It seems that your browser is outdated. For a better and faster experience simply upgrade to the latest version.

Close IE8 advice

Options for foreign drivers

If you hold a foreign driving licence, are a UK resident and want to buy a car and drive in the UK, there are several legal requirements you need to meet. Direct Line Car Insurance can help you with these requirements by providing a choice of cover while on the road…

Direct Line is not only great value for British drivers; it also gives foreign drivers the benefits of its Car Insurance range. This includes Third Party Fire & Theft, Comprehensive and Third Party Only cover. So, if you have become a UK resident – to work or study for example – you can get legally covered to use a car of your own, with a company you can trust and at a price you can afford.

In addition to insurance, you also need to make sure that your car is registered (in your name and address) with the DVLA, road taxed and has passed its MOT (for cars over three years old), and that you meet the minimum age requirements to drive (17 years for cars and motorcycles, 18 years for medium-sized vehicles of 3,500 kg – 7,500 kg).

Whether you can drive on your own licence is a bit more complex, depending on where your passed your test: visitors from European Economic Areas do not have to swap their native licence for a UK licence. However, visitors from other countries may only have permission to drive on a foreign licence or international permit for 12 months. It must then be swapped for a British licence subject to approval. For more details check the Directgov website.

It’s worth noting that in order to receive a valid road tax disc, you will need to make sure your car is insured first. This is because your car insurance documents must be presented with the registration document and an MOT certificate when you apply for your tax disc. (This can be done quickly and easily through the Post Office.) Foreign drivers can obtain a Direct Line Car Insurance quote by calling our hotline on 0845 246 8701. If you need more information prior to this, you can view our range of Car Insurance and policy documents online.

Once we approve your Direct Line Car Insurance and your tax disc is in place along with all other legal requirements, you should be ready to go. If you want to know more about the rules and regulations of driving in the UK – including safety tips, laws and road signs – you can pick up a copy of the Highway Code (available from most newsagents or bookshops) or visit the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

As a new Direct Line Car Insurance customer we’ll also issue you with an Accident Action Pack and access to a 24-hour Accident Helpline in case an emergency should happen and you’re not sure what to do.

The sooner you sort out your documents, the sooner you’ll be free to drive in the UK. So, for more from your Car Insurance you can get a quote on 0845 246 8701 from Direct Line today.