Europe’s post-Brexit driving rules explained to car drivers planning holidays abroad
As Covid lockdown restrictions on ease of travel, this long-awaited trip to Europe presents itself.
When the deal is given, many more travelers may now prefer to take their own car rather than flying on an airplane and must wear a mask.
Of course, since we left the EU on January 1, the rules governing the conduct of the British in Europe have changed.
With the help of National vehicle contracts We’ve put together the main changes so that drivers aren’t caught off guard over the next few months.
Will my UK driving license still be valid in Europe after Brexit?
Yes, most UK drivers will still be able to use their normal driving license to drive in EU countries.
There are a few exceptions and what is called an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be required. An IDP can be purchased at post offices for £ 5.50.
What are the exceptions?
The exceptions are if you are one of the approximately three million people who only have a paper license, not a photo card, as well as those with licenses issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
The government’s advice if you are in one of these groups is to check with the embassy of the country you plan to drive in to see if you will need a displaced person.
And what is an IDP?
There are actually three types of license needed to drive in the EU and it’s worth making sure you have the right one. If you’re caught driving in the EU or EEA without the correct PDI, you can be fined, sent to court or even have your car confiscated.
The three IDPs needed on the continent are:
# 1 1926 IDP – a niche requirement, you will only need this IDP if you want to drive through or into Liechtenstein.
# 2 1949 IDP – compulsory for driving in Cyprus, Iceland, Malta and Spain.
# 3 1968 IDP – All other EU / EEA countries require drivers to travel with a 1968 PDI, regardless of their driving experience.
Do I even need one to travel to Ireland?
Due to the UK’s special post-Brexit deal with the Republic of Ireland, UK drivers traveling to Ireland do not need a special driving license in addition to their license.
What about the insurance coverage?
You will need a green card, which is a document you get from your insurer to prove that your car is covered if you are driving in Europe. Motorists should contact their insurer six weeks before travel to apply for a green card.
A unique green card must also be registered for each wheeled vehicle in your convoy, so separate green cards are needed for multiple cars, trailers and caravans. If requested on the mainland, the green card must be delivered in physical form, which means that drivers cannot rely on the mere presentation of their phone.
It is important that all drivers talk to their insurers about green cards before trying to drive in the EU.
The green card is only proof of a minimum level of third-party coverage – it won’t necessarily match the level of coverage you pay in the UK. You will need to check with your insurer to find out what level of coverage you would receive.
Do I have to have a GB sticker on my vehicle?
The rules are that you need it unless your license plate has a GB on it, on its own or next to a union flag. If the GB is next to an EU flag or the flag of England, Scotland or Wales, you still need a GB sticker.
To drive in Spain, Cyprus or Malta you need a GB sticker no matter what is on your license plate.
You will need to have your V5C logbook with you if you own the car.
Can I still take a rented vehicle abroad?
If you want to take your rental vehicle overseas, you will need to contact your finance provider to obtain the necessary clearances before setting out on your trip. You will need to complete a Vehicle Rental Certificate form (VE103B), a legal document that serves as an alternative to the V5C logbook.
The VE103B contains vehicle details such as registration number, make and model and will also confirm the name and address of the person renting the vehicle as well as the length of the contract.
Are there any other rules to watch out for or remember?
France, one of the most popular vacation destinations by car, has a number of laws to be aware of. For safety reasons, all cars traveling on French roads must be equipped with a warning triangle and a high visibility jacket stowed away in case of emergency.
The French also expect all drivers to carry a breathalyzer kit at all times. It may seem expensive, but disposable breathalysers are available and it is recommended that you take two so that if you use one you can continue your journey with a spare.