insurance policies for impounded cars
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Foreign drivers unknowingly risk their car being impounded

Many foreign drivers in the UK are risking their car being seized by the police and impounded – and they may not even know.

Using your foreign Driver’s License in the UK

If you are over the age of 17 and you have a valid driving license issued outside of the UK, you are allowed to drive a car in the UK for 12 months.

Once a 12 month period has passed, some foreign licenses can still be used for a limited time, some can be exchanged for a UK driver’s license and others become totally invalid meaning a full driving test needs to be taken and a new UK license issued.

If you continue to drive in the UK once your license has become invalid the police may seize your car and take it to the compound. Under section 165a of the Road Traffic Act 1988 police are able to seize any vehicle being driven by somebody who does not hold a valid driver’s license.

If this happens you will need to follow strict guidelines to release your car from the compound and you will need a special impounded car insurance policy.

Impounded Car Insurance UK

How long can I use my foreign driver’s license to drive in the UK?

EU/EEA Driver’s License

If you have obtained your driver’s license in any EU or EEA country, you can legally drive in the UK until you are 70 years of age, or until you have been a UK resident for three years (whichever is longest).

After three years your license must be traded for a UK license.

Driver’s License issued in a “designated country”

The UK has a driver’s licensing agreement with certain countries. This agreement allows drivers from these counties to drive in the UK for up to 12 months. Once 12 months have passed these licenses must be exchanged for a UK driver’s license.

Although you can only drive for a 12 month period you will be able to exchange your license for a UK driver’s license for up to 5 years after becoming a UK resident.

There are 15 designated countries, which are: Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe.

Driver’s License issued in any other country

If your driver’s license was issued in any other country you will be able to drive in the UK for 12 months. Once 12 months have passed you will need to pass both a full driving theory and practical test.

If your car has been seized by the police contact us today to arrange your impounded car insurance policy.

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0800 009 6828