Driving in the UK

car outide Aston Webb building

There are a number of legal requirements that you need to meet in order to drive a vehicle in the UK, if you break these you would be committing a criminal offence and would have to declare this on future UK visa applications.

Can I drive in the UK with my current licence?

If you already have a driving licence issued by your home country you need to check if it can be used in the UK by going to the UKCISA Driving in the UK web pages.

If you can use your license in the UK, we would still strongly advise that you take lessons from a qualified driving instructor to help you adapt to driving in the UK.

How can I get a UK driving licence?

For instructions on how to apply for UK licence see the DVLA website.  

What are the legal requirements that I need to know?

There are a number of legal requirements that you need to be aware of before you start driving in the UK:

  • Drivers in the UK need to register their vehicle with DVLA.
  • You must pay road tax.
  • You must insure your vehicle. There are many organisations in the UK that provide car insurance; it is best to search online and find the best deal for your car as prices can vary. You can search online by using a search engine such as www.google.co.uk and searching under 'car insurance'.
  • You will need a driving licence that allows you to drive in the UK
  • If your vehicle is more then 3 years old then it must be checked to ensure that it is road worthy each year. If your car passes this test you will receive a Certificate of Roadworthiness known as an M.O.T certificate.
  • There are separate rules about restraints that should be used for children – please read RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) advice on child restraints.
  • The driver and front seat passenger must wear seatbelts and rear seat passengers must wear seatbelts if they are provided in the vehicle.
  • You must not drive over the speed limit.
  • You must not drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • You must not use your mobile phone whilst driving.
  • You must not throw rubbish out of your car.

Sources of help

UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs)

For further information about driving in the UK please refer to the UKCISA Driving in the UK web pages.

DVLA (Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority)

The DVLA is the government department that deals with all aspects of driving including applying for a driving licence or driving test, registering your car and paying road tax: DVLA website.

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