Driving abroad after Brexit

Increasingly UK travellers are opting to drive abroad for their holidays, rather than flying or catching the train. Not only is it convenient, but it can be incredibly cost effective.

However, research from the RAC shows that 76% of British motorists feel uneasy about driving abroad. This number will likely increase given the result of Brexit, and once the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, there could be changes to the current rules and regulations for driving in Europe.

Read our guide below – including some useful tips from RAC - to find out more about driving abroad and the impact of Brexit on European driving regulations.

Tip 1: Get a translation book

A translation book could not only come in handy in shops and cafes, but may also be useful if you happen to break down or get involved in an accident.

Tip 2: Take out travel insurance

Travel insurance is always high on the list of priorities for Brits taking their car abroad and can cover you against risks such as theft of your belongings or flight cancellation. Endsleigh’s travel insurance also provides cover in the event of flight disruption resulting from Brexit.

Motorists should be aware that they may need to increase their existing breakdown cover (or take out standalone European breakdown cover) to avoid additional expenses should your car break down abroad.

Having this cover in place also means you won’t need to worry about speaking a foreign language in the event of a break down.

Tip 3: Be aware of regulations and Brexit rules

In terms of driving a hire car abroad after Brexit, you’ll need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) for certain countries you may want to drive to. There are three different types of IDP, and the type you need will depend on where you’re going:

• 1926 IDP • 1949 IDP • 1968 IDP

Whether or not you’ll need an IDP will also depend on the length of your stay, as well as if you’re crossing borders within the EU, which may require separate IDPs.

A full list of countries and their required IDPs can be found on the GOV website.

What if I’m taking my own vehicle?

If you’re driving abroad after Brexit in your own car, there are certain documents you are required to take with you:

  • UK driving licence
  • Valid UK tax, MOT and insurance documents
  • Vehicle registration documents, including log book
  • If you’re driving a vehicle hired or leased in the UK, you’ll need to take the VE103 certificate.

Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may also need to take the following items:

  • A GB sticker for your car
  • Additional safety equipment, such as a reflective jacket or warning triangle.
  • An International Drivers Permit (as above)
  • Emission stickers
  • Headlight converter stickers (for driving in Belgium or France)
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Breathalyser/alcohol test
  • Spare headlight bulbs and more

Driving abroad but still not sure what to take? Check out RAC’s driving advice for every country in Europe.

Sections of this post was contributed by RAC, one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists.

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