Foreign language tests end

Foreign language tests end.

From the 7th April 2014 driving test candidates will no longer be able to have the aid of a foreign language voiceover or interpreter on their driving test.

The transport minister – Stephen Hammond said:

“It is essential that all road users have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. By stopping driving tests in foreign languages we will cut out the risk of fraud, and help to ensure that all drivers can read road signs and fully understand the rules of the road.”

One of the main reasons for the end in foreign language tests is to help reduce driving test fraud. Since 2008 over 1300 theory test passes have been revoked due to fraudulent interpreters. After an investigation it was found that learners were being fed correct answers without the examiners being aware.

The DVSA stated that between 2008 and 2009 more than 20 percent of the tests taken with a foreign language interpreter were fraudulent.

Another reason for the change has been concerns over the lack of understanding of road safety, for example an individual not being able to read road signs or details of the rules of the roads. Likewise, not being able to communicate with road enforcement officers.

The review from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) consulted almost 2000 people and more than 70% agreed with ending the tests.

In the past 19 different languages were available to take your test in. This has now been reduced to English and Welsh.

Candidates with special needs such as dyslexia or hearing difficulties will still be able to receive help.

Learning to drive around the world.

Alex Pallister

Social Media Manager.
Web Manager.

Learning to drive around the world.

Through our call centre we get a lot of phone calls from worried students and even students from other countries who have native licences enquiring about how difficult the UK Driving test is or if they can drive on their current licence.
In comparison to other countries our test is very different. Some will argue it’s too easy, some too hard. I will let you decide on that, but I thought I would enlighten you with how other countries regulate their driving licences.


This is arguably one of the harder tests from around the world. You must go through numerous tests and it will take a minimum of 2 years to obtain a full licence. Lessons range from skid pan sessions to night time driving. You must then take a 2 part exam before being eligible for your licence.


Egypt however is much, much simpler. In the past it was driving the car forward a few meters and then reversing back, however it has now been made more complicated by the addition of ten questions and having to maneuverer around a few cones or lines.

Saudia Arabia

Whilst some discretion is often used for people from western countries, women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving. In fact, they may only be allowed to travel in a car if they are accompanied by their father, husband or male relative.


In Japan you learn on fake, purpose-made roads in full-scale replica cities!


Before you can take your exam you must have clocked up at least 3000 km or driving experience with a qualified driver. You are also restricted to a lower speed limit on motorways of 110km per hour.


Until recently you could buy a licence without taking any tests at all.


In Russia all driving tests are taken in Russian, so any foreign nationals need to be fluent in the language to take the test.
You must hold a certificate of mental fitness and you must not have a history of substance abuse.


When you have passed a test in Greece, new drivers must show a red ‘N’ visible in the back window for 6 months.


Like the U.K. they have a points system and if you reach 20 your licence will be suspended. You must also carry your licence on you at all times when driving. In Brazil you are taught to drive defensively because the risk of being car-jacked is so high!

So as you can see, there are many rules for every country and nearly all are different. This is in no way a full representation of rules for each of these countries, but please leave your own experiences in the comments.

If you have a licence from another country and you are not sure if you can use it in the U.K. then please contact the DVLA for full information.