Written by Graham Cutbill-White
For most drivers, the driving licence type you have depends simply on whether you’ve passed your driving test or you haven’t, but it’s not always that simple.
Whether it’s a car, a motorbike or even a larger vehicle, there are several different driving licence types you could have and it will have a big impact on what insurance you can get and how much you have to pay.
Once you’ve passed your theory and practical driving tests, you have two years to apply for your full UK licence. This pink licence entitles you to drive anywhere, at any time without supervision.
You are also allowed to use a moped or motorcycle with your full licence, as long as a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) has been completed. Drivers with a full licence can drive either a manual or an automatic vehicle but those with just an automatic licence are only able to drive cars with automatic gearboxes.
Drivers must renew their licence every ten years until you reach 70-years-old when you’ll have to do it every three years to ensure you are still fit to drive.
You must disclose what driving licence type you have when applying for insurance. A full UK licence is the minimum requirement for most insurers, so if you don’t have this, you must apply for specialist insurance depending on what type you have.
With a full driving licence cover is available for annual and temporary insurance policies for your vehicle, however, there are some restrictions based on previous driving penalties. You will find that how long you’ve held your licence, as well other factors such as your address and your vehicle affect how much you pay.
Some people apply for a provisional licence as a form of I.D. but the majority do so, so they can start learning to drive. Until you pass your practical test, you will have a green provisional licence; this means that anytime you are on the road, you must be supervised by a qualified driver who meets a number of requirements/
You can learn to drive with a qualified driving instructor or in a private car with a friend or family member. If you’re learning without a qualified instructor, you must make sure you are properly insured to do so.
Having a provisional licence can mean you may have to pay a large insurance premium because of the lack of experience and increased risk provisional drivers pose. One way for learner drivers to reduce the cost of their insurance to purchase a temporary learner driver policy that covers them for the duration they actually need.
You won’t have to pay for annual cover if you don’t need it and with policies available from one day up to 3 months at a time; you only pay for the cover you need.
It also saves the cost of the vehicle owner as it protects their no claims discount and because it’s a separate policy; their premiums won’t increase because a provisional licence holder is learning in the car.
The European driving licence, which was created in 2013 to replace the growing number of licences types within the EU, can be used to drive in all EU nations as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
If you’re visiting the UK, you will be able to purchase insurance to cover you while you’re here. For temporary trips like holidays and visiting family, short-term insurance is perfect as you only have to pay for the duration of your trip and you’re not restricted because of your licence.
If you have moved to the UK permanently, you will be able to use your full EU licence until it expires.
If you are younger than 67 when you become a resident, you can drive on your licence until you’re 70. If you were 67 or older, you can use your EU licence for three years from the date you become a resident. At that time you’ll be able to exchange it for a GB licence.
Whatever your licence type, there’s a temporary insurance policy to suit your needs. So whether you’re a learner who wants to be insured to practice in your parent’s car, an EU driver looking for car insurance while on holiday or just need to borrow a car from a friend, short-term insurance is the flexible solution to many everyday insurance headaches.
Of course, when it comes to driving licence types for motorbikes, things are completely different. you can read more about motorcycle licence types here.