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Need help with your car rental? Phone: 0808-164-1480
Need help with your car rental?
Phone: 0808-164-1480

Licence Requirements When Hiring a Car in the UK

licence requirements

Did you know that you can drive in the UK for up to 12 months if you have a valid driver's licence from your own country? Getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) might be a good idea as well since they are easy to obtain. To learn more whether you will need an IDP or if your licence is accepted, VroomVroomVroom has put together a quick guide to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free booking experience.

What types of driver's licence do I need to rent a car?

Visitors to the UK must present a full and valid driving licence for at least one year. All drivers must produce photographic ID - this can be a passport or driving licence, while international travellers must produce a passport, proof of return travel and residency information while in the UK.

Learn more about the rental rules for each car rental provider here.

Can I rent a car if I'm from the UK, but have a non-EU licence?

If you hold a non-EU licence but you reside in the UK, you may be permitted to drive for up to 12 months from the time you become a resident. Note that after 12 months, your overseas licence will be deemed illegal in the UK and it must be exchanged for the UK equivalent. Those with non-EU licence must produce a full valid passport at the time of rental and the reservation name must match the name on the driving licence.

Can I use my Community Driving Licence to hire a car in the UK?

Generally, i f you hold a valid Community licence and you are visiting Great Britain, you may be allowed to drive any vehicle for as long as your licence remains valid. Please note that the appropriate full entitlement for the vehicle you wish to drive must be shown on your licence.

Do I need an International Driving Permit in the UK?

You will need to provide an International Driving Permit if your own driver's licence is not printed fully in English. In most those with a driver's licence issued from the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand do not require an IDP to be able to rent a car in the UK. However, keep in mind that some car rental companies may require one if you are planning to drive across the channel, crossing by either Le Shuttle or a ferry. Make sure to call and confirm this with your car rental provider.

Click here to know how you can get an IDP.

What should I do if my licence still has my old address on it?

You will need to provide documentation that is less than 3 months old to prove where you live. This can be utility bills, a bank statement etc. As long as it has your address on the document for the car rental company to see. Keep in mind that the document that you share with the car rental company needs to be an original and not a copy.


A few things to remember

You will need to make sure you meet the relevant licence requirements before you can rent a car in the UK. If you have a licence from outside the EU, you will need to check whether you will need an International Driving Permit or not. Note that an IDP is not a driver's licence and cannot be used in place of one.