Driving as an au pair: do you need a driving licence?

(Also to be found with keywords Driving licence and Car driving in a foreign country)

As an au pair, your duties might include driving your host children to kindergarten, school or free time activities. So, does an au pair need a driving licence? Here's what you need to know.

Father and Kid doing a car race

There is no explicit requirement that au pairs have to have a driving licence. However, depending on the host family’s needs, it might be that the au pair needs to have a driving licence, as well as enough driving experience to safely and confidently drive the children around.

Why some host families prefer au pairs with a driving licence

Some host families prefer au pairs with a driving licence simply because it makes daily routines easier. Tasks like school drop-offs, pick-ups and taking kids to free time activities often require a car. This particularly applies in countries like the USA, where driving is an integral part of everyday life.

Driving on the right vs. driving on the left

If you're going to a country where cars drive on the left side of the road - such as Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain (UK), Ireland, Malta, Cyprus or Japan - make sure you're comfortable with this switch. Also, make sure you know about any different driving rules and conditions in your host country and be sure to adapt to them.

Being an au pairing without a driving licence

You don't have a driving licence yet? No worries, you can still find great au pair opportunities!

In this case, target host families who live in medium to large cities, where public transport is usually the first choice for doing daily errands. Also in many countries (such as the Netherlands), there are also families that handle their daily routines by bike or directly on foot.

Tips for driving in your host country

  1. Check licence validity: Before you leave for your au pair stay, verify if your driving licence is valid in your host country. 
    Some countries may require an International Driving Permit.

  2. Insurance details: Discuss with your host family how car insurance and any potential damages will be covered.

  3. Practice and regulations: If you're not used to driving on the host country’s side of the road, get some practice and familiarise yourself with local traffic laws and regulations.

Keeping these key points in mind, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable au pair experience, whether you have a driving licence or not!