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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the dramatic headline, it's technically incorrect, but if you're hoping you can do a like-for-like swap, read on:

I've just exchanged my NZ drivers license for a UK one.

DVLA will give you back an "automatic only" licence. Which means you can legally only drive automatic transmission. They request that you then supply them with proof you sat your licence in a manual transmission. NZ licenses do not state this.

On contacting NZTA for a letter supporting the fact that my licence was taken in a manual transmission, I've just been told:

As you have sat your restricted test prior to 1999, we are unable to send a Letter of Entitlement confirming that you have sat a test in a manual vehicle, as we cannot confirm this information.
Which means, that an NZ license is only able to be transferred to a full British license if:
- you sat your test after 1999 in a manual transmission.
- you can get "Letter of Entitlement" from NZTA to support this.

Otherwise, you are stuck with an "automatic only" license which is incredibly restrictive here in the UK. As an example - I want to rent a car in a month. Cheapest manual transmission: £80 for a week. Cheapest automatic transmission £250.
 

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It is shame, but you are no different from Canadian drivers. Unless they can supply proof they took their test in a manual, they will be issued with automatic-only UK licence. So if you can't get proof of entitlement, you must take and pass UK driving test in a manual car.
 
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