The Expat Guide to Visitors Driving in Great Britain

Like all countries, the United Kingdom has their own set of rules when it comes to driving. Expatriates relocating to the United Kingdom under a visitor status, and interested in operating a vehicle, must comply with the following rules.


Rules for Visitors Driving in Great Britain on a license issued in a European Community/ European Economic Area Country

If you are a visitor in Great Britain and you have a valid community license, you are able to operate any vehicle. The full entitlement for the vehicle you are driving must be shown on your license. You must also follow the minimum age requirements set in Great Britain. Those are as follows: 

– 17 years old to operate a car or motorcycle
– 18 years old to operate a medium sized vehicle
– 21 years old to operate large lorries (heavy motor vehicle) or buses

Rules for Visitors Driving in Great Britain on a license issued from all other countries, and students on a foreign license.

Visitors and students in Great Britain that still have a drivers license issued from their home country must follow restrictions on how long you may drive, and what vehicles you may operate in Great Britain. The rules are as follows:

– Visitors may only operate a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes (7,000 pounds) with up to 8 passenger seats, as long as your license is valid for up to 12 months from the date you arrived in Great Britain.
– Visitors may only drive large vehicles which were registered in a country outside of Great Britain, and was driven into the country.


 Source: The 2014 Expatriates Guide to Living in the UK – International HR Advisor 

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