Driving Abroad Essential Information

How does Brexit change driving in Europe?

The UK is no longer part of the EU. This means there have been certain changes to the rules on driving around Europe. To travel to Europe, you’ll need a GB Sticker, a Green Card and, in certain instances, an international driving permit (IDP). For more information on specific locations or circumstances visit GOV.UK. If you’re driving to the EU in a van for work, you’ll also need a valid Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) healthcare documents and a valid, in date passport. If you live in the EU and you have a UK driving license you should swap it for an EU license. You won’t be able to renew it in the UK anymore. For more information, visit GOV.UK.

What licence do I need to drive abroad?

Wherever you plan on going, you’ll need to take your UK driving licence with you.  In some circumstances, you’ll need an international driving permit (IDP).  If you’ve got a UK driving licence, you won’t need an IDP if you’re travelling to an EU country, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. If you’ve got a paper licence or a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you’ll need an IDP to travel to Norway and other EU countries. Outside of Europe, the type of IDP you need varies, take a look at our guide for more information. An IDP costs £5.50 and you can buy one from the Post Office. You must be over 18 with a full driving licence to get one. Although the minimum age for driving a car in the UK is 17, other countries may have their own rules so it’s worth checking.

Do I need any specifications on my vehicle?

No, as long as your vehicle is in good working order and has recently passed an MOT, there is no vehicle specifications you need when driving in Europe.

However, it’s very important to have a reliable car, arguably even more so than when driving at home, if travelling abroad. If you’re worried about your car’s reliability, why not have a look at our stock and upgrade today?

Before you go on your trip it’s also worth:

Servicing your car. Checking the water, oil, coolant level and tire health. When you’re confident with your car’s reliability and overall health, place your GB sticker somewhere visible, preferably on your number plate. You may also need to convert your headlights. This will stop oncoming drivers being dazzled while you’re driving on the opposite side of the road. You can do this with a beam converter kit, which are easily obtained and applied on top of your current headlights. Just remember to remove the converters when you return to the UK.

What insurance do I need to drive abroad?

To drive in another country, you need to make sure your insurance covers you outside the UK.  So before leaving, let your insurer know that you’re travelling overseas, and check that your existing policy covers you. If you already know your policy doesn’t cover driving abroad, get in touch with your insurer to see if they’ll upgrade your existing information to be covered abroad. Bare in mind you may have to pay extra for this. If you’re travelling to Europe, you might be able to add temporary European cover as an optional extra, which usually covers you for up to 30 days. Don’t forget to check the small print for any exclusions on your policy such as countries or specific locations or even just the number of days you’re fully insured while you’re abroad.

What are Green Cards and GB Stickers?

A Green Card is a document that acts as proof of insurance in Europe and other countries abroad. The car is internationally recognised and should avoid any insurance issues across Europe and in many other countries. Green Cards will make it easier if you need to make a claim or exchange details with another driver or the police if necessary. You can get a Green Card from your insurer for free, but make sure you leave plenty of time to get one before you travel as different insurers take different times to dispatch a card.

A GB sticker informs officials that your car is from the UK. It attaches magnetically to your number plate, and it’s vital if you’re travelling to Europe. You may receive a fine if you’re caught driving a car in Europe without one. Always check with your insurer if there is anything else you should be aware of when travelling abroad.