Can you buy car insurance with a foreign driving licence?

Yes. There are ways for anyone visiting or living in the UK, who plan to drive on a Non-UK licence, to insure themselves to drive vehicles. The rules and regulations surrounding such insurance are fairly complex, however, in this article, we will aim to simplify that process and point such drivers in the right direction to buy the most appropriate cover for their individual needs.

What are the rules?

Three main sets of rules exist according to where the foreign driving licence was issued. These are covered as follows:

•Drivers with EU issued licences are free to drive here without exchanging their licences until they attain the age of 70. If drivers are approaching that upper age limit, then the maximum would be 3 years. Of the 2 options, whichever is the greater will apply.

•Drivers with international licences issued in certain countries may drive in the UK for 5 years before exchanging their licences, although they may do so sooner if they wish. In any case, they will not be able to exchange for a UK licence until they have been resident here for 6 months. The countries this applies to are listed below.

•Drivers with international licences from any other country may drive here in the UK for a maximum period of 12 months. These drivers are required to sit a test in order to obtain a UK licence after 12 months have passed. This can be done after 6 months, at an individual's discretion.

The countries covered in option 2 are as follows: Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Monaco and South Korea.

Where can a foreign driver get insurance?

First of all, you need to decide what sort of policy is required. In the UK, we have annual policies and we have short term policies, both of which cover a very different set of circumstances.

Annual Policies

These policies will be suitable for foreign licence holders who are planning to stay in the UK in the longer term, and who are allowed to drive for longer than one year before exchanging their licence. The vehicle being insured must be owned by the person insuring it. If the vehicle is more than 3 years old it must have a valid MOT certificate, and if the vehicle has been brought into the UK by the person insuring it, then it must be re-registered in the UK.

If you fit the criteria for an annual policy, then click here to get quotes from our insurance partners using a comparison tool, which will allow a range of options to be considered.

Short Term Policies

Short term insurance is available for periods between 1 and 28 days. This cover is particularly useful for those planning to drive vehicles belonging to people they might know or be visiting. While it is, of course, possible to be added to the policies of the owners of such vehicles, there are very few insurers who will offer such cover. Short term insurance policies are also useful in the following circumstances:

•Drivers visiting the UK on a short term basis, who only require to drive for a certain number of days - with these policies drivers only pay for the time they actually drive.
•These policies are also ideal for long-term residents from overseas who only need to drive rarely, for up to 28 days at a time.
•Instant cover can be arranged, allowing for unforeseen circumstances
To enter your details with our insurance partners, simply click here to get on the road as quickly as possible.