This page explains some laws that apply to driving a vehicle in the UK. For more detailed information, see the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website.
If you have a foreign driving licence, you must ask the police or the DVLA whether it is valid in the UK. You must have a valid licence which covers you for the type of vehicle you want to drive.
You must have car insurance, or you will be breaking the law. The minimum requirement is third party insurance, which pays for damage you cause to other cars or injuries to their occupants. Comprehensive insurance will also pay for damage to your car, but costs more. You need special insurance to use your car as a taxi or minicab.
Cars more than three years old must have an MOT - a certificate that says the car is safe. You get this from an MOT garage or test centre after it has tested the car.
You must pay vehicle excise duty to use your car on the roads. You will be given a small paper disc, called a 'tax disc', to show you have paid this. You put the tax disc in the front window of your car. Your car can be taken away if it does not have a tax disc. To get a tax disc, you need to show you have insurance and (for a car over three years old) an MOT certificate. You can buy a tax disc from some post offices, the DVLA, or online through DVLA's vehicle online licensing.
The same laws apply to motorcycles. To drive lorries and buses, you need a special licence and training.