Would you still pass your driving test today?

Most drivers wouldn’t see a need to pick up the Highway Code again once they’ve passed their test. But if you’re coming back to the UK after a period abroad, it wouldn’t do you any harm to refamiliarise yourself on the rules of the road.

The good news for expats is that – though the photocard needs to be renewed every 10 years – in general, UK driving licences are valid until you're 70. But the Highway Code is regularly updated to reflect the changes to the UK road network and driving laws. It’s important that you are across the latest revisions so that you don’t inadvertently commit a driving offence.

Remember expat car insurance can help keep you financially protected from the fallout of an accident when you’re back in the UK. Ask Insurance Factory for a quick quote today!

Recent rule changes

In the past few years alone, new rules were introduced to make it illegal for drivers to use their phone at the wheel whether they were making a call or not. Under the new legislation, drivers can face a fine of up to £200 and six penalty points for just holding a phone.

Smart motorways are another newish addition here in the UK. Smart motorways are sections of motorway that utilise traffic management techniques to boost capacity and cut congestion in busy areas. These techniques include things like using variable speed limits to manage traffic flow, and turning the hard shoulder into a running lane.

Smart motorways, in particular, can take a bit of getting used to – especially if you’ve not been driving in the UK for a number of years. To help learner drivers get used to driving on motorways, the rules were changed a few years ago – but they must be in a dual-control car and accompanied by an approved driving instructor.

As a returning expat, however, it’s up to you to get comfortable on UK roads again. Alternatively, you could pay to have some advanced driving lessons to rebuild your confidence.

As a place to start to test your knowledge of the Highway Code, we’ve come up with several questions you could find in the driving theory test. The test was introduced in 1996, replacing questions about the Highway Code during the practical test.

A young driver showing her drivers license after passing a driving test

Let’s see if you pass or fail…  The theory test pass mark is 86%, so you'll need to answer 13 out of these 15 multiple choice questions correctly to ‘pass’. Some questions are trickier than others…

1. What do traffic signs giving orders typically look like?
a) A white circle with a red border
b) A white triangle with a black border
c) A blue circle with a white border
d) A white triangle with a red border.

2. When travelling on a dry road at 50mph, what is the estimated average stopping distance?
a) 24 metres
b) 36 metres
c) 53 metres
d) 150 metres

3. When waiting to turn left at a T junction, you see a lorry approaching from your right. There is ample space to go ahead and turn, but instead you wait. Why is this?
a) You should never pull out in front of a lorry
b) There might be a hidden vehicle trying to overtake it
c) It’s difficult to judge the speed of a larger vehicle
d) You should wait until both ways are clear

4. What is the national speed limit on the motorway?
a) 50mph
b) 60mph
c) 70mph
d) 80mph

5. You want to overtake a motorcyclist who is going slower than the speed limit, but the wind is particularly strong. What should you do?
a) Don’t overtake – wait until the motorcyclist turns off the road
b) Go past the motorcyclist as quickly as you can
c) Overtake the motorcyclist as wide as possible
d) Sound your horn to let the motorcyclist know you want to go past

6.  You come across a collision in which the driver has suffered a burn which needs to be cooled. For at least how long should it be cooled for?
a) 10 minutes
b) 15 minutes
c) 20 minutes
d) 25 minutes

7. You want to drive a larger motorhome (up to 7,500kg). Which of the following categories do you need on your driving licence to do so legally?
a) B1
b) B2
c) C1
d) C2

8. As you approach a roundabout, a cyclist is signalling to turn right. What should you do?
a) Give the cyclist plenty of room and allow them to go proceed with the manoeuvre.
b) Try to get in front of the cyclist
c) Go into the left-hand lane so you can go round the cyclist
d) Treat the cyclist as if they were any other road user

9. You are trying to emerge from a junction, but there are parked vehicles restricting your view. What can you do to improve your line of vision?
a) Slowly inch forward and look through the windows of the parked cars
b) Ask a passenger to get out the car and look for you
c) Sound your horn as you pull out
d) Flash your lights to make your presence known

10. In which of these situations should you use your hazard lights?
a) When you have no choice but to cause an obstruction
b) If you have to drive slowly because the weather is bad
c) If you are being towed
d) If you have parked in a spot that isn't allowed

11. You are attempting to join a dual carriageway. You should…
a) stop as you would at a T-junction and wait until all carriages are clear
b) drive straight onto the dual carriageway; the other drivers will see you and give way to you
c) drive along the hard shoulder until there is a gap in the traffic
d) give way to traffic already on the dual carriageway

12. A Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C) must be kept updated. Whose legal responsibility is this?
a) The manufacturer of the vehicle
b) The licensing authority
c) The registered keeper of the vehicle
d) The company that insures the vehicle

13. You want to turn left into a side street, but there are pedestrians about to cross the road. What should you do?
a) Drive in front of them
b) Sound your horn to make them aware that you want to turn
c) Wait until they have crossed
d) Wait until they’re halfway across and drive behind them

14. It is compulsory for a motor car to have an MOT certificate when...
a) It is three years old
b) It is sold for the first time
c) It is two years old
d) It first comes off the production line

15. When is it acceptable to overtake another road user on their left?
a) Driving along one-way streets
b) A vehicle is ‘coasting’ in the middle lane of the motorway
c) When the driver in front of you indicates for you to do so
d) To get pass a slow driver at a set of traffic lights
1. A
2. C
3. B
4. C
5. C
6. A
7. C
8. A
9. A
10. A
11. D
12. C
13. C
14. A
15. A

How did you get on?

If you’ve managed to get more than 10 right, that’s pretty good going – you’re well set to return to the UK and should have few problems remembering the rules of the road.

If you got less than 10, you might want to order a copy of the Highway Code and brush up on your knowledge.
A young woman smiling as she drives her car

Getting insured with expat car insurance

Whatever you do to prepare yourself for your return to UK roads, you should make taking out expat car insurance a priority.

Expat car insurance from Insurance Factory is purposely designed for UK residents who are returning to Britain after being away for a period of time and are looking to get back on the road.

So, whether you’ve been backpacking through India or interrailing through Europe, Insurance Factory is here to make it easy for you to make a return to driving.

Here at Insurance Factory, we’ve been arranging tailored insurance policies for more than 20 years, so we’re perfectly placed to help you and your unique needs. With our years of knowledge and access to some of the most competitive underwriters within the UK, we’re well placed to find you the right policy for your needs.

We can also offer flexible payment solutions, so if you’re returning to the UK a little lighter of pocket than when you left, we could help spread the cost of your insurance with manageable monthly instalments.

Whether you have a UK driving licence or an international driving licence, we can offer you competitively priced expat car insurance which includes some or all of the following features and benefits: 

·       Specialist cover available for expats returning from most EU/Commonwealth countries
·       Comprehensive level of cover available
·       Tailor your policy to your individual requirements
·       Flexible payment options available

Whatever your individual circumstances and requirements, speak to a member of our team today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.