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore and several other countries.
How to convert your driver’s license into a British license?
In order to convert your driving license into a UK driving license, you must complete an application form which you will find on the website of the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), send the documents and pay a fee.
How to get a first driving license in the UK?
If you have never passed the driving test, and would like to move to the UK, you must:
- Have more than 15 years and 9 months;
- Apply for a provisional license online;
- Present your ID, proof of address and UK Social Security number;
- You pay the sum of £ 34;
- Pass theoretical tests and driving practices.
The provisional license allows everyone to drive on British roads, provided that they are accompanied by a person who has been in possession of a valid permit for at least 3 years and clearly displays the “L” plate on the vehicle.
Theoretical tests or the traffic rules in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, as in France, you must pass and obtain the theoretical exam before passing the practical driving tests. If you fail, you will have the option to retake the exam after ten days, but each attempt costs £ 23. The theory test consists of 2 parts that are made of multiple-choice questions as well as a video exam that asks you to identify hazards on the road to verify your perception of the dangers. You will then have to take your practical exam within two years of obtaining your certificate of completion on the theory exam. Beyond this, the theoretical exam is no longer valid and must then be repeated.
Here are the traffic rules in the United Kingdom:
- We drive on the left side of the road.
- Most motorways are free, but access to some bridges and tunnels is not free.
- Speed limits are set at 30 mph (48 km / h) in urban areas and 60 mph (97 km / h) on motorways.
Driving tests in the UK
To get your UK driver’s license, you must take driving lessons with a certified instructor, regardless of your driving skills. Once you feel confident about the practical test, you can book a free online slot for £ 62 on weekdays and £ 75 on weekends. Once your practical test is successful, you can apply for your permanent driver’s license at the post office for a cost of £ 17. Finally, the British driver’s license is valid for a period of ten years, beyond which you must file a renewal application online or at a post office.