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Driving in United Kingdom


Vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road and overtake on the right. It is mandatory for drivers and their passengers to wear seat belts where fitted. There are laws which are strictly enforced against drinking and driving, and it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. The minimum driving age is 17.

Unless roadsigns indicate a different limit, the single carriageway speed limit is 96 km/h (60 mph) while the limit on dual carriageways/motorways is 112 km/h (70 mph). The speed limit in towns and built up areas in 48 km/h (30 mph). Full details of road regulations and other useful information for road users can be found in The Highway Code, issued by the Driving Standards Agency.

Driving Licence

All foreigners with driving licences issued outside of the UK are allowed to drive in the UK for 12 months without obtaining a British driving licence.

If you have a driving licence issued within the European Economic Area (all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you can drive within the UK for as long as your licence remains valid.

If you have a driving licence issued in one of the so-called ‘designated’ countries and permanently residing in the UK, you need to exchange your licence for a British licence to be able to drive in the UK for more than 12 months.

The designated countries are: Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

To do so you need to collect an application form (known as a D1 form) from any British post office and send it to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA):

Swansea SA6 7JL

Any further information you might need about driving in Britain is available on the DVLA’s website:

If you hold a driving licence issued by any country not mentioned above, then you will need to pass a British driving test in order to continue driving in the UK beyond the initial 12-month period.

To take a British driving test you must normally be resident in the UK. The test includes both written and practical components, and you must hold a provisional licence before taking the tests.





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