UK licences, along with French licences, carry the most weight globally according to recent research.
UK drivers are able to drive with their UK licence in Sweden, Italy and Spain without having to take any further steps. In Finland, Japan, Hong Kong and New Zealand, a British licence is nearly as useful, being valid for 12 months. After that, the licence will need to be exchanged but this can be done without taking any kind of test. The same applies in Russia and Canada, although a switch to a local licence is necessary after only six months.
German driving licences are almost as powerful as those of British and French nationals and are the third most accepted around the world, according to the research. They are followed by those held by motorists in Sweden, then Belgium, Finland, Italy and Spain.
However, there are minor road laws that Brits should be aware of. Italian law requires all motorists to carry a reflective jacket in their vehicle together with a warning triangle in case of a breakdown. In Spain, motorists are asked to carry a spare pair of glasses if they routinely wear them. Swedish laws require that drivers must always have their headlights switched on and set to a dipped beam, even in the daytime.