A study of driving licences issued by 22 countries around the world found those issued by the UK’s DVLA are most useful when hiring cars or driving overseas. The survey by car insurance comparison website CaptainCompare.com rated driving licences on points out of 100.
UK licences scored 97 and shared the top spot with France. Germany was one point behind in third and was followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Spain and the USA. There was a significant gap between the latter two as Spain scored 90 points and the USA was 10 behind.
Australia took tenth place with 76 points. At the foot of the 22-country table, Mexico and South Africa had 65 points and Russia was last with 64. The survey results were based on the number of countries drivers can use their licences in and with the least restrictions.
Drivers with British licences are able to use them without any limitation or the need to obtain an international driving permit in Italy, Spain and Sweden. UK drivers can use their licences for one year in Finland, New Zealand, Japan and Hong Kong.
CaptainCompare.com says this is plenty long enough for the average car rental period or for non-residents to sort out a local licence. UK licence holders do not have to take a test in these nations to get a local licence and it is simply a matter of doing a straight swap.
UK drivers can drive in Canada or Russia for six months before having to go through the same formality of exchanging their licences for local ones. Researchers noted that UK nationals have it easy abroad as their passports were rated the planet’s most accepted recently too.