There may be a time when you need or want to lease a car. However, you don’t have a licence. Are you able to lease a car without a driving licence?

It’s not something that happens often, but it has happened in the past.

So, in this article, we are going to cover whether you can lease a car without a driving licence, and what your options are if you cannot.

Can I lease a car if I don’t have a driving licence?

No, is the short answer.

The likelihood is that you will struggle to find a finance house, dealership or broker that will allow you to lease a car without a driving licence. There may be some out there, but these will most likely be specialist vehicle broker and you should be extra careful that they are reputable. You can read our top tips on finding a reputable vehicle broker here.

Why do I need a driving licence to lease a car?

When you go through the documents process of leasing a car, you will need to provide your full driving licence. The dealership will request that you send the original to them so they can compare signatures.

Also, most finance houses will stipulate that you have to have the full UK driving licence to be able to lease a car. So, it’s pretty important, and very unlikely that you will be able to get a car without a driving licence.

girl in car, holding out driving licence with a thumbs up - First Car

When you lease a car you have to be the one to insure it. While you may have named drivers, you have to be the primary driver. Therefore, you can understand why insurance companies would be less than thrilled to insure someone who does not have a driving licence. While you may not be driving the car yourself (and we’re sure you wouldn’t) the insurance company cannot guarantee that, and therefore you are a much higher risk.

Can I lease a car with a provisional licence?

Learner sticker with an instructor and student in the background

I’m going to say that you can’t.

I have, in the past, had people who have leased cars with a provisional licence. However, recently I have had a customer who wanted to lease with a provisional and it wasn’t allowed. Many funders won’t do this, and it’s very complicated if it does happen. So, as a general rule, we say you can’t.

Again, insurance also comes into play. While you can insure other people to drive the car, the insurance costs for a learner driver will be considerably higher. So, that’s another factor to think about.

Can I lease a car for someone else if I have a provisional licence?

There might be a scenario in which a family member, your partner or close friend wants to lease a car but cannot, they might have poor credit for example. So you could be wondering whether you, as someone with great credit but no full licence, could lease a car for them.

The answer is still no. Unless there is a specialist finance house that will do this for you. The reason is the same which is that you are at a much higher risk than someone with a full licence. The finance house cannot guarantee that you won’t drive the car. And also, because the person driving the car won’t be the one with the financial commitment, so you can see why this is a huge risk for them to take.

Also, when you insure a lease car the policy usually has to be in the name of the person leasing the car and you can imagine that insurance companies will be less than thrilled for this to happen. Again, you are a much higher risk and the insurance will be considerably more expensive.

What are the alternatives?

If you can’t lease without a provisional driving licence then what are your alternatives?

It depends on your situation. If you simply want a car for when you pass your test then you could look at buying a second-hand car. Alternatively, you could wait until you pass your test before you apply for finance. We compare getting a new first car and a used first car in our article here.

Can I lease a car if I have an international licence?

As a general rule in the UK, you can drive for twelve months with an international driving licence. After that, you have to take the UK driving test in order to continue driving. The exception is if you are an EU national, in which case you can still use your original licence. You can check to see if you can drive in Great Britain with your non-GB driving licence here.

However, to lease a car you will still need a UK address and UK bank account. This also applies to international students.

Alternatives to leasing

So, you may have realised that you might not be able to lease a car. But, don’t worry, there are other alternatives that are available to you.

If you simply want a car for when you pass your test, then you may want to consider buying second hand. While this might not be as appealing as getting a shiny new car, it will cost you less and be much more convenient.

Alternatively, if you need a car for a short period of time on an international licence then you may want to consider a short term rental with a company such as Hertz.

So, unfortunately, if you don’t have a driving licence then your chances of getting a lease car are very slim. It’s the same with a provisional licence and if you are an international student. However, there are some alternatives to leasing, including buying second hand or looking at a short term rental.

what documents can i expect to be signing? click here to find out
short term rental guide

Ben Murphy

Team Leader at OSV Ltd
Ben enjoys: Spending time with his daughter, football, socialising and the gym.

Ben is very laid back and calm when it comes to work, and he gets huge results with it. He's got one of the highest recommendation rates in the office and always knows the best deal for every situation.
Ben Murphy

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5 Comments

  • rohit aggarwal| 4th June 2019 at 7:48 am Reply

    thanks for the information

  • Asa| 24th April 2018 at 11:43 am Reply

    I have lived in Dubai for 4 years and am now moving back to the UK, I only have a UAE driving license. Am I able to lease with this?

    • Abbie Rawcliffe| 26th April 2018 at 10:49 am Reply

      Hi Asa,
      You can rent/lease a vehicle for 12 months as this is how long you can drive on your UAE licence. If you are going to be in the UK for longer than a year, you need to take a UK Driving Test, see this link for more information: https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence. If you intend to do this then we do have lease/finance companies who will consider your application. Many lease/finance companies would not as you do not have a UK Credit History. I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any further questions.

  • holly| 5th September 2017 at 2:29 pm Reply

    Can you get a guarantor with a full UK licence if you’re leasing without a provisional licence? Would that work?

    • Abbie Rawcliffe| 6th September 2017 at 11:09 am Reply

      Hi Holly,
      Unfortunately, if the main person leasing the car has a provisional then no that wouldn’t work as the majority of finance houses require the person taking out finance to have a full driving licence. However, as an alternative, you may be able to go to your bank and take out a personal loan to pay for the car. I hope this answers your questions.

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