I exchanged my EU driving license (obtained back in 2004) into a UK one in 2015. The UK driving license therefore says 2015 under 'Date of Issue'.

I'm in the process of getting quotes for car insurance. Under the question "How long have you held your license for?" would I have to say 16 years (from 2004) or 5 years (from 2015)? Seems to make quite a big difference to the final quote.

  • 1
    I would think that this is specific to the insurance company. The question for them is do they count time with a non-UK driving license? Have you asked them? Aug 5 '20 at 11:07
  • Yeah seems so. I've been live chatting with two different insurers and one said I should put down 5 years and the other 16 years..
    – maupertius
    Aug 5 '20 at 11:18
  • But, the minimum-wage telephone answerers wouldn't really have a clue about such a subtle/unusual issue. They're just guessing or passing on something they misheard. Set it aside and simply answer the question literally as asked - "16 years!"
    – Fattie
    Aug 5 '20 at 14:09

I've been in this situation many times. Put down "16 years". After all they literally ask: "How long have you held your license for?"

Don't "borrow trouble" you know? With legal-ish issues if asked for something specific, answer literally, and leave it at that!

  • If the question was "How long have you held a license?" I'd 100% agree with this answer. The problem with "How long have you held your license?" is that if by "your license" they mean "the license you currently hold", then the answer is 5 years. In terms of risk-profiling, the first interpretation seems more logical, but the OP's comment indicates at least one company seems to use the other interpretation (subject to the vagaries of front-line customer service operatives).
    – TripeHound
    Aug 7 '20 at 14:14
  • As a curiosity, that's an excellent point, TH! However, if splitting hairs, I think one could very easily convince one's self that "your" license means that continuum of license. After all, (A) say you simply renewed "your" license (eg, lost the paper, moved etc), you'd surely consider that "new" one to be the same as the "old" one in the wording "your...". And (B) note that in the EU milllieu, it was very much "just a swap"; you could very easily argue it was the same continuum license (example: things like say penalties, outstanding fines etc simply continued after a swap). So!
    – Fattie
    Aug 7 '20 at 14:17
  • What you say is also entirely logical, and if it was anyone but an insurance company involved, I'd happily go along with the interpretation that it's "obviously" the same license. However, from everything I've heard about their weasel tactics, I think I'd either want to see something in their fine-print, or written confirmation to an explicit enquiry..
    – TripeHound
    Aug 7 '20 at 14:25
  • This too is an interesting point. My theory is unfortunately if they can weasel they will weasel, so, I would take the more aggressive approach in general :/
    – Fattie
    Aug 7 '20 at 14:50

The question they're asking is for how long you've been able and qualified to drive. It's a measure of experience. You can check this out for yourself by going to some manner of insurance quote website like moneysupermarket, and putting your details in, looking at the quotes, then going back and changing the amount of time for which you've had your license. The longer that is, the lower the premiums.

How long you've had a piece of plastic has no bearing on insurance premiums. It makes no sense for premiums to jump up to new driver levels when you get a new license.

  • Totally correct.
    – Fattie
    Aug 7 '20 at 14:18

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