Driving in Europe after Brexit?
So the is it or isn’t it happening episode of Brexit is constantly to-ing and fro-ing across parliament. But what are the consequences to us. The requirements for driving in Europe may change after Brexit, including the recognition of driving licences between the UK and Europe.
With this in mind, UK licence holders who live in an European Union country have been urged to exchange their existing licence to a local EU licence before the 29th March, whilst advising other UK licence holders that they may need additional paperwork to drive in Europe after Brexit.
This could mean obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP), or an insurance Green Card.
A spokesperson for the RAC said that needing a driving permit is "dependent on negotiations between the government and the European Union", and the AA website advises: "If you wait for Government to make a decision it could then be too late to get your travel documents in time".
What Is An International Driving Permit, And How Do I Buy Them?
The RAC have advised motorists that they may need to purchase an International Driving Permit (IDP) of which there are three types, each covering different territories:
- The 1949 Convention IDP covers: Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta, and Cyprus. This permit is valid for 12 months.
- The 1968 Convention IDP covers: All other EU countries, Norway, and Switzerland. This permit is valid for 3 years, or for as long as your driving licence is valid, whichever is sooner.
- The 1928 Convention IDP covers: Lichtenstein.
The IDP can only be purchased at certain branches of the Post Office, and each International Driving Permit costs £5.50.
The Post Office advises that you bring your full valid UK photo-card driving licence and a passport sized photo. For people with an older paper driving licence should also bring a valid passport as proof of identification.
The Post Office also adds that somebody else can apply for an IDP on your behalf providing they have the correct supporting documents.
Will I Need More Than One Permit To Drive In Europe?
You will only need a permit for the countries you are driving in. For example, if you are only driving in Spain, then you will need the 1949 IDP.
However, if you are going to drive to Spain via France, you will need to purchase both the 1949 and 1968 IDP, costing £11.
Each permit can be purchased up to three months before travel, and cannot be backdated.
For full information on driving in Europe. Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-driving-permits-for-uk-drivers-from-28-march-2019