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Applying for car insurance as a non-British driver

Many people travel from abroad to work or study in the UK. If you've moved from overseas and plan to live here on a long-term basis, it's likely you'll want to drive a car at some point. The requirements for this are exactly the same as for British drivers. If you're buying your own vehicle, you must make sure it is registered in your name, taxed, insured and has a valid MOT.

If you're using a driving licence from another country, it might have to be swapped for a UK equivalent. Generally, if you're visiting from another European country, you will find that your licence is valid, but if you've moved from elsewhere in the world or you just want to be sure, visit Gov.uk and answer a few simple questions to see if you're able to drive on your current licence.

Researching your insurance

Car insurance is a legal requirement for driving on UK roads. When it comes to car insurance for non-British drivers, the types of cover available are the same as for British drivers, starting with third party only as the minimum, followed by third party fire and theft, and comprehensive. Each type of insurance varies in terms of the level of cover available - for example, third party only will cover damage to other vehicles and property, but not to your own vehicle if you're at fault.

The type of car being insured, where it is parked, and the profession, age and experience of the driver will all come into play when calculating a premium. Generally, non-British drivers are considered a higher risk as they're less accustomed to UK roads, so many insurance providers will adjust the amount accordingly.

Using a foreign no claims discount

One of the most effective ways to reduce an insurance premium is with a no claims discount - a discount based on the number of years you've spent driving without incident. When providing coverage for non-British drivers, many providers will recognise the years spent driving abroad and take this into account when setting your premium.