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What impact will a no deal Brexit have on driving in Europe?

If an agreement with the European Union cannot be reached by 29 March, UK drivers may need to take additional measures if they wish to hire a car and drive in Europe.

The government has suggested that International Driving Permits will be required in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, in addition to a regular UK driving licence.

Drivers will also need a Green Card to ensure that their insurance is valid when driving in the EU, as detailed below.

International Driving Permits

International Driving Permits allow drivers to drive in certain countries and can be purchased at the Post Office for a fee of £5.50.

If you visit two countries that require different IDPs, you will need to pay for two permits (for example, a 1949 IDP and a 1968 IDP).

Three IDPs are available to purchase, but only two are used in the EU. A 1926 IDP is only required if you plan to travel in Mexico or Somalia.

The 1949 IDP is required in Ireland, Malta, Spain or Cyprus and is valid for a 12 month period.

The 1968 IDP meanwhile is valid for three years, or until the date that your driving licence expires if that date is within a three-year period. This would be required for travel in all other EU states.

It’s likely that you’ll need to show proof of an applicable IDP if you’re looking to hire a car in Europe, although it’s worth remembering that IDP requirements are dependent on negotiations between the UK government and the EU.

Green Card requirements

The government also announced in late 2018 that any driver wishing to hire a car in Europe after Brexit will need to carry a Green Card.

This acts as an internationally-recognised proof of insurance and should help you if you need to make a claim or provide details to the police or another driver.

As well as needing a Green Card in EU countries, they are also required when looking to drive in numerous other countries, including:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Ask your insurer for a Green Card if you intend to drive in Europe and it is not provided – it will be given to you for free.
The Green Card is designed to ensure that the victims of accidents involving foreign registered vehicles are not disadvantaged as a result. 

If you intend to hire a car in Europe from 29 March and are unsure of your position, speak with your car hire company to make sure you have all the necessary documents.

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Date Created: 04 February 2019

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