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With the prospect of European travel now a possibility, you may be planning to get away at last this summer. Whether you plan to take your own car or hire one when you get to your destination, you’ll need to remember that as well as following the relevant Covid regulations, the UK is no longer part of the EU so the rules for driving in Europe have changed.

Here’s our summary of what you need to know when driving in Europe post Brexit. For more detail, please check the government website for the latest information:

Do I need an International Driving Permit (IDP)?  For the most part, no, your British driving licence is accepted in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein as long as it is a photocard driving licence. If you have a paper licence or your licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you may need an IDP. If in doubt, please check the government’s list of countries and their licence requirements.

What insurance do I need? If you are hiring a car, the insurance will be offered through your rental car provider. However, if you plan to drive your own car you will need to obtain a motor insurance green card from your existing insurance provider to prove you have adequate cover driving abroad.

Do I need my registration documents? Yes. This rule was already in place before Brexit and hasn’t changed. You should have your vehicle logbook (VC5) in your car at all times when driving abroad, and if you are taking a UK-registered hire car you will need a VE103 certificate to prove you have the authority to drive it overseas.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE AN ACCIDENT ABROAD? If you are involved in an accident and need to make a claim against another motorist, you will need to make that claim in the country where the accident happened. Therefore, we recommend that, before you travel, you check with your insurer that they will contact the motorist’s insurer and deal with the claim on your behalf. Otherwise, you could find yourself needing to deal with a foreign insurance company in a foreign language.

WHAT IF I BREAKDOWN? Make sure you have European breakdown cover before you go away. There are many types available including single trip cover or annual cover. You should also have with you a warning triangle and high visibility jackets for anyone who gets out of the car on to a main road.

DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO MY CAR? Yes. If your car is right hand drive you will need to have headlamp beam deflectors. You will also need to display a GB sticker unless your car is fitted with a licence plate that features the GB logo separately or the Union Flag. (As opposed to the pre-Brexit plates with the GB / EU combined logo). These are very straight forward to organise, so please contact us at contact@hlmotors.co.uk or call 020 8977 5865 if you would like us to order and fit one to your vehicle.

Finally, before you travel, we’d always advise you check the local driving rules, including speed limits, and the latest covid guidance.

It’s also a good idea to check your car before travelling. Please get in touch on 020 8977 5865 if you’d like us to arrange a pre-road trip check.

Safe travels!