‘Brexit’! It seems to be all we hear when we turn on the television now, but the implications of leaving with or without a deal will have an impact on all of us
Currently UK driving licence holders can drive anywhere in the EEA, this is the EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. If a deal is agreed then initially UK licences will be valid in these countries and probably for some time to come during any transition period that is set out but if we leave without a deal the situation is more complicated although it’s thought that if you are only driving in the EEA for a short period of time they will still accept the UK photocard driving licence.
Each country will have specific rules and regulations so it is well worth checking thins information on the government website, however, lots of them will require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) particularly if you are currently resident in that country or travel there a lot on business and are using a UK driving licence to do drive with. These are available from the Post Office for just £5.50 so well worth getting one just in case and always carry your UK licence as well.
There are two different types of IDP you might need in Europe, known as the 1949 and 1968 IDPs – the numbers refer to the dates of the conventions on road traffic that established them.
The 1949 permit covers Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus
The 1968 permit covers driving in all other EU countries that require IDPs, plus Norway and Switzerland
Only France, Italy and Cyprus require drivers to have an IDP for a short visit.
Many countries, such as Germany and Spain, only need you to have an IDP once you have been driving in the country for a set period – three, six or 12 months.
And a few countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland will not require an IDP at all.
It’s also possible that the type of IDP you need to drive in countries outside Europe will change once the UK is no longer a member of the EU.
IDPs apply only for visiting other countries. If you are a UK licence-holder living in another EU country, then you may need to exchange your UK licence for a licence issued by an EU country. The government has issued specific advice for each country. In some countries, if you wait until after the UK leaves, then you may need to take another driving test.
EU and EEA licenses will continue to be accepted in the UK for visitors and residents.
You will probably have received some information from your insurers about what happens to your car insurance should we leave without a deal. You will need to get a Green Card from them to prove that you have car insurance but check with your insurer what level of cover this gives you as it may only be third party. Travelling in the EEA without a Green Card will be illegal.
The government recommends that you have a GB sticker on your car, even if you also have a GB symbol on your number plate.
You’ll need to carry your V5C logbook with you if you own the car. If it is a car you have hired or leased, then you will need to get a VE103 form to show you have permission to take it out of the UK.
For more information and to keep up to date with any changes go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu-after-brexit