It is ILLEGAL to tattoo under 18’s in the United Kingdom and NOT true you can with parental consent. We have had people asking us if they can be tattooed if a parent signs the consent form, the answer is NO! A tattooist that does tattoo a young person can be prosecuted and fined under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969. The Act, however, does state that tattooing may still be done on anyone under the age of 18 provided that it is done for medical purposes by a qualified medical practitioner or anyone under their supervision.
Some parts of Europe have different laws, such as Spain, where the age is 16 with parent consent and this is perhaps why there is confusion, but it is most DEFINTELY not legal to tattoo under 18’s with or without parental consent in the U.K.
Believe it or not there are STILL studios willing to put their licence and reputation on the line, but you have to question the scruples of such places and reasons as to why they would do it. Any reputable artist/studio wouldn’t even contemplate it and if the customer looked young, would ask for ID. Tattooists who are willing to tattoo minors are probably not very good at what they do and are therefore in need of the work as they are not busy, due to being rubbish!
If you go somewhere disreputable and willing to tattoo you under age, without doubt you will regret your decision, if not straight away, most certainly years down the line. We have numerous clients having laser removal who were impatient, rebellious teenagers now regretting that decision. Be patient about your first tattoo if you are under 18 and just wait, there’s plenty of time! This is something you are going to have for the rest of your life, so make sure you think about what you want and go to a reputable studio who will do a good job.