With less than 24 hours remaining before the UK was due to leave the European Union we’re all still none the wiser about what will happen; nevertheless we still want to help you prepare for all the eventualities.
Currently UK drivers can use their Great Britain or Northern Ireland issued driving licence in all EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland. However the DVLA is now advising that in the event of the UK leaving without a deal your drivers may require an international driving permit if they are going to drive in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
This means you may require additional documentation:
• An International Driving Permit (IDP) – acknowledged by the country you’re visiting
• A Green Card – should you wish to use your UK insurance
• You will also require a minimum of six months before your passport expires to travel in Europe
What is an IDP?
An IDP is a multi-language translation of your UK driving licence. The permit required varies according to the country you are visiting. For example, when in France you’ll require an IDP 1968 which is valid for three years but in Spain you’ll need an IDP 1949, valid for only a year. If you’re travelling between countries, you will be required to purchase an applicable permit for each country you are travelling in.
Check which permits you’ll need on the Post Office website: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit
Where can you apply for an IDP?
The only place you can apply for an IDP is over the counter at a Post Office. There are over 2,500 in the UK that offer the service, which takes about five minutes. You must be over 18 and have a full, valid driving licence to apply.
To check where your nearest IDP issuing branch is visit: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit#bf-full-width
What do you need to apply?
• A full, valid driving licence. Either a photo or the paper version is acceptable. If you have a paper licence you will also need to take a valid passport for identification purposes
• A passport sized, recent photo of yourself
• £5.50 application fee, per permit payable by card or cash
What is a green card?
A green card is issued by your insurer to demonstrate that you have the minimum basic cover required to drive in Europe. It is basically an international insurance certificate – not an actual card but a piece of paper that must be carried if you’re driving abroad. If you take your car into Europe a green card is required. You shouldn’t need one if you’re driving a hire car if you are covered under their insurance. The only other option is to purchase local ‘frontier’ cover but that may not be appropriate and could be costly.
What do I need to do to get a green card?
Your green card will be issued by your insurance company so you need to contact them.
The following is worth noting:
• The green card should be free but some companies may charge a small administration fee
• It can take up to a month to receive your green card so plan ahead
• Your insurance will be invalid if you take your car abroad without a green card. It’s also illegal so you could be prosecuted and end up with a fine or having your car seized
If you require anything else please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to assist you.