Many people seem to be confused or are not sure of what the legal requirements are to drive a car here in the UK, so I'm going to explain them in this article.
Basically there are 3 steps to driving a car on any highway (public road) here.
1. A driving licence. This can either be a provisional licence, in which case you will never be able to drive on your own, so single seat cars are out, nor will you be able to go onto motorways, otherwise you can drive any vehicle as long as your supervisor has held a licence long enough in that catergory.
If you have a full pink British licence then you can drive alone in any car covered by your licence category (automatic does not allow you to drive a manual unsupervised in any circumstances).
A foreign international driving licence can be used by a visitor to the UK for the first 12 months of them arriving in the UK, and covers them for the same category of vehicles valid in their home country.
2. Insurance on the car. This where a lot of people seem to be unclear, You the driver needs to have insurance to drive the car no matter the type of licence you possess, who legally owns the car, who the car's registered owner is or who is in the vehicle with you.
The insurance policy will either specifically mention your name being allowed to drive this particular car (most likely to be the case of a provisional licence holder), or if you have comprehensive insurance then you are usually covered on a 3rd party basis (check your policy or ask insurance company, don't assume) to drive any other car (within licence category) as long as the owner agrees.
3. Car must be road worthy. Many people tend to ignore this requirement of the road traffic act, but you still need to make sure that the vehicle you are in charge of meets the minimum legal specificatons for it to be driven on a public highway. This includes having a valid MOT certificate, current non exprired Road Tax disc displayed, working headlights and brake lights, tyres with enough tread (1.6mm), windsreen tints and number plates, etc.
As a driver you must fufill all 3 requirements listed above for you not to have fear the of the police and their ANPR cars, the risk of getting penalty points on your driving licence. Remember you the driver are responsible for your actions, no matter your age, who owns the car, who is in the car with you.
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