Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:01
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 3
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
RedHorse has no particular reputation at present
Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Hi,

I now have a Swisss drivers license as I have been here for over a year. However, i am back in the UK now and then (next time Aug) and like normal tried to get added to my parents insurance so i can survive without the Swiss transport system when back.......turns out the insurance company wont touch me because i dont have a UK license now!

Any one got any work arounds or ideas?

Dont want to hire a car.

Cheers
r
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:05
Castro's Avatar
à la mod
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Basel-Land of Smiles
Posts: 5,339
Groaned at 108 Times in 86 Posts
Thanked 15,771 Times in 5,052 Posts
Castro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

I spent almost 4 years living in the UK with a Swiss driver's licence (don't ask ) and during that time I was insured with elephant.co.uk and Norwich Union, neither of whom had a problem with my non UK driver's licence. There was only one company that I recall (I think Highway insurance) who refused to insure me, but most of the others treated it as if it were EU.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:06
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,899
Groaned at 97 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 1,932 Times in 921 Posts
Anthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

call your main gov house for your city, they send your UK drivers license there and you can trade in the Swiss one for the UK , just like you did here
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:10
Scoobysue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basel
Posts: 234
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 29 Posts
Scoobysue is considered knowledgeableScoobysue is considered knowledgeableScoobysue is considered knowledgeable
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

I drive in the UK on my Swiss Licence all the time (well, whenever I'm there, so a couple of times a year). I would guess my parents mentioned it to the insurance company when I swapped for my Swiss licence. Or maybe they didn't; I don't know.

Now that you've been told by the insurers that the Swiss licence is not acceptable to them, that particular 'head in the sand' approach may not work. What if - and it's equally dodgy - you used your parents' address to get your DVLA licence reissued? I don't know if they'd then want to confiscate your Swiss one in return which would obviously only mess things up even further.

Sorry I can't give you a definitive answer nor even a particularly helpful one.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Scoobysue for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:21
Castro's Avatar
à la mod
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Basel-Land of Smiles
Posts: 5,339
Groaned at 108 Times in 86 Posts
Thanked 15,771 Times in 5,052 Posts
Castro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond reputeCastro has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Actually scoobysue makes a good point, although I mentioned to my insurers that I had a Swiss licence it was up to me to ensure that I didn't drive in the UK beyond one year. I was just too lazy to swap it back to my UK one and in the end my procrastination meant that when I returned for my second (and current) tour of duty here, I was already with Swiss licence.

Bottom line is that ignorance is no excuse under the law and had I had an accident I'm pretty sure my insurers would have discovered my lapse and I could even have been prosecuted for not having a valid licence
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Castro for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:23
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 10,690
Groaned at 281 Times in 232 Posts
Thanked 19,403 Times in 7,402 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

For UK trackdays you need to take with you an EU driving licence - I have yet to find anywhere that has had a problem with the Swiss licence.

I am waiting for the day I get stopped by the police in the UK and hand over my race and Swiss licences - neither of which they can endorse
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:44
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kt. Zürich
Posts: 9,606
Groaned at 402 Times in 347 Posts
Thanked 17,159 Times in 9,240 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
For UK trackdays you need to take with you an EU driving licence - I have yet to find anywhere that has had a problem with the Swiss licence.

I am waiting for the day I get stopped by the police in the UK and hand over my race and Swiss licences - neither of which they can endorse
One of those questions where you need a lawyer.....!

You did qualify for a UK licence & you did pay for it I assume & no UK court took away your right to drive?
Just because the Swiss sent it to the DVLA in UK who are keeping it for you may not necessarily mean your UK licence is no longer valid in UK?
I do not know if the DVLA cancel it or just keep it? They certainly do not send any money back to you it it was cancelled.

Maybe the following is relevant?

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...ng/DG_10023103

Somewhere near the bottom of the page:
"Moving to another country
If you move to another country, you should check with the driving licence authorities there for information about driving and exchange of licences. You don't need to notify DVLA of a change of address when moving to live abroad.
Returning to GB
If you return to GB from a non-EC/EEA country and are not in possession of a GB licence, you may:
drive for up to 12 months on your foreign licence
apply for a duplicate of your GB licence on payment of a fee"
Marton
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Gächlingen SH
Posts: 254
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 180 Times in 63 Posts
vicladyuk is considered knowledgeablevicladyuk is considered knowledgeablevicladyuk is considered knowledgeable
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

i have a swiss licence (prev UK licence) and when i go home my mum adds me to her insurance with no problems at all so it should not be a problem for you either
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 26.07.2010, 16:51
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,086
Groaned at 486 Times in 405 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
"Moving to another country
If you move to another country, you should check with the driving licence authorities there for information about driving and exchange of licences. You don't need to notify DVLA of a change of address when moving to live abroad.
Returning to GB
If you return to GB from a non-EC/EEA country and are not in possession of a GB licence, you may:
drive for up to 12 months on your foreign licence
apply for a duplicate of your GB licence on payment of a fee"
Marton

doesn't work if you have exchanged for a swiss licence, if you apply for a duplicate uk one they won't give you one, it also shows up that your old uk licence isn't valid.

eta Direct line also wont touch you without a uk licence
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26.07.2010, 17:00
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ticino & London
Posts: 1,969
Groaned at 165 Times in 89 Posts
Thanked 1,132 Times in 622 Posts
Cashboy has a reputation beyond reputeCashboy has a reputation beyond reputeCashboy has a reputation beyond reputeCashboy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
Hi,

I now have a Swisss drivers license as I have been here for over a year. However, i am back in the UK now and then (next time Aug) and like normal tried to get added to my parents insurance so i can survive without the Swiss transport system when back.......turns out the insurance company wont touch me because i dont have a UK license now!

Any one got any work arounds or ideas?

Dont want to hire a car.

Cheers
r
You should not have too much of a problem getting insurance.
Try Tesco on line or the AA on line for example.
The question they generally ask is whether you have an EC Treaty (includes Switzerland) and there is no additional premium. I think there might even be a drop down box for choice if I remember correctly.
I have both a UK and Swiss licence.
I insure myself in the UK on a UK registered car using my Swiss name and licence. It saves getting points on the UK licence.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 26.07.2010, 17:59
digg's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 402
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 116 Times in 81 Posts
digg has earned some respectdigg has earned some respect
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

I am commonly on my mum's insurance. They asked if I once had a British licence which of course I did.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 26.07.2010, 18:52
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 10,690
Groaned at 281 Times in 232 Posts
Thanked 19,403 Times in 7,402 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

I also had a couple of cars when I was back in the UK - although still based in Switzerland - second homes and all that - and I had no problem with my Swiss licence.

That was with Admiral at the time.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 26.07.2010, 20:05
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
One of those questions where you need a lawyer.....!

You did qualify for a UK licence & you did pay for it I assume & no UK court took away your right to drive?
Just because the Swiss sent it to the DVLA in UK who are keeping it for you may not necessarily mean your UK licence is no longer valid in UK?
I do not know if the DVLA cancel it or just keep it? They certainly do not send any money back to you it it was cancelled.

Maybe the following is relevant?

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...ng/DG_10023103

Somewhere near the bottom of the page:
"Moving to another country
If you move to another country, you should check with the driving licence authorities there for information about driving and exchange of licences. You don't need to notify DVLA of a change of address when moving to live abroad.
Returning to GB
If you return to GB from a non-EC/EEA country and are not in possession of a GB licence, you may:
drive for up to 12 months on your foreign licence
apply for a duplicate of your GB licence on payment of a fee"
Marton
The above is on point. Since your Swiss licence was obtained by exchange for a licence for which you had taken EU (or, if pre-EU, in a country which later became a member state) theory and practical tests, it can be freely exchanged for a UK one, and must be within twelve months of your becoming resident.

So long as your Swiss (or any other) licence can be traced back to an EU licence for which you took the tests, you can exchange it for a UK one.

An EU licence need not be exchanged until you reach age 70 (or drive a commercial vehicle) but it is not eligible for exchange and may not be used to drive in the UK after 12 months unless you took and passed EU theory and practical tests, etc. But Swiss licences do not benefit from that right.

The DVLA keeps records forever. As does Switzerland (my wife resurrected her old Geneva blue paper licence and exchanged it for a Vaud credit-card format in 5 minutes or less.)

An insurance company should know all this. Even the RBK&C parking permit office knows. To get a parking permit I had to take the UK tests and get a UK licence (third time lucky on the pass) even though I have lots of others, including a French one for which I took no tests and (ironically) was obtained by giving them a British diplomatic one for which I took no tests. (Until I passed, the Council was understanding, and gave me successive 3-month extensions.)

It is contrary to EU law to hold two or more EU licences (for the same reason as the USA rule: to combat evasion of DUI suspensions). That rule doesn't apply if you are grandfathered in (one of your issuing countries joined the EU after you got the licence) or for non-EU countries like Switzerland. So it should be possible (and, in the case of dual residents, necessary) to hold both a Swiss and a UK licence. Even though the practice seems to be otherwise.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 26.07.2010, 20:38
Scoobysue's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Basel
Posts: 234
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 29 Posts
Scoobysue is considered knowledgeableScoobysue is considered knowledgeableScoobysue is considered knowledgeable
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

I'd guess it's okay to hold both. I spoke to the DVLA call centre the other day to ask about getting back my DVLA licence before I go to live in the Middle East. The biggest stumbling block for my 'helpful call operator' was that I will not be resident in the UK in between foreign residencies. At no point did he say the Swiss licence would have to be handed in, only that I could not reclaim my licence without being resident. Finally I established that it's only necessary to 'have an address in the UK' to get the licence reissued.

I'm going to chance my luck on getting the DVLA one back and will report back if successful.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 27.07.2010, 08:31
swissbob
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
I'd guess it's okay to hold both.
It is most certainly not ok.

Quote:
View Post
At no point did he say the Swiss licence would have to be handed in, only that I could not reclaim my licence without being resident.
Did you specifically ask that question?

Quote:
View Post
I'm going to chance my luck on getting the DVLA one back and will report back if successful.
Good luck with that . When you changed to a Swiss license the Swiss sent your license back to the DVLA. On applying for that license from the DVLA the DVLA will inform the Swiss and your Swiss license will be cancelled.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 27.07.2010, 08:35
swissbob
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
call your main gov house for your city, they send your UK drivers license there and you can trade in the Swiss one for the UK , just like you did here
In the UK driving licenses are handled by a central body and not regional centers.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 27.07.2010, 08:41
swissbob
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
That rule doesn't apply if you are grandfathered in (one of your issuing countries joined the EU after you got the licence) or for non-EU countries like Switzerland. So it should be possible (and, in the case of dual residents, necessary) to hold both a Swiss and a UK licence. Even though the practice seems to be otherwise.
Isn't this covered by one of the many bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU member states which is why the Swiss send your exchanged UK license straight back to the DVLA?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 27.07.2010, 09:20
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
Isn't this covered by one of the many bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU member states which is why the Swiss send your exchanged UK license straight back to the DVLA?
No, EEA/Swiss licences are not covered by the EC Directives. There is a bilateral agreement. That said, Switzerland approximates (that's an EU legal term = rapprocher, angleichen) EC law in many ways, if only out of necessity -- quite beside its obligations under the Treaties. Thus: the totalisation agreement for AVS/UK state pension. Only EEA/Switzerland and the USA have such agreements with the UK that grant COLAs to retirees. (I haven't checked whether that agreement is mandated by the Treaties or not; but UK retirees in Canada, Australia, NZ, etc. are cheated out of their COLAs; the USA threatened retaliation (zero pension for social security retirees in the UK and other countries unless they paid full pensions to those in the USA; other non-EU countries don't have that clout).

I digress to show how political and external elements intervene in such matters.

I think (but do not know) that the return of the UK driving licences to DVLA is a matter of policy and not of law. There is no legal impediment to holding both a Swiss and a UK licence as far as I can discern. But countries dislike drivers having multiple licences without good reason because of the statistical fact that drivers with suspended licences tend to drive anyway, especially those with DUI convictions. And they are driving without insurance (although unlike the USA there may be (and always are, if the other car bears another "green card state" licence plate -- fake, forged, stolen or not) a national uninsured motorist fund, normally managed by that country's Insurance Bureau, that has to cover claims. (In practice, collecting for a small claim is often not cost-effective. And sadly in Europe they don't have "uninsured motorist cover" as in the USA because the law I just explained is supposed to take care of it.)

EU law on driving licenses, and the insurance directives, are very clear -- but applicable only within the EU. I explained the rules earlier; a foreign EU licence, even with an invalid address, is valid until its expiration or until an age limit (70 in the UK) is reached: http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/nav/e.../index_en.html But this has nothing to do with Switzerland; and the Swiss licence format is irrelevant.

(As an aside, there is no such thing as an "EU Passport", the format of EU passports is based on a Council Recommendation, and these have no force of law. EU laws are Regulations (binding statutes) and Directives (that may be directly applicable but generally need to be legislated in each member state). There must be about a hundred different formats of driving licences valid within the EU until, in due course, they are replaced with the standard credit-card format. (But here again the UK diverges, with its paper counterpart that you are supposed to carry about, and without which you will have trouble hiring a car at Geneva Airport, etc.))

Outside the EU, the exchangeability of foreign driving licences depends entirely on bilateral agreement and unilateral practice -- diplomats aside. Here's one example (an EP petition denial) that explains the rule: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdo...7/777517en.pdf

I don't mean to give a lecture, just to try to show how Switzerland sometimes imitates EU practice without having the legal basis that would give a plenary result.

In real life, one gets away with driving with an unrecognised (usually because one is resident for more than 12 months) licence. And because Swiss have unrestricted travel within Europe, unless a Swiss licence holder is driving a car registered in his own name in the country in which he is stopped by the police or has an accident, it won't be obvious that he is driving unlicensed. Even his insurance company probably won't notice, unless it's a major loss. And then -- even though the insurer may have to pay -- the policyholder may be sued for recovery by his own insurer for violation of policy terms.

It is always stupid to lie to one's own insurer. It's bad enough that (independent) insurance agents, acting for the insured and not the insurance company, often make misrepresentations out of negligence -- and the insured may suffer. I heard (from someone sitting next to me at a dinner) that her mother's car had been stolen and the insurer refused to pay because when she bought the comprehensive insurance from the AA she had not volunteered that the car would be garaged elsewhere than on the street where she lived.

(When my daughter went off to Uni in Belfast I specifically asked my car insurance company and they didn't care. But this other poor woman's did. My insurance company asks for my driving licence number. But they also don't care what country issued it. Maybe because they aren't a public insurer but a "mutual reinsurance exchange", members only. Still, I'd hate to have a personal injury claim against me for them to defend, and have to tell them that I don't have a UK licence but only a Swiss one.)

Long-winded and largely off-topic. Sorry.

Last edited by andy02; 27.07.2010 at 09:45.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 27.07.2010, 10:42
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Winkel(Zurich)
Posts: 183
Groaned at 7 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 245 Times in 74 Posts
darrylmitchell has a reputation beyond reputedarrylmitchell has a reputation beyond reputedarrylmitchell has a reputation beyond reputedarrylmitchell has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

I am assuming this practice of returning one's license back to the country of origin when applying for a Swiss license is only for EU nationals.... I am an American, and when I applied for my Swiss license they sent both license(Swiss and American) back to me in the mail.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 27.07.2010, 10:44
swissbob
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Driving in the UK with a Swiss license

Quote:
View Post
I am assuming this practice of returning one's license back to the country of origin when applying for a Swiss license is only for EU nationals.... I am an American, and when I applied for my Swiss license they sent both license(Swiss and American) back to me in the mail.
Correct, but your US license is no longer valid in Switzerland - it should have a stamp / sticer to that effect.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ch license, driving in uk




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Driving in US with Swiss License Ashley Mac Transportation/driving 60 06.07.2017 00:42
Swiss driving license in Florida Nathu General off-topic 2 11.08.2008 18:08


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:50.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0