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Posted by ukshowplateress
March 20th, 2020 at 6:55 am


So, Brexit happened at the end of January 2020, but that doesn’t mean that everything is settled. There are months of transition time ahead and, until then, regulations and rules are remaining the same. If you’re driving in Europe over the next few months, you won’t notice any changes, whether you’re driving your own vehicle or whether you’re hiring one. However, that’s not to say that there won’t be changes in the future.

The Legal Situation Today

Currently, if you have a driving licence issued in the UK you are entitled to drive a car in any EU member state together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Together, these countries make up the EEA (European Economic Area). At present, the status quo has been maintained but any changes in the future will be gradually phased in.

Which Changes Are Set To Take Place?

Although all changes are speculation at the moment, it’s possible that some EU member states will carrying on accepting UK photocard licenses while others are going to not only require a UK licence but also an IDP (International Driving Permit). If you’re going to be in Europe for longer periods, there’s a greater chance of you needing to obtain an IDP. IDPs can currently be bought at your local Post Office and they cost £5.50. You should always check the rules for any country you plan to visit. If your driving licence is still an old-style paper one, it may be unacceptable now.

IDPs – The Three Types

If you check the government website, you’ll find a list that shows you which paperwork may be required for each country in Europe and what will trigger the requirements. Usually this will be how long you’re staying. Three kinds of IDP are in existence, and this list will show you which type you require and in which circumstances. Each type is referred to by its establishment date – 1968, 1949 or 1926, however only 1968 and 1049 are actually in use today. 1949’s permit is relating to Cyprus, Malta, Spain and Iceland while 1969’s permit will cover every other EU country plus Norway and Switzerland.

Usually, IDPs are only required for long visits, however there are some exceptions to the rule including France, Italy and Cyprus who all require an IDP even for a short visit. Depending on which country you’ll be visiting and the length of time you’ll be staying, you may require multiple IDPs. This is especially the case if you’ll be driving across Europe, motoring through a number of countries.

Most countries making up the European Union only require IDPs after a specific period of time – usually 3, 6 or 12 months. The Netherlands and Switzerland don’t require IDPs at all.

What About UK Nationals Living In Europe?

A lot of the legislation that surrounds IDPs is relating to UK visitors who visit foreign countries however, what about UK citizens who live abroad and who are currently using their UK licence to drive overseas? Probably, you’ll be required to swap your UK licence for a new licence that is issued by your new country of residence.

What Happens About Insurance?

You should always check with the provider of your car insurance policy when you’re planning to drive abroad. You’ll need to check the level of cover you’ll have and whether it needs to be extended depending on your location. You should also check if any country-specific requirements exist that you should know.

At the moment, it isn’t clear whether you’ll need a Green Card but you should be cautious. If you’re towing a caravan or trailer, you’ll require separate cards and you’ll need to leave sufficient time to get the card issued by your insurer. Don’t expect it to actually be a card that’s green! It’s actually a statement that your insurer issues that comes on some green paper. You should leave at least a month so your insurer has enough time to supply it. There may also be an extra charge.

What Else Should I Know

It is also recommended  by the government that you have GV stickers on your car, even if you have one already on the number plate. Also, make sure you take the V5C logbook with you as this proves your own the vehicle. If you’re hiring a vehicle in the United Kingdom, you’ll receive another document called the VE103. You’ll need to take this to Europe with you.

Being Prepared

When you drive regularly in Europe, you should be familiar with possible changes due to Brexit. At the moment, you’ll find advice online as well as government guidance. This will be reviewed regularly to ensure it’s up-to-the-minute, so you can check it to ensure it reflects the current status.