As travel restrictions begin to relax many of us are starting to plan our summer holidays. We thought it would be useful to offer some guidance on driving in Europe and the changes that have been made since Britain left the EU.
1. If you are visiting multiple countries one international driving permit (IDP) may not be enough
You will need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. You can get IDPs over the counter at the Post Office, keep in mind that you may need one for each country you’re visiting.
2. When driving in Europe you may need to carry extra equipment
Different countries have different rules about what it is the driver’s responsibility to carry. Depending on the country you are visiting you may need a reflective jacket, warning triangle and even a breathalyser.
3. Whatever type of vehicle you drive, if you are visiting a city you may need an emissions sticker
Some European cities now require you to display an Air Quality Emissions Certificate (emissions sticker) on your car.
You can normally purchase your sticker from the official government website of the country you are travelling to. Prices are around €3-4, plus postage. Purchasing the certificate from another source may cost you more.
The certificate should only take a few minutes to order, however, keep in mind that postage from Europe could take 3 weeks.
4. Use a Green Card to prove that you have vehicle insurance when driving abroad
Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that you have the necessary third-party motor insurance cover for travel in the country you are visiting.
Check with your insurer to find out if your policy covers extra things like theft or damage and the length of time you can spend in Europe under your current policy.
To obtain your Green Card contact your insurer. Make sure you do this with plenty of time to spare as it can take up to 6 weeks to be delivered. Most insurance companies will advise you to download your Green Card and print it yourself (it’s no longer necessary to print it on green paper). Digital copies are not accepted at the border so please do print a physical copy of your permit before you leave.
5. Some things haven’t changed
GB sticker and headlight converter stickers are still necessary when driving a British car in most European countries. Earlier this year the UK Government announced a makeover for newly registered number plates and licences. UK drivers with these new style number plates won’t need to display a GB sticker in most EU countries.
6. Enjoy your trip and the freedom of travelling again 😊
We hope you found this blog useful. If you require any further information on travelling in Europe visit gov.uk for guidance.
Information source: www.gov.uk/driving-abroad. The information included in this article is subject to change.