Do I Need An International Driving Licence?

An International Driving Licence or IDP (International Driving Permit) is exactly that, a permit that allows you to drive in other countries that wouldn’t ordinarily accept your driving licence for various reasons. The main reason being the language barrier. Your driving licence will still be required, the IDP is just a permit to accompany your original.

The permit is simply a document that translates the information on your licence into a more legible language for the destination country, with a few exceptions.

I Have A UK Licence, Do I Need An International Driving Licence In Europe?

If you hold a full valid UK photo-card licence that came into circulation in 1998 then you are able to drive within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) without an international driving licence.

If you still hold a paper licence from prior to 1998 then you will either need to apply for a new photo-card licence or you will be required to provide an International Driving Licence in all EU countries.

I Have A UK Licence, Do I Need An IPD Outside Of Europe?

There is no blanket black and white answer to this, our general rule of thumb is that if English is not the first language in that country then the chances are you may need an IDP. Our suggestion would be to apply for one just in-case.

An example being in the USA, with a UK licence you do not need an international driving licence. But in the event of an accident they much prefer you to have one because it makes their jobs easier. Individual rental or insurance companies can require them as additional identification. So as Franz Kafka said,

Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.

How Do I Get An International Driving Permit?

Its pretty straight forward, simple pick up a form from your local post office or visit them online at The Post Office. It will set you back £5.50 but can be validated anytime within the next 3 months and will last 1 year. So you don’t need to apply every time you travel, only when your international permit expires.

Do I Need An IDP To Hire In The UK?

If you do not hold a driving licence issued within the EU or one that has been printed in the Roman Aplhabet (English) then yes you will need an international driving licence from your country of origin. Do not apply via the above link, this is for the UK post office. The authority that issued your licence will be able to provide you with an International Driving Licence.

REMEMBER, THE IDP IS USELESS ON ITS OWN. YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED TO PROVIDE YOUR ORIGINAL LICENCE AND IDP TOGETHER.