Moving Abroad? Have You Updated Your Driving Licence?

Certain things have changed recently when it comes to hiring a car in the UK, specifically for those who have made the decision to emigrate or retire in the sun and still hold a UK driving licence.

While I am extremely jealous of you all waking up every day to sunshine and being very close to some lovely golf courses, I will put that aside and give you some information and tips on what you need to consider when returning to the UK.

Hire companies in the UK and indeed various European countries are making changes to the security measures they use before handing over a car potentially worth £20,000 – £30,000 to a stranger.

One of the most common checks in the UK is an address check, a little like a credit check which enables the supplier to confirm you are who you say you are. This is starting to cause problems for a number of customers who have moved abroad and no longer have an address in the UK, especially those who haven’t updated their driving licence.

Over the years I have met a lot of people around Europe who hold their British driving licence with pride and do not want to change it for an EU licence or even a licence from their adopted country. This could now start to cause you problems as more and more supplier begin to use the checks mentioned above.

Others do apply for a new licence but keep their British licence for when returning home. Again the above checks will cause you problems if you no longer live at the address on your British driving licence.

If a supplier does provide a car to you based on an incorrect or invalid licence then the insurance could be void which could cause all kinds of issues for the driver as ultimately on UK roads it is the drivers responsibility the ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and insured properly.

Driving Licence Tips

Below are some tips to help you avoid any issues when hiring a car if you no longer live in the UK.

  • 1: If you no longer have a residence in the UK then you must apply for a new licence with the local authorities.
  • 2: If you still have an address in the UK then make sure this address is the one on your current licence.
  • 3: If you are not resident in the UK, you will be required to provide your passport and an international driving permit if your driving licence was issued outside of the EU.
  • 4: If you are not resident in the UK, some suppliers will require you to provide proof of your return flights before handing over the keys to your car.
  • 5: If your licence states that you are resident in the UK then you will be required to provide ID such as a utlity bill or bank statement to prove the address on your driving licence is valid.

Obviously any or all of the above could cause you problems if your licence details are not up to date or have not been issued by the correct authority. If you are unsure then you should contact the DVLA or speak to one of our experts who will be happy to help.