Thinking about wanting to drive?
Well, here’s some information on how to go about it!
Hi there, it’s the end of the week and I could be more TGIF right now! With exams a mere 10 days away, the library has morphed into my second home.
Firstly, unfortunately, Malaysian licenses cannot be converted automatically in British Licenses (You lucky Singaporeans!) Instead, you will need to undergo a theory as well as practical driving test to be qualified to drive in England, just like the locals. For those desperate though, the Malaysian license is valid for a year from entry into the United Kingdom though it’s best to check the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) website for up-to-date information on this.
The first stage in the process is to apply for a Provisional Driving License. Even if you don’t plan on driving, it’s actually very handy to have. It is a form of identification and comes in very useful for nights out instead of having to bring along one’s passport. Applying for your provisional online is advised as it takes a shorter period of time compared to by post. There’s a fee charged for the application after which further information is received by post. Since as an international student we have foreign passports, you need to submit your original passport by post along with a separate form which arrives after the online application has been processed.
It typically takes 3 weeks for the provisional license to arrive after which you can either register for the theory and practical test or go for a couple of lessons beforehand. As a fellow manual driver myself, I would recommend everyone who wants to drive in the UK to have a couple of lessons. Driving in UK is very different from Malaysia, even if it’s still on the same side of the road. There are slightly different rules here and the tests are different compared to the JPJ tests for example. Best to be prepared beforehand and make mistakes than failing the tests which are quite costly on its own.
The first bit is the theory and hazard test which you can take a short walk away on North Street in the centre of Guildford. The second part is the practical test. Forty minutes of constant observation and tight maneuvers around Guildford may not sound like the ideal way to spend an afternoon, but it’s all worth it when you learn that you won’t need to take another driving test in England until you’re 70!
All in all, I think it’s a good idea to have a UK license as the benefits outweigh the costs. I myself am in the midst of getting my UK driving license so wish me luck!
Till next time;