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Thai wife driving in UK


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I am not sure if this is the correct forum to ask. My wife comes to the UK every year for a few months. This year I am having a hip replacement so cannot drive. My wife Haa a full Thai driving licence and I know she can drive in the UK for up to a year. What about insurance. Does anyone have experience of adding a Thai to a UK insurance policy. How much it will cost? Any idea of insurance companies who will do this?

 

Thanks

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It should be possible to get UK car insurance with a foreign driving licence, but it is often expensive, as international drivers are generally considered to be at higher risk of an accident and are therefore more likely to make a claim. 
 

As with all insurance policies, costs will depend on the type of car you have and the level of insurance required, third party only cover, third party, fire and theft or comprehensive cover. Insurers will normally also ignore any no-claims years accrued on the foreign licence, so the premiums will be increased.

 

Think @HauptmannUK gave good advice, you may find it cheaper to hire a car or use taxis.

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She will need to learn to drive UK style and follow the road laws, no Thai style driving in the UK.

Key points would be:

stay within the road lines

Do not go over the yellow centre lines

Learn how round abouts actually work.

No over taking when there is traffic coming towards you.

Stay within the speed limit.

 

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Bit late now but best would have been for her to get a UK licence in the past. 
 

Maybe a little different now but when we lived in the UK … in 2002 onwards …MrsJ studied the Highway Code for six weeks and during that time had driving lessons … passing her test seemed no problem.

 

Plenty on the internet for her to practice the multi choice questions and the videos. I don’t recall having to pay any extra car insurance … was insured through Cornhill.

 

She very quickly learned that ‘the Thai smile’ doesn’t help when you want to push in … initially roundabouts scared the <deleted> out of me and the driving instructor … lol

Edited by JAS21
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43 minutes ago, stupidfarang said:

She will need to learn to drive UK style and follow the road laws, no Thai style driving in the UK.

Key points would be:

stay within the road lines

Do not go over the yellow centre lines

Learn how round abouts actually work.

No over taking when there is traffic coming towards you.

Stay within the speed limit.

No turning left on red. Absolutely no running red lights even though the way ahead may appear to be clear.

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10 hours ago, jimn said:

I am not sure if this is the correct forum to ask. My wife comes to the UK every year for a few months. This year I am having a hip replacement so cannot drive. My wife Haa a full Thai driving licence and I know she can drive in the UK for up to a year. What about insurance. Does anyone have experience of adding a Thai to a UK insurance policy. How much it will cost? Any idea of insurance companies who will do this?

 

Thanks

 

Not sure where you are and where you are having your hip replacement done but you might want to bear in mind that it is possible to be driving again within 2-3 weeks. Average I think is 4 weeks (like me). However most doctors recommend 6 weeks (probably CYA). So, if you are having surgery in Thailand, then if you could arrange it a couple of months before you go to the UK, then you should be able to drive there yourself.

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3 minutes ago, nauseus said:

 

Not sure where you are and where you are having your hip replacement done but you might want to bear in mind that it is possible to be driving again within 2-3 weeks. Average I think is 4 weeks (like me). However most doctors recommend 6 weeks (probably CYA). So, if you are having surgery in Thailand, then if you could arrange it a couple of months before you go to the UK, then you should be able to drive there yourself.

 

Was just googling around and this popped up FYI:

 

https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/patient-care/recovering-from-surgery/total-hip-replacement/driving/

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@jimn  - We do exactly this 2x per year.

 

- Visit the UK

- Wife as a named driver on one of my Parents Cars

-  *An IDP was not necessary (there is a dual agreement between Thailand and the UK and the Thai DL is in English)

- A non-UK license holder can only be added to insurance for a fixed period (i.e. 10 days, 2 weeks, a month whatever you need etc)

- It costs very little to add my Wife (the admin fee is often more - i.e. its less than £25 for 4 weeks).

 

 

*others mentioned an IDP was asked for - no harm in getting one anyway.

 

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On 4/21/2024 at 4:58 AM, HauptmannUK said:

Cost of car insurance for a few months cover for a non-resident foreign national with non-UK licence will be astronomical - if you can even get a quote.  Cheaper to rent a car with included insurance and/or use taxis, depending on distances to be travelled.

 

 

It appears that the Op wants to add his Wife as a named driver, not as the main policy holder...    Or at least thats what I assumed what he means when he wrote below (adding - which is £25 to add my Wife to an existing policy)

 

So, I'm guessing the Op has a car in the UK already (on which he has insurance)...  and as he wrote my wife 'comes' to the UK, I assume the Op is currently in the UK and his Wife is in Thailand and visits for a couple of months every year. 

 

On 4/21/2024 at 2:44 AM, jimn said:

Does anyone have experience of adding a Thai to a UK insurance policy

 

On 4/21/2024 at 2:44 AM, jimn said:

My wife comes to the UK every year for a few months.

 

 

 

Its incredible how a lack of clarity in a Op can lead to such conflicting answers... 

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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5 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

It appears that the Op wants to add his Wife as a named driver, not as the main policy holder...    Or at least thats what I assumed what he means when he wrote below (adding - which is £25 to add my Wife to an existing policy)

 

So, I'm guessing the Op has a car in the UK already (on which he has insurance)...  and as he wrote my wife 'comes' to the UK, I assume the Op is currently in the UK and his Wife is in Thailand and visits for a couple of months every year. 

Thanks Richard just for clarification, we normally spend about 6 months in each. This year my wife stayed behind in Thailand until I have a date for my operation. Yes I have a car in the UK and the plan is to add her as a named driver on my policy for a couple of months.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

@jimn  - We do exactly this 2x per year.

 

- Visit the UK

- Wife as a named driver on one of my Parents Cars

-  *An IDP was not necessary (there is a dual agreement between Thailand and the UK and the Thai DL is in English)

- A non-UK license holder can only be added to insurance for a fixed period (i.e. 10 days, 2 weeks, a month whatever you need etc)

- It costs very little to add my Wife (the admin fee is often more - i.e. its less than £25 for 4 weeks).

 

 

*others mentioned an IDP was asked for - no harm in getting one anyway.

 

Can I ask who your parents insure with please as my insurance is due next month and it may be worth switching

Edited by jimn
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14 hours ago, harrymcgarry said:

I just added her on mine and it was cheap as

 International license 

Was all that was asked for.

 

Thanks can I ask what insurance company.

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12 hours ago, digbeth said:

 

You can do that in Thailand.... and lived?

It is normal to see cars/ vans/trucks overtake another vehicle when there is on coming traffic. Please note, I never do this as I wish to live longer.

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On 4/22/2024 at 10:33 PM, kwilco said:

She needs a full 5 year d/l plus IDP.

You can add her as a named driver on your insurance - shouldn't be too expensive.

 

She doesn't need an IDP - a 5-year Thai licence is in English as well as Thai.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, brewsterbudgen said:

She doesn't need an IDP - a 5-year Thai licence is in English as well as Thai.

Good point.  Officially, you don't necessarily need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the UK with a Thai driving licence, as long as your Thai licence is valid and in English.

However, there are a couple of points to consider:

 

Rental companies: While it's not a legal requirement, some car rental companies in the UK may require you to have an IDP to rent a car.

Police discretion: While unlikely, a police officer could ask for an IDP if they are unsure about the validity of your Thai licence.

 

However - there is the condition of designated countries of which Thailand is not. You can drive in the UK for up to 12 months on a licence issued in a ‘designated country’ (Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of North Macedonia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. 

 

You might also need to check if your travel insurance covers you.

 

After 12 months you need a UK licence.

 

So, an IDP can help avoid any confusion or delays.....

 

 

Edited by kwilco
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3 hours ago, kwilco said:

Good point.  Officially, you don't necessarily need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the UK with a Thai driving licence, as long as your Thai licence is valid and in English.

However, there are a couple of points to consider:

 

Rental companies: While it's not a legal requirement, some car rental companies in the UK may require you to have an IDP to rent a car.

Police discretion: While unlikely, a police officer could ask for an IDP if they are unsure about the validity of your Thai licence.

 

However - there is the condition of designated countries of which Thailand is not. You can drive in the UK for up to 12 months on a licence issued in a ‘designated country’ (Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Republic of North Macedonia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. 

 

You might also need to check if your travel insurance covers you.

 

After 12 months you need a UK licence.

 

So, an IDP can help avoid any confusion or delays.....

 

 


Not quite correct, as brewsterbudgen has correctly pointed out, a Thai licence can be used in the UK for twelve months, there is no need for an IDP.

 

The designated countries to which you refer is for those who wish to exchange your overseas licence for a UK licence without taking a test in the UK, Thai licences can’t be exchanged.

 

l suspect that British police officers will be aware of the rules applying to holders of overseas licences, along with the fact that holders cannot be given a fixed penalty notice, but would need to go to court.

 

Whilst your experience may be different, l have never had an issue renting a car in the UK after presenting my Thai licence, l’ve rented many cars over the years without question.

 

Of course check your travel insurance, but accidents in hire cars have never been excluded in travel cover l’ve purchased, but it’s always worth purchasing Excess cover.

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2 hours ago, theoldgit said:


Not quite correct, as brewsterbudgen has correctly pointed out, a Thai licence can be used in the UK for twelve months, there is no need for an IDP.

 

The designated countries to which you refer is for those who wish to exchange your overseas licence for a UK licence without taking a test in the UK, Thai licences can’t be exchanged.

 

l suspect that British police officers will be aware of the rules applying to holders of overseas licences, along with the fact that holders cannot be given a fixed penalty notice, but would need to go to court.

 

Whilst your experience may be different, l have never had an issue renting a car in the UK after presenting my Thai licence, l’ve rented many cars over the years without question.

 

Of course check your travel insurance, but accidents in hire cars have never been excluded in travel cover l’ve purchased, but it’s always worth purchasing Excess cover.

What's not "quite correct"?????

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