Q346: Ages - when are you old enough?

5 years old

  • must attend school or home education
  • can go and see a U or PG movie
  • can have bank / building society account in own name
  • can have premium bonds in own name

7 years old

  • can draw money from Post Office or savings account

8 years old

  • can be criminally responsible but cannot be prosecuted for an offence

12 years old

  • can be prosecuted for an offence
  • can appear before an adult court for serious crimes
  • can see a 12A film unaccompanied
  • can instruct a solicitor
  • can make a will

13 years old

  • can get a job (can only work for a certain amount of hours)

14 years old

  • is responsible for wearing own seatbelt

15 years old

  • can see a film certified by the British Board of Film Classification as a 15, at a cinema

16 years old

  • have a general capacity to enter into contracts
  • can be sentenced to a young offender's institution
  • can get married
  • can have heterosexual sex
  • can have homosexual sex
  • if you turn 16 between 1st March and 30th September you can leave school after 31st May of that year
  • if you turn 16 between 1st October and the end of February you can leave school at the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year
  • can join armed forces with parental consent (but not permitted into war zone)
  • can work full time
  • can claim social security benefits
  • can get licence to drive a moped
  • can sell scrap metal
  • can join a Trade Union
  • can buy a pet
  • can choose your own doctor
  • can buy premium bonds
  • can drink beer, cider, porter or perry with a meal in a restaurant
  • can play the National Lottery
  • can sell National Lottery tickets
  • can change your name

17 years old

  • can obtain a licence to drive vehicles (except certain heavy goods ones)
  • can be a street trader
  • fly a plane
  • can give blood

18 years old

  • can buy alcohol
  • can drink alcohol in a pub
  • can hold a licence to sell alcohol
  • can buy tobacco/cigarettes
  • can buy an air rifle
  • can act as an executor of a will
  • can bet
  • can buy a lighter refill
  • can sit on a jury
  • can vote
  • can leave home without parent or guardian's consent
  • can buy fireworks
  • can sue and be sued
  • can see an 18 certificate film
  • can hold a mortgage
  • can go to war
  • can buy land/houses
  • can go abroad to perform professionally
  • can get a tattoo

21 years old

  • can be sent to an adult prison
  • can drive any mechanically propelled vehicle (providing relevant tests passed)
  • can stand in an election
  • can adopt a child

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