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I've lived in the UK for five and a half years and am buying a motorcycle.

I wondering if it makes sense to exchange my German driving license for a UK one to save on insurance.

Currently I can claim I've had my vehicle types' licenses for over 10 years, will I be able to do the same after exchanging the license or will the counter reset?
Similarly with foreign no claims bonuses I'm not sure if I can carry them over if they were on a different license.

All the resources I found online just say how I can drive until I'm 70, not when the license is dated and what it does to NCB.
I also know that there are specialist insurers who may have lower premiums than regular ones for my circumstances but I don't see a reason not to exchange my driver's license if I can carry over the date I obtained my license and my NCB.

  • From personal experience, UK insurers won't care about your foreign bonus regardless of what license do you have. You'll have to start from scratch. – Diego Sánchez Jul 16 at 9:18
  • Personally, I've swapped mine & I always answer that I've held my licence as long as I've been able to drive. I've never had to provide evidence to the contrary but I suppose I've never had an accident or anything that required it to be scrutinised. I've never thought to do anything different, so that's my (subjective) interpretation. As for the NCB, an insurer will ask for proof of this. As long as you can provide them with something acceptable from a previous insurer, you will be fine. If they reject the evidence then you'll just be reverted to a higher price. – Mel K. Jul 17 at 13:06
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Currently I can claim I've had my vehicle types' licenses for over 10 years, will I be able to do the same after exchanging the license or will the counter reset?

Strictly speaking this is a question for the specific insurer you are with but the sensible meaning for this question is that you are asking when you first passed your test. To be sure you should ask the insurer.

Similarly with foreign no claims bonuses I'm not sure if I can carry them over if they were on a different license.

No claims bonuses are strictly contractual. Many insurers will apparently only accept no claims discounts earned with UK insurers, but others may accept foreign no claims bonuses, at least for certain countries. This has nothing to do with your driving licence, which might be why you haven't found anything about it online. It isn't recorded anywhere officially, it's just something insurers offer and enforce amongst themselves.

  • Thanks, I found some conflicting evidence online, some people saying the old date stays, others saying it resets. I've sent an email to the DVLA asking specifically about this, maybe there's a statute about this, after all I don't want to lie/give false info. – Robin Gertenbach Jul 17 at 20:50
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    @RobinGertenbach Well, I think regardless of what it says on your licence, it's entirely down to what the insurer thinks. There's no law which says insurers need to ask when you qualified, and how that's calculated, it's just something they choose to do. – MJeffryes Jul 17 at 21:00
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I asked the DVLA and they responded that:

They use the earliest available dates they can confirm.
This generally means they use the date the driving test was passed for each motor category as that's what's on the license to be exchanged.
The years of experience will thus generally carry over to the UK license.

So one can exchange their license and say they have a full UK license and they have a license for the vehicle type since the date they passed the test.

Foreign no claims is insurer dependent as mentioned.

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