Car Insurance - UK Driving Licence

We moved here end August and need to buy a french car, can i get insurance with my uk licence as website says valid until end of 2021.
Can’t change to French licence as don’t have out social security number as CPAM keep asking for additional documentation so still on going any help would be appreciated

@fabien is your point of call or use the image link at the top of the page.


You don’t need to change your Driving Licence just yet…
and YES, you can get your car insured when you still have UK licence.

As Graham suggests… click on Insurance and take those first steps.

good luck

You should be able to as I know many that haven’t changed their driving licences to French ones & have insurance though French companies.

You can get car insured on uk licence, friend of ours lived here 26 years still has a uk paper license and is just changing as we have to have done this by 31.12 2021!

mea culpa

Hi Warren, you are correct but it’s also important to point out (from a purely biased perspective which is the one of an insurance broker :wink: ) that this is simply illegal to not import a foreign registered vehicle. Also note that I’m insuring roughly a dozen people each year which got their policy terminated by such French company willing to “look the other way”. This happens often when the agent is audited and all the policies that he was insuring this way are simply terminated, the problem for the customer is that the premium doubles (if that person is lucky)… i’ve seen much much worse situations.

And of course there is the issue of law enforcement, if you’re being pulled over or if you’re involved in a big accident (with corporal damages) it is highly likely that law enforcement will notice there is something with the registration plate and an insurance slip that is more than 3 months old (the maximum legal tolerance)… and then you’re up for big troubles :wink:

All that to say that the risks far outweighs the benefits so it’s okay to exceed the tolerance for importation delay a bit (like 6 months instead of 3, no one will send you to jail for this indeed) but it’s not okay to consider you can dodge the bullet the whole time… eventually you risk being caught and god you’ll be over your depth at that point and this is not something I want my beloved British expats to experience :stuck_out_tongue:


Is there a bit of topic-slip here? The O.P. was asking about driving licences. I think Fabien’s comments relate to re-registering a UK plated car to FR plates. If the O.P. buys a local car, it will have FR plates from new.

DVLA told me that UK drivers’ licences will continue to be recognised as valid in the EU until such time as the EU - or possibly individual countries - decides they’re not. DVLA told me they have no plans or instructions to the contrary

OR - you turn 70 and have to get a local licence, which is why I have a SP licence, good for all EU.

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nope UK licence and insurance were in the original question…

original poster…

Wozza’s reply:
“You should be able to as I know many that haven’t changed their driving licences to French ones & have insurance though French companies.”

:wink: :thinking: :+1: :+1:

Yes it was Fabian that mentioned foreign registered vehicles. The OP only mentioned Uk driving license and insurance for a French car.

. Car Insurance is something which folk need all the guidance they can get… in my view…

Sorry but there is topic slip. The poster wanted to know can he buy and insure a French car with an English driving licence and of course he can. Nothing to do with importing a car. Until recently the French authorities had said that there was no need to change licences residents but that has now changed and it is necessary, if resident in France, to change to a French licence before the end of 2021. Just a simple exchange and actually they are asking people not to do it straight away as they are a little busy right now.

I drive a French registered car and as my UK photocard expires in August I will make the swap before then. Unless I get stopped for a traffic offence, of course - the gendarmes can insist that you change your licence in order to have points deducted and then you have to do it before the deadline.


it would be good if the French authorities in Nates got their act together. My wife and I sent our driving licences off to get French ones in July 2019. We heard nothing until the applications came back in the post in March 2020.

Does anyone know if the situation has changed?



Hi Russell… no need to be sorry… this is a friendly forum and we don’t have to agree with one another…

The manner of the forum is discussion… in friendly fashion…

and, since the Title of this Thread is:

Car Insurance - UK Driving Licence

Discussing either or both is surely not unlikely to happen… :wink: :thinking: :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

But that’s my point - the drift was towards insuring a UK registered vehicle and the OP did not ask that, and in fact his question makes clear that is not what he is planning to do. I don’t quite know how it drifted away, but drift it did.

Oh my… we obviously have drifted apart… :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

If you noticed… the OP did get his question answered… and then… folk began to chat and discuss… and…

what is this SP licence?

@davew SuPerior :wink:
I think he means Spanish… or ES as the official abbreviation.

Has it? The French government service-public web site still says that there is no need change, subject to licence validity.

Conduire en France avec un permis délivré en Europe (EEE + Royaume-Uni)

L’échange d’un permis de conduire obtenu dans un État européen n’est pas nécessaire pour conduire en France. Cette démarche est obligatoire uniquement si vous demandez une nouvelle catégorie du permis ou si vous commettez en France certaines infractions routières.

Vos droits à conduire sont différents selon que vous avez obtenu directement votre permis dans un État européen ou en échange d’un permis délivré par un autre État.


Trouble is that various web sites can be contradictory as in this case as I definitely read on either HMG or Fr.gouv that must be exchanged by 31.12.21.
My uk runs out in Aug (70 :frowning:) so submitted yesterday…any body received their exchange recently and how long did it take.