Driving A Left-Hand Drive Car In The UK: Is It Legal?

Often imported cars from America and Europe, left-hand drive cars are perfectly legal and the short answer is yes, you can drive a left-hand drive car in the UK, however, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

What Paperwork Do I Need For A Left-Hand Car?

If you are looking to import a left-hand drive car into the UK, you will need to make certain that it has been registered with HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) and the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

You’ll also need vehicle approval. If your car has been made in Europe this means you need a European Certificate of Conformity and a Mutual Recognition certificate. If the car is being imported from outside of Europe, you’ll need Individual Vehicle Approval.

Our Tips For Driving A Left-Hand Drive Car In The UK

On top of ensuring that you have the right insurance and paperwork, there are a few practical tips to keep in mind when driving the vehicle.


On a right-hand drive car, you can easily see oncoming traffic when overtaking. However, in a left-hand drive car, your vision will be limited. To safely overtake, keep a good distance from the car in front and you’ll be able to see a lot more of the road ahead.


A left-hand drive import will need adapted headlights to make sure that you do not dazzle oncoming traffic. These adaptions do not typically cost much, however failing to do so could result in a fine.

Speed Limits

If your car is from Europe, the speedometer will be in kilometres rather than miles per hour. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the conversions to ensure that you stay at the right speed.

Lane Control

Left-hand drive vehicles can be a little disorientating when it comes to keeping in the right lane. Keep this in mind to stop yourself from drifting onto the wrong side of the road and blocking oncoming traffic. It’s a good idea to practice driving in a quiet place first to get used to a left-hand drive car on UK roads.


The steering wheel being on the left-hand side can make ticket machines and drive-throughs a little tricky as they are designed for right-hand drive cars! Make sure that you, or your passenger, are prepared to get out of the car when needed and safe to do so!

Vehicle Size

Check the size of your vehicle before buying. If it’s an American car, you may find that it is far bigger than UK and European cars, making it harder to park at times.

Do I Need Special Insurance To Drive Left-Hand Drive Cars?

Some left-hand drive cars may be covered on a typical car insurance policy, yet some will need something a little more specialist. It is advised that you check with an insurance specialist who will be able to check which policy you need with the number plate, just to be sure.

If you own a left-hand drive car in the UK, you may need an import car insurance policy.

Here at Advance Insurance, we are specialists in imported cars and are dedicated to ensuring that drivers get the right cover. Speak to our team today for unparalleled expertise and excellent advice.

Share blog post


advance insurance

New Business
8 Avon Reach
SN15 1EE

Advance insurance

16 High Street
BA13 3BW

Advance insurance

Imperial House,
College Court,
Regent Circus,

Advance insurance

16 Fore Street
BA14 8HA