The Power of a Driving Licence

Posted by: Lydia on 19/03/2021

Category: General

Driving Licence rankings in 2021 from strongest to weakest

The United Kingdom driving licence has dropped from the most to the least powerful after Brexit took place earlier last year.

In a 2021 comparison by Compare the Market, the power of 22 countries’ driving licences was ranked based on their ability to be used abroad with ease and without restrictions.

The most powerful driving licence is that of France, where drivers face little to no restrictions when travelling on many international roads, such as those in Finland, Germany, New Zealand and Japan.

The worst-performing driving licence is the United Kingdom, which fell from the best-performing in 2016, prior to leaving the European Union. Access to driving in most European countries became considerably more difficult, where countries such as Italy and Spain fell from having no restrictions to implementing more complicated processes. In order to gain an Italian licence for example, a theory test must be passed followed by six hours of instructed driving before a practical test can be taken.

According to Compare the Market, Switzerland showed the biggest rank increase from holding the 13th position in 2016, to a joint 3rd place in 2021 below France and Belgium (tied with Germany and Sweden).

The countries with the most powerful licences:

  1. France

  2. Belgium

  3. Germany / Sweden / Switzerland

  4. Italy / Spain

  5. Finland

  6. USA

  7. Canada

  8. Australia

  9. New Zealand

  10. Japan

The countries with the weakest licences:

  1. United Kingdom

  2. Mexico / Russia

  3. Brazil

  4. Saudi Arabia

  5. China / India

To see how the driving licence of all 22 countries perform, visit