Unlike many countries, UK vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road and distances and speed limits are posted in miles-per-hour. Speeds limits are widely enforced by traffic police and speed cameras, so you should observe them carefully to avoid fines, penalty points and possibly even a driving ban.
You must hold a valid driving licence to drive in the UK. If you hold a valid driving licence in your home country, you may be able to use it to drive in the UK. However, you must exchange it for a UK licence after a certain period of time, depending on where it was issued.
If you do not hold a valid driving licence and you would like to obtain one, you first need to apply for a provisional driving licence. This will allow you to drive with restrictions and to take driving lessons, should you require them, and also to take the full driving test. If you pass the test, you can then exchange your provisional driving licence for a full licence.
Insurance, Tax and MOT
You must be insured to drive in the UK. This is a legal requirement and covers you and other drivers in the event of an accident. The websites below offer comparisons of insurance providers to help you find a suitable policy.
You must also pay tax on your vehicle, usually based on emissions and fuel type, and ensure you obtain a safety check known as an MOT every twelve months. An MOT on a standard car costs £54.85 and can only be carried out by an approved provider.
Driving Rules and Regulations
It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Highway Code before driving in the UK. The code sets out all the guidelines and mandatory rules you must observe to drive safely, covering information such as speed limits, road signs and markings, licence requirements, vehicle maintenance and road safety.
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