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Driving in the Isle of Man

The Island's beautiful countryside and 600 miles of roads mean that driving is often a leisurely and enjoyable activity. you'll very rarely find yourself in a traffic jam!
Driving in the Isle of Man


If you have a Driver’s licence from an EU/EEA State, you may exchange your licence to a Manx licence of the same category, with the same endorsements.

Licences from Monaco, South Korea (with certain limitations), Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, or Zimbabwe can also be exchanged for a Manx licence, but certain restrictions may apply.

If you are relocating from a country that does not offer direct exchanges, you may drive on your foreign licence for up to 12 months. You must then apply for a learner’s permit and take the theory and practical driving tests.

Applications to exchange or apply for your licence should be made to: The Vehicle and Driving Licensing Office

Department of Infrastructure

Highway Services Division

Vehicle Test Centre



Telephone: +44 1624 686843

Or visit during their counter hours, 9-4:30pm M-F

For more information, click here.   


Registering your vehicle

All motor vehicles used or kept on any public road in the Isle of Man must be registered on the Island and be licensed. Licences are issued for periods of 12 months.

All UK, Channel Island, Irish or foreign registered motor vehicles brought into the Isle of Man must be re-registered in the Island at the earliest opportunity.

You must submit an application form for both the registration of the vehicle and its first licence along with the vehicles current registration documents and certificate of insurance to the post office. Under certain circumstances, you may need to present a ‘road worthiness certificate’.

If you are bringing a motor vehicle from outside the UK, you will also need a Customs Clearance Certificate.

There is no periodic MOT for vehicles in general, though there are exceptions for goods vehicles and public passenger vehicles.

For more information, click here


Licence Exchange

List one

Full driving licences issued by the countries in list one can take out a Manx licence for the same driving entitlements as are shown on the licence issued outside the Isle of Man if the driving entitlement originated in one of these countries or originated as an exchangeable category from a country in list two.

UK + Channel Islands Greece
Austria Hungary
Belgium Italy
Croatia Latvia
Cyprus Lithuania
Czech Republic Luxembourg
Denmark Malta
Estonia Netherlands
Finland Poland
France Portugal
Germany Ireland
Spain Slovakia
Sweden Slovenia

List two

For a full driving licence issued by one of the following countries in list two you can take out a Manx licence for the driving entitlements shown on that licence, though restrictions may be applied to the driving entitlements in the case of any that do not meet the EU/EEA community licence requirements.

Australia Barbados
British Virgin Islands Falklands
Canada* Hong Kong**
Japan New Zealand
Singapore South Africa*
Switzerland Zimbabwe

· Monaco, South Korea and Taiwan with certain limitations

* A Canadian or South African licence will be exchanged only for driving a vehicle with automatic transmission unless the applicant provides proof that a test has been passed in a vehicle with manual transmission. Vocational licences such as for a goods vehicle or a bus cannot be exchanged for a Canadian or South African licence.

** Proof of passing test in any on the exchangeable countries above is required.


Learning to Drive and R-Plates

On the Isle of Man you can pass your test at 16 years old. While you are learning to drive you must have a provisional driving licence, display 'L-Plates' on the front and back of the vehicle and be accompanied by a qualified driver over the age of 21 who has had a full licence for 3 years or more.

Once you pass your driving test, you must display 'R-Plates' on the front and back of your vehicle for a year after you have passed your test. New drivers cannot exceed 50mph for the first year of their licence.


Buying or Hiring a Car

The Isle of Man has plenty of car dealerships and garages to buy and repair cars. You will find a huge selection of new and used vehicles to suit your needs. If you prefer to hire a car for the interim, the Isle of Man offers many car hire options with many companies offering ‘Long Term Hires’.

The majority of car hire companies are based at Ronaldsway Airport, though some companies will deliver cars to the Sea Terminal in Douglas.


Live your dream life in the Isle of Man

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