Car And Driver Road Legal Requirements In The UK

What you must meet to drive a vehicle on public roads

After you have bought your new car, there are legal requirements you need to meet before you drive away.

It goes without saying you need a full UK driving licence unless you’re a learner.

Look over the remaining requirements below.

Are you about to buy a new car? Check its history before you do. Use our DVLA vehicle check service using any number plate.

Requirements For Street Legal Vehicle

Your new vehicle must be:

  • Registered with DVLA and include your name, address and postcode and date when you purchased the vehicle. No other personal or financial information is needed. Here is a full write-up on selling a car and DVLA – See our recent video on the DVLA and V5C logbook
  • Have a current MOT certificate (if the vehicle is 3-years or older)
  • Up-to-date road tax – check if a car is currently taxed. Be in a fit condition to drive on the road.
  • Insured full comp, third-party fire/theft or third party only


Get insurance sorted before you collect your new car. As a legal requirement, you need road insurance, tax and MOT even if you don’t drive the vehicle; otherwise, you must declare SORN (CarVeto guidance on SORN and how to notify DVLA).


30-Day drive-away insurance

If buying a new or nearly new car from a dealer, they might include 30-day road insurance as part of the deal. Check with them first and gather all documentation relating to the risk policy. The monetary value of free dealer car insurance is minimal, but temporary cover can be convenient.

There are hundreds of UK insurers; save money and shop around. For the UK’s cheapest providers, look at the search tool for a group of online quotes without obligation.

Next step: Notifying DVLA