Driving in the EU after Brexit?

Brexit is set to change driving in the EU for UK citizens in a very big way. Are you ready for the evolving situations that will occur should the no-deal go through? Here’s all you need to know.

Driving license regulations after Brexit

All UK motorists will still require a valid driving license to legally drive on the continent, but may also be required to hold various other documents when visiting any of the EU member states as a result of Britain leaving the union.

The most common documentation will be an international driving permit (IDP). These fall into three main categories, as follows;

1949 IDP for travel in Ireland, Malta, Spain, and Cyprus.

1968 IDP for travel in all other EU states.

1926 IDP for travel in Liechtenstein as well as several countries outside of Europe.

An IDP can be acquired courtesy of the Post Office for a fee of £5.50. However, if you are travelling from one of the 1949 IDP territories to one of the 1968 IDP territories, you will need to apply for both forms.

Any driving looking to hire a car may have an opportunity to avoid the IDPs (which last for between 1 and 3 years respectively), but it’s essential that you confirm the requirements with the rental company first.

Insurance requirements following Brexit

In addition to the international driving permit, British drivers will be required to pay greater attention to their insurance needs. A green card that verifies the presence of a valid insurance for driving in the EU and EEA.

This requirement extends to caravans and trailers, which each need their own green card documents, while motorists are advised to contact their insurer at least one month prior to departure for the EU. 

Multiple green cards are needed if two policies overlap during the stay or if you have a fleet of vehicles.

Post-Brexit vehicle and trailer registration

When driving in the EU for fewer than 12 months, a V5C vehicle log book will contain the registration documents that the authorities may wish to see. Alternatively, if you will drive a hired car, the presence of a VE103 agreement form will suffice.

If you are towing a trailer or caravan, this vehicle needs a separate registration in most EU countries too. A GB sticker should be fixed to the back of any vehicle or trailer as an identifier, even when the numberplate itself has an EU symbol on it.

Commercial drivers (buses, lorries, coaches, goods vehicles, etc.) will need to investigate their extra responsibilities.

Road accident cases after Brexit

If you are involved in a road accident on EU territory post-Brexit, you will still be permitted to make a claim against the driver or insurance company. However, depending on which country you’re in, the claim might need to be made in the native language. 

Moreover, if the driver cannot be traced or is uninsured, it may be possible that your insurer won’t pay out. This will vary from one company to the next, which is why you should speak to yours before your next trip.

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