Rule change in May means drivers UAE, do not have to repeat their test if moving or visiting the UK
Drivers who pass their test in the UAE can now exchange their licence for a British licence.
New rules mean, UAE residents with driver license are no longer required to repeat their driving test if they move to the UK.
The decision, which came into effect on May 20, comes after public consultation by the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
The same rules were extended to Taiwan, Ukraine and North Macedonia.
Testing standards are equivalent and so there is no value in requiring the driver to repeat a test to get a licence in the UK
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Under previous rules, drivers who had a UAE licence could use it for a year in the UK, before having to take a British theory and practical test. The process can often cost £1,000 ($1,400), depending on a person’s driving skills.
The move will mostly benefit Emirati and expat students, UAE residents visiting the UK for longer periods, and expats who learnt in the Emirates and return home.
Exchanging an Emirati licence for a British one costs £43.
British officials said they were satisfied that the level of instruction and examination was sufficiently rigorous to be on par with the UK.
“Testing standards for the specified vehicle categories are equivalent and so there is no value in requiring the driver to repeat a test to get a GB licence,” DVLA said, summing up the responses to its consultation.
“The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has approved the standards for cars in respect of North Macedonia, Taiwan and Ukraine, and for cars and small motorcycles not exceeding 125cc in respect of United Arab Emirates
Despite the change, Emiratis and UAE residents may face one clear hurdle – the vast majority of UAE licences are for automatic vehicles, whereas most UK cars are manual.
A driver with an automatic licence would have to find an automatic car, which have gradually grown in popularity, or take a small number of lessons and repeat the DVLA test.