Driving In Europe After Brexit

Its looking more and more like the United Kingdom will be leaving the EU without a deal in under six weeks. If this was to happen, what does this mean for motorists from the UK or indeed visitors to Britain?

No major long term changes have been announced, so we have been taking a look at the initial impact of what will happen on the 29th March 2019.

British residents with a UK Licence

If you are a UK licence holder residing in Britain, you do not need to change your licence on or before the deadline for Brexit, in fact it will not affect you at all unless you are planning to drive in Europe.

To do this you may need an IDP, International Driving Permit. As part of the EU, we did not need any additional documentation to be able to drive within the EU and the EEA. When we leave, you may need to check to see if an IDP is needed. This can be done at over 2,500 post offices, it is a simple process and currently costs £5.50. (More information here) We already have to go through this when visiting countries like the USA, Japan & Brazil and the process will be similar.

Please bear in mind, if you are planning on driving through more than one country, you may need more than one IDP.

EU Residents with a UK Licence

If you have recently moved from the UK to reside in the EU then the biggest change for you is the process of changing your licence. Once the UK is no longer part of the EU, you may lose the right to automatically exchange your UK driving licence for a licence from the country you now live in and there is a possibility you may have to take a new driving test. To avoid this, you can apply to exchange your licence before the deadline date of 29th March.

If you then decide to move back to the UK in future, you will need to exchange it back to a UK licence. This is easily done via the Post Office & DVLA.

EU driving licence holders

As far as we are aware, nothing will change for EU licence holders when driving in the UK. For most, an International driving permit is not required but as with anything where there could be a grey area. We advise that you speak to the relevant authorities to check before driving in the UK.

Insurance & Green Cards

One of the biggest changes for UK licence holders could be the changes to insurance policies. Many policies would cover you for EU travel for a certain amount of time without having to do anything. This will change, with the probable ‘No Deal’ looming and if the EU & UK reach no separate agreement, drivers of vehicles registered in the UK will need to carry an insurance Green Card when driving within the European Union and other countries like Iceland, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland. To get a green card, or to check if one if required, speak to your motor insurance provider.

When renting a vehicle abroad, remember that driving licence requirements can and do vary. If you are booking in advance in the UK, ask your rental provider or broker to confirm the requirements of the countries that you intend to visit. REMEMBER, It is the driver’s responsibility to know the rules of the country they are visiting. If in doubt, check with the local authority before you travel.