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Many car rental companies only rent cars to people who have had their license for 1 year. Some have a 3 year requirement.

I have had a license for 9¾ years and it expires soon. I passed the test in The Netherlands, but live in the United Kingdom now, so I will transfer it to a UK license. How can I rent a car after that? Will the UK license show the original date that I passed my test in The Netherlands, or will I need to carry a document from the relevant Dutch authorities to attest that I have had my license since 2007?

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  • One would think that showing them your old Netherlands license, combined with the fact that you are a bit older than 17, would be sufficient to show you have had a license for long enough. – Tom Nov 4 '16 at 16:00
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    @Tom you have to turn that in to get the UK one though. – dan1111 Nov 4 '16 at 16:00
  • Of course I can keep a copy of my old license, and/or an extract from RDW as evidence. I don't know if it's needed, and I don't know if it makes car rental companies (and their insurances) happy. – gerrit Nov 4 '16 at 16:02
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I was not able to find information on the official site, but some people here mention that when they exchanged their licences for a UK one, the dates on the back of the licence reflected when they were first able to drive a car, while the date on the front was the date of UK issue. So your licence should show that you have held a valid licence for 10 years.

As a practical matter, car rental companies are unlikely to care much. I got a new UK licence after having a US one. This wasn't a transfer; I had to take the UK driving test, and all dates on my licence start at that point. But I was still able to rent a car in the UK (from a couple of different agencies) immediately after this. I did have my old US licence in case they wanted to check, but none ever did.

I don't think you'll have any problem with this. A copy of your Netherlands licence, just to be on the safe side, might be a good idea.

  • I don't see much incentive for the car hire company to care about length a licence is held. If they are arranging insurance for you they get their cut of the premium and if you have an accident nobody pays out since you were in breach of contract. Win/win - for them. – pnuts Nov 4 '16 at 16:12
  • @pnuts, note that it is perfectly acceptable to rent a car in the UK on a Netherlands licence (as long as it is valid) or on a US licence (for your first year in country). The contract will surely require you to have (any) valid licence for 12 months, not a UK one specifically. The issue is simply having sufficient evidence to prove that you meet the requirement. – dan1111 Nov 4 '16 at 16:16
  • What I meant was, there is little motivation to check requirement is met. – pnuts Nov 4 '16 at 16:18
  • @dan1111, if you have a US license that evidence can be hard to come by, though. I first got a California license in 1997 but my current one dates from last August, when I renewed it, with no hint that I had a license before that. – Dennis Nov 4 '16 at 16:24
  • @pnuts I once tried to be an additional driver on a rental car, when I had had a license for 11 months, 2 weeks. It was rejected. This was in Spain. – gerrit Nov 4 '16 at 16:59

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