Leading Car Care

Bringing Your Car to the UK and Driving with a Foreign License

If you are moving abroad from Australia to the United Kingdom to live and would like to take your vehicle with you that is not a difficult process. In fact you can take your car to the United Kingdom and drive in the UK using your foreign driving license, but only for a limited period of time before you have to take additional steps to remain doing so legally.

To get your car to the United Kingdom you will need to find a boat that transports vehicles in order to get it to the country. Once your car is imported you will be able to drive it as soon as it arrives in the United Kingdom provided that it is registered and licensed when it arrives. You will have to get your car to pass a Single Vehicle Approval, or SVA, test to register it in the United Kingdom. And if the vehicle is more than three years old it will also have to pass a Ministry of Transport, or MOT, test as well. If your Australian driving license is not in English, then you can use some driver license translation services to get it translated in to English first before moving to UK.

To register your vehicle you will need to go to a UK post office to get either a V55/4 form if you have a new vehicle or a V55/5 form is you have a used vehicle. There is also some additional documentation that you will need depending on the form that you have to fill out. Additional information can be found on the British Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency website. If all of the appropriate taxes have been paid in your home country, you will be able to display your foreign license plates for a period of six months within 12 month period. After that you will need to get your British plates.

You will be able to drive in the United Kingdom for up to 12 months on your foreign driver’s license before having to get your self a British driving license. The exception to this is if your license was issued from within the European Economic Area. So, if you have a driving license from a European Union country, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein then you are able to drive in the United Kingdom on your foreign driving license until your license is no longer valid. At that point you will have to obtain a British driving license.

Another exception is that if your license was issued by Australia, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland or Zimbabwe then you will have to exchange your license for a British one to be able to drive in the United Kingdom more than 12 months. If you are not one of those countries then you cannot merely exchange your license but you will need to actually pass the British driving test to continue to drive in the United Kingdom past 12 months. This includes people from the United States.