Fleet News

Check plea on foreign licences

COMPANIES employing overseas staff have been urged to check their licences amid concern that many foreign nationals could be driving illegally in the UK.

Even the most senior figures in a company could be driving without a proper licence unless they have taken the right steps, fleet decision-makers heard recently.

Members of the southern region of the Association of Car Fleet Operators revealed last week that companies throughout the country were having problems with the issue. Foreign nationals from countries outside the EU can use their current licences in Britain for 12 months, but after that they must obtain a UK licence and pass a driving test to be allowed back behind the wheel.

However, some companies have revealed that even some of their most senior executives, brought in from abroad, have remained for more than one year without changing their licences.

This means they are driving without a licence and as a result are also likely to be uninsured.

Stewart Whyte, a director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, told the meeting: ‘Twelve months is the limit, so if you have a foreign national using your fleet cars, they must obtain a UK licence by then.’

Some members raised the issue of how to check whether a foreign licence was valid in the first place, particularly if it was in a foreign language.

Local authorities were suggested as a solution, as some might have specialist foreign language departments.

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