Auto advice: Here’s what drivers with an Irish licence need to know about driving in the UK

Our motoring editor answers your questions on driving licence requirements, speed limits and clean-air zones

You can use your Irish driving licence in the UK without any additional permits

You can use your Irish driving licence in the UK without any additional permits Geraldine Herbert

Today at 03:30

To get a driving licence in the UK, you must be aged at least 17. You can start learning at 16 with a provisional licence and a licensed driver accompanying you.

Tourists must have a full licence and be aged at least 17 years to drive.

What are the legal requirements for driving in the UK?

If you're looking to hire a car, most rental firms require you to be over 21. Extra charges are often applied to those under 25.

What documents do I need?

You must have a valid driving licence, your vehicle registration document and proof of car insurance. It's also wise to carry your passport or other form of ID.

Additionally, having a warning triangle, reflective jackets, spare bulbs, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit on hand can be useful, especially in emergencies, even though not all are legally required.

What about speed limits there?

The standard legal speed limits for driving a private vehicle without a trailer in the UK are as follows: in built-up areas: up to 30mph (48kmh) unless indicated; outside built-up areas: up to 60mph (96kmh); and on motorways and dual carriageways: up to 70mph (112kmh).

Be aware that variable speed limits set by overhead signs are common on motorways.

Additionally, 20mph (32kmh) limits are more common in built-up areas to enhance safety.

What are Clean-Air Zones (CAZs) and where are they?

Clean-Air Zones are special areas in cities and towns across the UK where steps are taken to boost air quality. These zones aim to cut down on pollution by limiting access of the most polluting vehicles and promoting cleaner, eco-friendly transportation.

If your vehicle doesn't meet the set emissions standards, you'll need to pay a charge to drive through these zones, which varies based on the type of vehicle and its emissions.

These charges apply to all vehicles, regardless of where they are registered.

To avoid penalties, ensure your car complies with local regulations before driving in any CAZ. See[1].

Top tip: You can use your Irish driving licence in the UK without any additional permits.

The UK recognises Irish driving licences for both visitors and residents.

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