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Driving licence / insurance for UK visit

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I've previously hired a car when going back to the UK for holidays / visits, but given the fact that that they are now so expensive, and also that my elderly Mum has just stopped driving,, I'm thinking for my next visit I could borrow her car to get around in. It's taxed, MOT'd etc, but I would need to sort out insurance.

One option is to get my mum to put me on her insurance, or alternatively there are companies that offer short term policies. I put some details into one of these company's online quote generator and it asked me what type of licence I had - UK Full, UK Provisional or International. Which got me thinking ....

I had a Full UK licence before emigrating, but it seems they expire after 10 years, and as I've been in Aus longer than that mine must have expired. I have a NSW licence, which has sufficed for hiring a car in the UK in the past.

Does anyone know what licences are valid / not valid in the UK? Is there any reason a NSW licence is accepted by hire companies but doesn't seem to be by the Insurance company? Can I renew my UK driving licence from abroad easily enough? Or should I just apply for an International Driving Licence for the period of my visit?

Hoping others have been in a similar position and would be interested to hear the pros/cons of the various options.

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No you can’t renew your Uk license if you are not resident in the UK. it seems UK insurance companies don’t like foreign drivers nowadays. You could speak to your mums insurance to see what they can do but someone posted a while back this was no longer possible for them. Try Virtuo car rental. All on line with an app. We used it last time we were in the UK and it was loads cheaper than even off airport car hire from a local company. They were fine with overseas licence. But you need to register with them ahead of time. 

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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5 hours ago, mxh said:

I've previously hired a car when going back to the UK for holidays / visits, but given the fact that that they are now so expensive, and also that my elderly Mum has just stopped driving,, I'm thinking for my next visit I could borrow her car to get around in. It's taxed, MOT'd etc, but I would need to sort out insurance.

One option is to get my mum to put me on her insurance, or alternatively there are companies that offer short term policies. I put some details into one of these company's online quote generator and it asked me what type of licence I had - UK Full, UK Provisional or International. Which got me thinking ....

I had a Full UK licence before emigrating, but it seems they expire after 10 years, and as I've been in Aus longer than that mine must have expired. I have a NSW licence, which has sufficed for hiring a car in the UK in the past.

Does anyone know what licences are valid / not valid in the UK? Is there any reason a NSW licence is accepted by hire companies but doesn't seem to be by the Insurance company? Can I renew my UK driving licence from abroad easily enough? Or should I just apply for an International Driving Licence for the period of my visit?

Hoping others have been in a similar position and would be interested to hear the pros/cons of the various options.

I think yes, just as long as you have a UK address where the licence can be sent to.

I've always kept my UK licence current since I moved to Australia (almost 30 years now), and whenever it needed to be renewed I had it sent to my mum's address. When I visited the UK I used to drive her car as a named driver. You can probably do the same. Renew your UK licence using your mum's address, and then once you have it ask her to add you to her insurance.

I used to drive my mum around a fair bit and do her shopping while I was over there, which was always appreciated (if you get my drift).


Australian Citizen since 2007 | Returned to the UK between 2008-2011 | QLD resident for over 20 years

All advice and opinions I provide on PomsInOz are solely my own and are general in nature. I am not a migration agent, accountant, tax expert or financial adviser, and my insights are no substitute for professional advice. I strongly encourage you to seek the guidance of qualified professionals for specific concerns. I do not assume any responsibility for actions taken based on the information provided in any of my posts, and if you choose to act on this information then you do so entirely at your own risk.

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You won’t get insurance on your mums car using an Australian license.  If you had a UK one you could but they do ask the question ‘is the driver a UK resident’  It’s the not living in the UK that is the issue, not just the license.  So, when the insurance  company asked that question/or it’s stated online, if you answer it correctly you wouldn’t be put on the policy.  If you answer it incorrectly (pretending you live there) the insurance is invalid and unfortunately it’s poor mum that will be in trouble as the policy holder is responsible for providing the correct information and ensuring the person driving her car has valid insurance. 

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1 hour ago, Tulip1 said:

You won’t get insurance on your mums car using an Australian license.  If you had a UK one you could but they do ask the question ‘is the driver a UK resident’  It’s the not living in the UK that is the issue, not just the license.  So, when the insurance  company asked that question/or it’s stated online, if you answer it correctly you wouldn’t be put on the policy.  If you answer it incorrectly (pretending you live there) the insurance is invalid and unfortunately it’s poor mum that will be in trouble as the policy holder is responsible for providing the correct information and ensuring the person driving her car has valid insurance. 

That's not necessarily true. But you would need to go through a specialist, and it would cost more. You're run of the mill insurance company probably wouldn't cover. The cost may make you consider other alternatives, but it's probably worth getting a quote. I think even some of the comparison websites may do non UK residents.

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11 hours ago, InnerVoice said:

I think yes, just as long as you have a UK address where the licence can be sent to.

I've always kept my UK licence current since I moved to Australia (almost 30 years now), and whenever it needed to be renewed I had it sent to my mum's address. When I visited the UK I used to drive her car as a named driver. You can probably do the same. ...

That will definitely work, and from what I've read, the DVLA knows that goes on and doesn't really care.    The snag is that if you have an accident while driving and the insurance company discovers you're not actually resident in the UK, the insurance policy is instantly invalid and they won't pay the claim.  So it all depends whether you're willing to take that risk.

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So it seems that I could try and renew my UK driving licence, but using it in the UK would render any insurance invalid in the case of an accident. And it appears that it is also a criminal offence to make a false declaration on the form (which you'd need to do to pretend you lived in the UK). So probably not a good option. 

There are companies that offer short term insurance, with the claim that it is aimed at people in my situation (ie expat visiting for a few weeks and has a car at their disposal). Except the small print then says that you need a UK, EEC or NI licence - International licences not accepted. Which is pretty unhelpful.

I still need to talk to my Mum's insurance company but suspect that they will require a UK licence.

Has anyone found an insurance company that will insure you in the UK on a NSW or International driving licence?

 

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I am also looking into this. moneymaxim.co.uk seems to have an option for Aus licence holders with Sterling Insurance 

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