Driving in the EU after Brexit
Find out how Brexit could affect you and your business in the coming months
When it comes to driving oversees, the rules around driving in the European Union (EU), and EU nationals driving in the UK, will potentially change when the UK leaves the EU.
With the current date for the UK leaving the EU set for the 31st January 2020, on this date all UK driving licences will continue to be valid throughout the EU for holiday makers and business travellers, with no extra documentation required. British citizens living in EU nations are also eligible to exchange their current UK licence for one from their new home country. UK licences will still be valid for visiting EEA countries during any transition period, which is a set amount of time that the rules and regulations of the EU will remain the same while the EU and UK work out their future relations.
However, if and when the UK actually does leave the European Union, these rights may be changed – this is dependent on the outcome of the current negotiations.
In the event of a No-deal Brexit there are a few things that will be impacted when driving aboard:
Driving Licence and IDPs
As well as having a UK driving licence, to drive in any country you may also need one or more International Driving Permits (IDPs), depending on which country (or countries) you’re going to or through.
If you are unsure which permit is needed for which EU country you can find out here.
Insurance for your Vehicle, Caravan or Trailer
Post-Brexit, it is required that you carry a Motor Insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA. To obtain one of these you must contact your vehicle insurance provider at least 1 month before you travel to have your application for an insurance Green Card accepted. Failure to do this will void your insurance while aboard.
If you have any of the following, you may need multiple Green Cards:
- If you have Fleet insurance, each vehicle will require their own Green Card.
- If your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan, you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and also for the trailer or caravan. Some countries may also require you to have a separate insurance policy for the trailer.
- If you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews while you’re in another country, you will require two green cards; one for each policy.
Vehicle Registration, Number Plates & GB Stickers
If you’re taking your vehicle into the EU for less than 12 months you should always carry one of the following documents with you: your Vehicle Log Book (V5C) or VE103. This is to show that you’re allowed to use the vehicle in your possession while aboard.
It is also mandatory that GB stickers are displayed on the rear of your vehicle and trailer. If your number plate already includes a GB identifier you will still be required to display a sticker in addition to it.
What to do if you’re involved in a road accident
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident while abroad, you may need to bring a claim against the driver or the insurer of the vehicle in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened. This may vary depending on your insurance company but you may need to process your claim in the local language.
You also may not be eligible to receive compensation if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced, though specifics for this vary from country to country.
While no decision has been reached and negotiations are ongoing, everything is still subject to change, and so if you are travelling abroad and planning on driving, then please make sure you check what is and isn’t required before you go, leaving plenty of time for any necessary additional processes or paperwork you need to prepare in advance.