Brexit is going to impact any UK motorists who drive inside EU countries in numerous ways. Our guide lays out the primary changes for you.
There are going to be changes to the procedures and rules for driving around Europe that impact driving licences, driving permits, car insurance, and a lot of other various factors that motorists are going to need to think about if they want to take to the roads of Europe after Brexit. You can discuss this with expert vehicle technicians at BGS.
International Driving Permits
DfT, or the Department for Transport, is advising that if the UK leaves the EU without having a deal in place, then British motorists who want to drive in Europe are going to be required to buy an IDP, or International Driving Permit.
In essence, an IDP is a translated version of the driving licence that you currently have. It lets foreign officials check your credentials easily and quickly. You can apply for one of these at the Post Office, and it costs £5.50 to purchase.
It’s worth keeping in mind that just having an IDP isn’t going to be valid by itself. You’ll still need your standardised photocard driving licence on you too.
Do you need an international driving permit?
In actuality, you can get two distinct kinds of IDP for purchase. The first of them falls under the older 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, whereas the second one comes from the newer 1968 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.
After Brexit, the 1949 IDP variants are only going to be valid for Spain, Malta, Ireland, and Cyprus. At the same time, 1968 IDPs can be purchased for travel in all other EU countries. The DfT states that the IDP version you would need will depend on the specific EU nations you intend to visit. Drivers might be turned away at a border or face other potential enforcement actions, such as fines, when they have the wrong IDP.
On top of an IDP, the odds are high that Brits who plan to drive in Europe after Brexit are going to need to have a motor insurance green card. This particular document is issued by your insurer to prove you have sufficient insurance cover when you drive abroad. Luckily, it’s not hard to apply for your green card, nor should it cost you a thing. You only need to phone your insurer up to ask for one.
Road Traffic Accidents
If you intend to take your own car into an EU country following Brexit, then you should consult your insurer to be sure that, if you happen to get involved in an accident with European motorists and wish to make claims against them, your insurer will make contact with their insurer and deal with things for you on your behalf.
Vehicle Registration Documents
If it turns out to be a no-deal Brexit, then the rules surrounding carrying your vehicle registration documents when you drive in Europe are unlikely to change.
You should keep up the current practice of keeping your V5C vehicle log book inside your car when you drive abroad. Additionally, if you take any UK-registered hire car into an EU nation, then you need to have a VE103 that proves you’re permitted to drive this vehicle abroad.
GB Stickers And Number Plates
At the time of writing, any UK-registered cars that were driving in either EU or EEA countries had to have their GB sticker affixed to their rear, with the exception of vehicles fitted with a Euro-plate, which is a number plate that displays both the GB symbol and EU flag in the left-hand column.
If the UK ends up with a no-deal Brexit, however, then UK-registered automobiles are going to need a GB sticker attached to them, whether they have a Euro-plate or not.
Following Brexit, UK drivers are going to be required to register any commercial trailers that weigh more than 750kg and any non-commercial trailers that weigh in excess of 3,500kg before they are able to be towed to the majority of EU or EEA nations.
Motorists can also register non-commercial trailers on a voluntary basis if they weigh in excess of 750kg, although there’s no legal requirement mandating this.