Car insurance and driving licences

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Does Your Driving Licence Impact Your Car Insurance Premium

Different driving licences exist because of many reasons – this explains how the licence type you hold can change how much you pay for car insurance.

Does your driving licence affect your car insurance?

To drive a car in the UK, you need a driving licence. Some things on your licence can change your car insurance price. These things are:

Do I have to give my insurer my driving licence information?

No, you don’t have to share your driving licence number when searching for car insurance. But there’s a service called MyLicence, made by the DVLA and MIB. They use your licence number to check your driving details.

This helps them give you a better car insurance price based on your driving history. You don’t need to enter all the information, so you won’t make a mistake that could invalidate your policy.

What types of driving licence are there?

To drive in the UK, you must have one of these licences:

  • A complete UK car licence
  • A full EU licence
  • A whole European (Non-EU) licence
  • A total international licence

Full Uk Driving Licence

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Is car insurance more expensive with a non-UK driving licence?

Normally, car insurance costs more for individuals with international driving licences. Insurers perceive you as having a higher risk of making a claim if you lack experience on UK roads. This could be due to unfamiliarity with local traffic rules or being accustomed to driving on the opposite side of the road.

Another factor is that you might not be able to transfer your no-claims bonus with a non-UK licence. However, there are specialist insurers in the market that allow you to do so. It’s advisable to shop around for coverage, as transferring your bonus can significantly reduce your premiums.

Additionally, some insurance companies may have limited experience dealing with international licences, leading to higher quotes. As a non-UK licence holder, you might also face more stringent terms and conditions.

This could include limitations on the types of vehicles you can drive or restrictions on driving in certain areas. To find the best deal, compare quotes for car insurance from Comparoo and consider contacting specialist insurers who cater to international drivers.

What types of full UK driving licences are there?

After passing both your practical and theory tests, you’ll get a full UK driving licence. This licence allows you to drive specific vehicles based on their classification. There are several variations of full UK licences:

  • Standard full UK car licence: The most common licence, permitting you to drive automatic and manual cars on UK roads.
  • Full UK car licence for automatic cars only: This licence type only allows you to drive cars with automatic transmission on UK roads.
  • Full UK car licence with IAM: Indicates that you’ve completed and passed an advanced driving course with IAM RoadSmart.
  • Full UK car licence with Pass Plus: Shows that you’ve taken and passed an alternative advanced driving course with Pass Plus.
  • Medical restricted full UK car licence: Issued to individuals with medical conditions that could impact their driving abilities. The complete list of applicable conditions can be found on the government website.

Each licence type has specific requirements and restrictions. To ensure you hold the correct licence for your needs, go to the government website or a driving instructor for guidance.

Iam Roadsmart

Can I drive in the UK without a full driving licence?

To drive in the UK without a full driving licence, you must apply for a UK provisional licence. This licence allows you to learn and practice driving under certain conditions. After living in the UK for six months, you become eligible to take the UK driving test.

While driving with a provisional licence, you must adhere to specific restrictions:

  • You must be accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old and has held a full UK driving licence for a minimum of three years.
  • You need to display “L” plates (or “D” plates in Wales) on the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • You cannot drive on motorways unless accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a dual-control car.

  • You are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 am if you are under 18 years old and hold a motorway driving licence.

It’s essential to follow these rules, as failing to do so can result in penalties or disqualification from getting a full driving licence.

Will I need car insurance to drive in the UK?

In the UK, all cars have at least third-party car insurance to be driven on public roads, as per the continuous insurance enforcement rules.

If you’re bringing your own car to the UK, your current policy should provide third-party coverage. However, you may need a green card to demonstrate that your insurance is valid.

When renting a car in the UK, there’s no need for a separate policy, as insurance is typically included in the rental fee.

If you purchase a car in the UK, you must get a UK car insurance policy. Additionally, if you’re borrowing a car from friends or relatives, you’ll need to be included on their policy as a named driver.

It’s essential to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage to avoid legal penalties and ensure financial protection in case of accidents or other incidents on the road.

Car Insurance To Drive In The Uk

What types of non-UK driving licences are there?

You can also drive in the UK using an international licence; however, you may need to exchange it for a UK licence depending on the issuing country. Foreign driving licences can be categorised into the following groups:

EU/EEC licences

If your driving licence was issued in a European Union (EU) or European Economic Community (EEC) country, you can use it in the UK until it expires – there’s no need to retake your test or swap it for a UK licence.

Your EU/EEC licence will expire either when you turn 70 or three years after you become a UK resident, whichever comes later. This allows you to drive in the UK without any additional procedures, as long as your licence remains valid.

However, if you obtained an EU licence by exchanging a non-EU driver’s licence, you’ll need to pass a UK driving test after 12 months to continue driving in the UK. This is because the UK may not have a licence exchange agreement with the country where your original licence was issued, and you’ll need to meet UK driving standards to ensure road safety.

Keep in mind that driving licence regulations are subject to change, especially as the UK’s relationship with the EU evolves. It’s essential to stay updated on the latest rules to maintain compliance and avoid penalties.

Exchangeable international licence

If your driving licence was issued in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, or any of the designated countries listed below, you can drive in the UK for up to 12 months:

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Zimbabwe

After the 12-month period, you can exchange your licence for a full UK licence without retaking your test. You have five years from the date you become a UK resident to complete this exchange.

It’s essential to keep track of these timelines to ensure you maintain a valid driving licence while in the UK. Additionally, make sure to follow any updates or changes in regulations, as they may impact your ability to drive legally.

Non-exchangeable international licence

If your driving licence was issued by a country outside the EU, EEC, or the previously mentioned designated countries, you can still drive in the UK for 12 months. However, once this period ends, you must pass the UK driving test to get a full UK licence.

Although taking driving lessons is not mandatory, you may find them helpful to familiarise yourself with UK driving rules, road signs, and road etiquette. This can increase your confidence and better prepare you for the UK driving test.

Remember to apply for a provisional UK licence before taking the driving test, as it is required for both the theory and practical exams. Following these steps ensures you can legally drive in the UK and helps you adapt to local driving conditions and requirements.

How can I reduce the cost of cover if I have a non-UK driving licence?

If you have a non-UK driving licence, consider the following options to reduce your car insurance costs:

  • Purchase a manual car: Manual cars usually have lower insurance premiums, as automatic gearboxes are more expensive to repair or replace. Also, having a full driving licence instead of an automatic-only licence can further reduce your insurance costs.
  • Book a driving course: While completing driving courses like Pass Plus and IAM may not always lead to cheaper car insurance, they can be beneficial for younger or less experienced drivers in getting lower rates.
  • Get a UK licence: If you hold an EU, EEC, or exchangeable international licence, you can exchange it for a UK licence after living in the country for six months. Doing so can help you receive discounts on your insurance premiums for longer stays. However, if you have a non-exchangeable licence, you’ll need to apply for a provisional licence and pass a driving test after being a UK resident for six months.

By exploring these options, you can potentially lower your car insurance costs and ensure you’re meeting the necessary requirements for driving legally in the UK.

Do driving convictions affect the cost of car insurance?

Yes, driving convictions on your licence will increase the cost of your car insurance. Some insurers may outright deny coverage, while others may charge higher premiums. Statistically, individuals with a history of driving convictions are more likely to make a claim on their insurance policies.

These convictions can include speeding, drink-driving, or other traffic offences, which indicate a higher risk to insurers. As a result, they may take extra precautions or impose stricter conditions when providing coverage.

To improve your chances of getting a better deal on your car insurance, consider the following:

  • Shop around and compare different insurance providers to find those more accommodating to drivers with convictions.
  • Explore specialist insurers who cater to drivers with convictions or higher-risk profiles.
  • Improve your driving habits and avoid further convictions, such as taking a defensive driving course and sticking to the speed limits.
  • Over time, as your convictions become spent or removed from your driving record, your car insurance options may improve and premiums will come down.

By being proactive and diligent in finding the right coverage, you can still get car insurance despite having driving convictions on your licence.

Do I have to tell my insurer about my driving convictions?

You only need to tell your insurer about driving convictions if they’re still unspent. After some time, depending on the type of conviction, it becomes spent and you don’t need to mention it.

Check your driving licence to see if you have points

Don’t hide or lie about your convictions, because if you do, your car insurance policy will be void.

How do different driving convictions affect car insurance premiums?

Certain driving offences can significantly affect your insurance premiums more than others. However, other factors contribute to determining the overall cost of your car insurance policy.

Here are some frequently declared driving convictions among people searching for car insurance on Comparoo:

  • Speeding: A common driving offence that often leads to increased premiums, as insurers perceive drivers with a history of speeding as higher risk.
  • Drink-driving: This is a serious offence that can result in a considerable hike in insurance premiums, reflecting the higher risk associated with impaired driving.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: This offence is increasingly common and can lead to higher premiums, as it indicates a driver’s likelihood of being distracted on the road.
  • Driving without insurance: If you have been convicted for driving without insurance, it can significantly impact your future premiums, as insurers will consider you a higher risk.

Additional factors that affect car insurance premiums include the driver’s age, location, type of car, annual mileage, and security measures for the vehicle. By considering these factors and any driving convictions, insurers calculate the overall cost of a car insurance policy.

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To find the best deal for your specific situation, it’s important to compare quotes from multiple insurance providers.

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What if I have more than one conviction on my licence?

Having multiple convictions on your licence can lead to a bigger increase in your insurance premiums. Insurers often view drivers with multiple convictions as higher risk, and consequently, they may charge higher premiums to cover potential claims.

Will having a medical condition affect my car insurance?

Having a medical condition may impact your car insurance, especially if it’s a condition that must be reported to the DVLA. When getting car insurance quotes, you’ll need to disclose any such medical conditions and provide information about any restrictions on your licence.

Medical conditions that can affect your driving abilities, such as diabetes, epilepsy, or sleep apnoea, may lead insurers to perceive you as a higher risk. Consequently, your insurance premiums might be higher than for someone without such conditions.

To manage your car insurance costs, consider the following steps:

  • Shop around: Compare quotes from multiple insurance providers, as some may offer better rates for drivers with specific medical conditions.
  • Specialist insurers: Look for insurers who specialise in providing coverage for drivers with medical conditions. They may have a better understanding of your situation and offer more competitive rates.
  • Inform the DVLA: Ensure that you have properly reported your medical condition to the DVLA, as failing to do so could result in fines and invalidate your insurance.
  • Regular medical check-ups: Stay on top of your medical condition by attending regular check-ups and following your doctor’s advice.

Demonstrating proper management of your condition may help in negotiating better insurance rates.

By being proactive and exploring your options, you can still secure suitable car insurance coverage despite having a medical condition that affects your driving.

What health conditions need to be reported to the DVLA?

Various health conditions must be reported to the DVLA, as they could potentially impact your ability to drive safely. Some of these conditions include:

  • Diabetes: If you’re insulin-dependent or have experienced severe hypoglycemia, you must inform the DVLA.
  • Epilepsy: If you have experienced seizures or are taking medication to control epilepsy, the DVLA should be notified.
  • Sleep apnoea: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome or other sleep disorders that cause excessive sleepiness should be reported.
  • Heart conditions: Inform the DVLA about heart conditions, such as cardiomyopathy, heart failure, or implanted defibrillators.
  • Glaucoma: If you have glaucoma in both eyes or advanced glaucoma in one eye, you must notify the DVLA.
  • Strokes: Report any transient ischemic attacks, strokes, or other related conditions that could impact your ability to drive.
  • Visual impairment: Any significant visual impairments, including reduced visual acuity, visual field defects, or monocular vision, should be reported.
  • Physical disabilities: If you have a physical disability that affects your ability to drive or requires modifications to your vehicle, inform the DVLA.

This list is not exhaustive, and there may be other health conditions that need to be reported. It’s essential to check the DVLA’s guidelines on medical conditions and driving to ensure you are compliant with the requirements. Failing to report a relevant medical condition could result in fines and invalidate your car insurance.

How do I notify the DVLA about my medical conditions?

You can visit the government website to check if you have a medical condition that needs to be reported and find the appropriate forms to do so.

Do I have to tell my insurer about my medical conditions?

You must inform your insurer as well as the DVLA if you have any medical restrictions.

Will having a licence restriction affect the cost of my car insurance policy?

Having a licence restriction due to a medical condition should not affect the cost of your car insurance policy. Insurers cannot refuse to provide coverage, raise your premiums, or charge a higher excess fee based on your health condition unless they have evidence that your driving ability poses an increased risk.

However, it’s still important to inform your insurer about any medical restrictions you have to make sure you’re properly covered in case of an accident.

Does holding your licence for a long time reduce premiums?

In addition to the type of licence and any medical conditions or convictions declared on it, the length of time you’ve held your licence is also a crucial factor in determining your car insurance premiums.

Typically, car insurance is less expensive for experienced or older drivers who have held their licence for a long time. According to statistics, drivers who have held their licence for at least five years pay an average of £600 less per year for their car insurance policy.

Compare car insurance with Comparoo

To drive on UK roads, you need valid car insurance, no matter what type of licence you hold. With Comparoo, you can quickly and easily compare car insurance policies to find the right cover for you. Simply provide some details about yourself, your car, and your driving history, and we’ll compile a list of quotes that meet your needs.

You can compare policies based on their annual and monthly costs, the excess you’ll have to pay, and the coverage you’ll receive when you purchase the policy. Once you’ve found the policy you want, you can click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

When searching for a policy, keep in mind that price isn’t always the most important factor. It’s important to look for a policy that provides the right amount of coverage for your needs at a fair price to avoid over-or-under-insuring yourself.

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