January 31, 2020
After years of talks the UK will finally leave the EU tonight at 11pm.
Although we are technically leaving the EU today very little will change over the next 11 months as we are now in a transition period, to give the government time to negotiate the terms of a free trade agreement with the EU.
Whilst we are in the transition period the same rules will still apply when driving in the EU.
At the minute it is not certain what the driving restrictions will be once the UK does leave the EU, but the government have issued some general advice.
Just like always, you will need to take your UK driving licence with you if you plan on doing any driving whilst abroad.
If you are currently living in the EU and using a UK driving licence, then the government’s advice is to exchange your UK licence for a local one. Some countries will do a simple switch and others may require you to take a test so please check with your local government how you can exchange yours.
If you are leasing a vehicle then your finance company will be the registered owner and keeper, and so they will be the ones who have the original V5 document. Usually when you travel abroad you will need to take the V5, however if you’re leasing you can take a Vehicle on Hire Certificate (VE103B) instead. To get this certificate you will need to contact your funder directly or give us a call and we can request this for you.
Currently when you drive in the EU you are usually covered by your UK insurance, depending on your provider. Please check with them if you have any questions about your cover.
After the transition period drivers are advised to contact their insurance providers to get a green card insurance certificate, to prove that you are insured. If you are towing a trailer or caravan you will need a separate green card for that. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) advises that you should take a physical copy of your green card certificate when you travel to the EU.
If you are involved in an accident in the EU post Brexit the government have advised that you should not expect to be able to make a claim via a UK-based claims representative or the UK Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). Instead you will need to claim against either the driver or insurer of the vehicle in the country where the accident happened. The government have warned that if an accident is caused by an uninsured or untraced driver you might not receive compensation.
The government advise that you should currently have a GB sticker or number plate on your vehicle when driving outside of the UK. Even if you have a GB number plate, they suggest that you should also get a sticker when travelling in the EU in the future.
If there is no deal, then depending on which country you are visiting you might need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). There are two types of IDPs, one governed by the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, called a 1949 permit and the second is governed by the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, a 1968 permit.
At the moment you do not need an IDP when driving in the EU, but please check the government’s website for the latest advice.