It's easy to mistake thinking that you're UK Driving license is valid when you go back home to hire a car, you're not it's illegal
22 July 2013| Last updated on 19 June 2017
For all of us who go back to the UK in the summer break, and hire a car, (or even drive your own or someone else’s car) this is important.
Although you may have annually used your UK licence to rent a car, and had no problems with the car hire company, you are using your UK licence illegally. It is not the responsibility of the car hire company to give you this information, your licence carries a valid date, and is registered to a UK address, and that is really the only information they register. HOWEVER…. There is a residency requirement to use the UK licence, and living abroad, we do not meet it.
If, in the event of an incident, whether you are involved in a collision, or road traffic offence, and you have used your UK Licence, you have committed fraud. And although you could argue that either way, you hold a current valid licence in any case – from here, the car hire company or more importantly the insurance company, could hold you accountable.
You must use your UAE driving licence to hire a car in the UK, and the insurance company for either your own or friends car need to be made aware of these details.
I tried today, to find this information in the DVLA website, and ended up ringing them to get confirmation of this (0044 300 790 6801). They confirmed that this is indeed the case, within one year of your leaving the UK to reside abroad, you can still use the UK licence. Once that first year is up, you are no longer meeting the residency requirement to legally use your UK Driving Licence.
By Joyce M for EW