Are you sick of taking the tube or other forms of public transportation to get to your university in the UK? Instead of the bother of figuring out the quickest bus routes or suffering from sore legs from cycling for hours every day, you might want to consider driving in the comfort and convenience of your own automobile. The good news is that by following these easy instructions, you can get a UK driver's license while studying abroad in the UK.
In the UK, driving without a license or with an expired license is a criminal offense that can result in the cancellation of your auto insurance.
Reputable institutions may be found all around the UK, where students from hundreds of different nations struggle to realise their aspirations of attending college. Due to the size of the nation, it might be challenging to locate housing close to an institution where one is enrolled. Students in the UK typically use public transportation, bicycles, or foot to travel to school or other locations in their city.
An automobile of your own, which puts travel at your fingers and is practical and effective, is a blessing. Although many students have a driver's license that is registered in their home country, they will eventually need a UK driver’s license. We have outlined the prerequisites, process, test preparation, and more for getting a UK driver’s license for overseas students in order to assist these students.
Requirements for a Driving License in UK
Although there are some rules and regulations that must be followed, driving in the UK is not as difficult as the many procedures make it seem. The following items are necessary for unrestricted driving throughout the UK:
- A current, valid UK driver's license
- Insurance coverage is required.
- The used vehicle must be on the owner's registration.
- The used vehicle must have a current road tax.
In the UK, driving without a valid UK driver’s license or while using one that is invalid is a crime that could result in the cancellation of one's auto insurance. The following are the legal requirements for international students to obtain a UK driving license :
- One must be older than 17 years old.
- A license plate should be readable from 20 meters away.
- should provide documentation that they have lived there for six months in the last year.
Students who are studying in the nation can typically drive with a valid driver's license from their home nation as long as it is recognised by the UK or an international driving permit. Prior to applying for a UK driver’s license as an international student, the following countries' driving licenses are recognised in their respective countries in the UK:
- Faroe Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- South Africa
- The British Virgin Islands
Anyone who has lived in the UK for six months is eligible to apply for a provisional driving license, regardless of whether they already hold a valid driver’s license from their home country.
Not eligible for a UK driving licence? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered check out our Ultimate Guide To UK Transportation!
Documents required for a UK driving license
The initial step toward operating a vehicle in the nation for international students is to apply for a UK provisional driving license. The DVLA website must be used to submit an application for a provisional driving license, which is a quick and simple process. The cost of applying online for a provisional driving license is £34; the website offers a number of payment methods. The following list includes the documentation that international students must present in order to receive a UK driving license:
- Identification documents, such a passport
- Residences during the last three years
- Contact details
The National Insurance Number (NIN) is a voluntary additional step that aids in ID verification but is not required in any way. To apply for a UK driver’s license, applicants must ship their identification documents, a passport-style photo, and a return envelope to the DVLA office, unless they have a British passport.
How to get a Driving license in the UK : Stepwise guide
Getting a driving license in the UK is a rite of passage for many people and a necessary step towards independence and freedom. While the process can seem daunting, with the right guidance and preparation, getting a car and bike driving license in the UK can be achieved successfully. Here are the steps involved in getting a driving license in the UK, including the requirements, tests, and costs involved.
Step 1: Be at least 17 years old and have a valid provisional UK driving license.
- The first step to getting a driving license in the UK is to ensure that you meet the age requirement.
- You can apply for a provisional license up to three months before your 17th birthday.
- A provisional license allows you to start learning to drive, but you must be accompanied by a qualified and licensed driver at all times.
Step 2: Complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course
- Before you can take your bike practical test, you will need to complete a CBT course.
- This is a one-day course that teaches the basics of motorcycle or moped riding, including safety and road awareness.
- The CBT course is mandatory for all new motorcycle and moped riders, and it is a prerequisite for taking the theory and practical tests and ultimately, for getting a UK driving license!
Step 3: Pass the UK driver’s license theory test
- The theory test is the next step in the process, and it covers both the Highway Code and road safety.
- The test consists of a multiple-choice section and a hazard perception section. The multiple-choice section tests your knowledge of the Highway Code, while the hazard perception section tests your ability to identify and respond to potential hazards on the road.
Step 4: Pass the UK driver’s license practical test
- For driving a car in the UK, the practical test is the final step in the process, and it is divided into two parts, the "show me, tell me" section and the road test.
- During the "show me, tell me" section, you will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge of basic vehicle maintenance and safety checks.
- During the road test, you will be judged on your ability to drive safely and competently, including your ability to follow traffic signs and signals, and your ability to safely control the vehicle.
- For driving a bike in the UK, the practical test will include an off-road test, which will assess your control of the motorcycle or moped, and a road ride, which will assess your riding ability on the road.
- You will be judged on your ability to ride safely and competently, including your ability to follow traffic signs and signals, and your ability to safely control the vehicle.
Step 5: Receive your full UK driving license
- Once you have passed both the theory and practical tests, you will receive your full driving license. The license is valid for 10 years and must be renewed every 10 years.
It's important to note that the process of getting a driving license in the UK and the requirements may vary depending on the type of vehicle you plan to drive. For example, if you plan to drive a car, the process will be different from if you plan to drive a motorcycle or moped.
The cost of getting a car and bike driving license in the UK can vary depending on various factors, including the type of vehicle you plan to drive and the number of lessons you need to take. The theory test costs £23 for cars and £23 for bikes, while the practical test costs £62 for cars and £15.50 for bikes. Additionally, the cost of driving lessons can vary depending on the instructor and location.
Tests for a driver’s license in UK
The theory test and the practical test make up the test for a UK driving license for international students.
- The Highway Code
- Know Your Traffic Signs
- Driving - The Essential Skills
Are the three publications that must be read throughly in order to pass the theory test. The easiest approach to prepare for them is to sign up for practice exams, which can help one better comprehend and become comfortable with the test format. They can be found at the nearby bookstore. After successfully completing your preparation, you may book a session on the DVLA website. You will need to provide the information from your provisional driving license and pay £23 as a part of the booking procedure.
The practical examination follows. If a person meets the standards listed on the DVLA website, they can opt to learn to drive with a family member or friend. They can also hire a driving teacher who has been approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (VSA). The car being used for learning must have two Ls—one on the front and one on the back—and must be insured. After filling out their information and that of their instructor, a person can finally book a test slot on the internet, choose a location, and schedule the test. One will be informed of the specifics of the test for the UK driver’s license for overseas students after paying £62 for the practical test procedure.
How can you prepare for the practical test?
You have two possibilities to become an expert driver before test day because learning to drive requires supervision above everything else. As long as they satisfy the following criteria, you can study with a friend or member of your family:
- They are over 21.
- They are licensed to operate the kind of car you want to learn to drive.
- possess a valid driver's license from the European Economic Area for more than three years. You won't be able to use this option to travel on highways, though.
Having a driving teacher who has been approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is the second choice (DVSA). This will let you practise driving on highways.
Regardless of the route you choose, you must make sure the vehicle you are using for practise is covered by a learner's insurance policy. To let other drivers know that you are still learning, make sure your automobile has two red "Learner" bumper stickers placed on the front and rear.
The practical driving exam will be the penultimate phase, which you may schedule online after providing your information and that of your instructor. You must pay £62 after deciding on the test's date, time, and location. You'll receive instructions regarding the specifics of the test through email. If you forget to bring your provisional license and theory exam results, you won't be able to take the test.
Congratulations! You are now in possession of a UK student driving permit. You're prepared to start driving as soon as you obtain auto insurance! Signifying the first few weeks, you must place two green P bumper decals for Pass on both the front and rear of your vehicle to let other motorists know you have passed.
Now that you know how to get a driving license in the UK, checkout our 20 Best Road Trips In UK blog and start planning your next road trip after you get your UK driving licence!