8 helpful tips for driving in the UK
12 July 2022
New to the UK and looking to drive? Working alongside advanced driving instructors within the TLU community, we have put together some helpful information that can guide and support you in getting on the roads safely and confidently.
Please note this information is a summary and should always be validated within the context of your own specific situation along with DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) and DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency):• DVSA Helpline
• DVLA HelplineUse this as a guidance only. We’ve broken down the tips into 8 easy to read points, but if you have any further questions please feel free to reach out to us via our social channels LinkedIn and **Facebook.1. Ukrainian Driving License & License Exchange for UK License (DVLA)You can drive in the UK on a Ukrainian driving license for up to 12 months; or simply exchange your Ukrainian License for a UK License without having to take a Driving Test.2. Learning to Drive in UK: Applying for Provisional Driving License (DVLA)• If you do not have a full Ukrainian driving license and want to learn to drive while living in the UK you must apply for a UK Provisional Driving Licence.• To apply you must: be at least 15 years and 9 months old, be able to read a UK number plate from 20 metres away and have legally lived in the UK for at least 185 days+ in total in the past 12 months (you must be 17 years old to start driving a car).+or have a Visa giving you permission to stay in the UK for more than 185 days; you will need to send your Passport & Visa confirmation with your license applicationRESIDENCY LEGISLATIONIn order to apply for a GB driving licence you must be resident in GB. This requirement is implemented by virtue of Section 89 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended. A copy of the Road Traffic Act 1988 may be viewed on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information.
3. Getting Help & Guidance with driving in the UK• The AA Driving School is currently offering a FREE confidence building drive for Ukrainian Guests. Visit the AA website here.• Your local IAM RoadSmart or RoSPA Groups may also be worth contracting; both are Road Safety / Driving Standards Charities where volunteer ‘Advanced Drivers’ give feedback on your driving in your own car:
https://rospa.com/safety-training/on-road/driver-training4. The Highway Code and DVSA Know your Traffic Signs (DVSA)• The Highway Code 2022 edition:
https://gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code• Know your Traffic Signs:
5. Child Car Seats: What you need to knowYou must use a Child’s car seat when driving with a young child, baby, or infant. It is the law. See The Highway Code rules 99 to 102 here:
or click here for further information.6. Driving a Ukrainian registered & taxed car in the UK (DVLA)• If staying in the UK for longer than 6 months, the car must be UK Registered and Taxed.• Temporary import of a vehicle into UK• Permanent import of a vehicle into UK• IVA Test• Cars under 10 years old ‘European Certificate of Conformity’ from car’s Manufacturer; MPH Speedo (not GPS); Headlight Beam Adjusted for left (not masked); Fog Lamp positioned right, centre, or pair (not left only).• Any car parked on a Public Road must be taxed, even if not being driven. If parked on Private Land and declared ‘SORN’ (Statutory Off Road Notice) no Road Tax is needed. Declare SORN here.7. Annual MoT Safety Testing requirement for UK registered cars over 3 years old (DVSA)• Cars registered in the UK and over 3 years old must be presented for an annual MoT (Ministry of Transport) Safety inspection.• MoT Testing Stations are UK Government regulated so should give honest advice on safety; corruption is rare in UK testing. You are not obliged to have repairs done by the garage conducting the MoT Test and can seek a second opinion (unless the car is deemed unsafe to move).Please note: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is safe & legal to drive on the road. Long journeys across Europe may have worn tyre tread depths low, or caused other mechanical defects to the car, so having a basic safety inspection on arrival in the UK would be advisable. Halfords Autocentres, and other national garage chains, offer free basic safety checks, with no obligation.The laws on vehicle safety differ in the UK compared to Ukraine therefore it is strongly advised to always maintain your vehicle and ensure it meets the safety requirements needed to stay on the road. Not doing so could result in fines e.g. one defective tyre could result in a £2500 fine.
8. Adjustments for driving in UK• The UK drives on the left-hand side of the road.• Headlights & Speedometer MPH (Miles-Per-Hour) left hand drive cars will need their headlight beam pattern adjusted to avoid dazzling on-coming vehicles when driving. On modern cars this may be a simple adjustment through the car’s programming menu or an under-bonnet adjustment to the headlight unit itself (check your own car’s Owner’s Handbook).• UK Speed Limits are in ‘Miles Per Hour’ (MPH) not ‘Kilometres Per Hour’’: 1 kph = 0.62 mph. Modern electronic Speedometers can often be simply converted to MPH via the car’s programming menus, or garage ECU reprograming. Sat Navs, Phone apps, or standalone speedometers can offer accurate GPS based speed readings in MPH, but these will not pass the IVA Vehicle Import Test.• Key UK speed limits are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 & 70mph.• Blind Spot Mirrors: January 2022 updates to The Highway Code place an additional onus of responsibility on drivers to look out for vulnerable road users, cyclists, motorcyclists, electric scooter users etc., who may pass on either side of the car. Adding some ‘Blind Spot Mirrors’ may help to improve all round vision when driving a left-hand-drive car on the left side of the road in UK.
Tech Link Ukraine are supporting those most affected by the ongoing war with Russia, with the founding members using their experience, connections and expertise to share knowledge and signpost to the best resources out there. Use this only as a guidance. If you have any further questions, please reach out to us via LinkedIn.Version 1 of document. May be updated from time to time.
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