Learning to Drive in the UK as a Foreign Licence Holder (Part 1)

As an American driving licence holder, my licence is only valid in the UK for 1 year after my arrival date. After that, foreign licence holders need to acquire a UK driving licence in order to continue to drive on UK roads.

In this video I talk about that process, from obtaining a provisional licence to the driving lessons I took & the theory test. Although the process is fairly similar for UK citizens, there were a couple of small differences. The most notable being that as a valid foreign licence holder I was able to begin lessons before my UK provisional licence arrived.

Learning to Drive for the UK Driving Test

It is important that you find a driving instructor who has experience with foreign licence holders. My first did not and struggled to find where to start. However, my second instructor had taught a number of people in my situation and was much more practiced at teaching me the differences I needed to know, rather than the basics of driving again.

Also, it is worth practising as much as possible. If you already hold a valid foreign licence, consider hiring a rental car to practice in. Or if you already have a friend/ family member in the UK willing to add you to their motor trader insurance policy – utilise this in addition to your lessons.

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The Practical Test

In next week’s video, I’ll be discussing my experience with the practical driving test and buying my first car in the UK. The practical test was significantly different to my experience in the US, and overall stricter. However, if you find the right instructor and prepare correctly – there is nothing too difficult involved.



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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behaviour Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007, and is the Head Coach for Dogs Trust Dog School Nottinghamshire. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!