Driving in the EU after Brexit – Our Advice

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Of all the areas of the law that may affect us in the UK after Brexit, one you may never have considered is changes to driving regulations within the EU. While currently we can drive from the UK to other EU countries, after Brexit there may be changes to the way we enter countries outside of our own.

Changes to the driving license requirements for all UK drivers after Brexit

Although currently you can drive anywhere within the EU as long as you have a valid UK driving license, when driving abroad from 29 March 2019, all drivers heading outside of the UK may need a different international driving permit (IDP) to drive abroad.

This permit will ensure that you are legally able and allowed to drive on non-UK roads, and may form part of the documentation needed for border crossings.

If the UK leaves the EU under a “no deal” Brexit, extra documentation may also be required for any UK citizens travelling to another European country. Currently the exact documentation required has not been explicitly revealed, but it may include your passport or another form of official ID.

Driving in the EU as a UK driver after Brexit

After Brexit there are a number of legal requirements that you may need to take into consideration before heading off in your car to the EU from the UK.Add a GB sticker to your car

Add a GB sticker to your car

If you have  GB signifier on your registration plate, you are already covered. However, if your number plate simply has an EU national identifier, you may need to add a GB sticker in order to show that your registration is a UK one.Ensure you are insured

Ensure you are insured

The motoring Green Card is your motor insurance evidence, used in countries outside of EU and the Green Card-free zone (including Switzerland and Serbia). In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK may leave the Green Card-free zone, meaning you will be required to carry your Green Card in order to prove your motor insurance is valid.

Keep your vehicle registration documents handy

If you’re travelling outside of the UK for less than 12 months and the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you may be required to carry your vehicle registration documents with you. Read this page on vehicle registration documents to find out more.

Are you a bus, lorry, goods vehicle or coach driver?

If you drive between the UK and the EU for work, there is specific information available to you to help understand what may be needed after Brexit. The UKGov website has specific pages relating to drivers who travel between the UK and the EU for work, so please check out the official information for more:

What to do if you are a UK national living in the EU

According to the UKGov website, if you are a UK licence holder living in the EU or EEA you should exchange your UK driving licence for a local EU driving licence before 29 March 2019.

If you don’t exchange your license you may experience delays or setbacks such as:

  • Having to pass a required driving test in the country you live in
  • Longer processing times and delays closer to the Brexit period

Remember: You can use your EU driving license in the UK, and you can exchange your EU license for a UK one should you wish to do so. Restrictions may apply based on where you passed your test.

If you need to exchange your UK driving licence for an EU or EEA driving licence, the official advice is to do so as soon as possible to avoid any delays. You can apply to exchange your licence here.

Keep up-to-date

We’ve tried to give you as much information as we can on what the laws will be around driving from the UK and the EU after Brexit, however this information is subject to change. This is because different deals or a no deal Brexit will alter the regulations and laws brought in as Brexit develops.

The government’s Brexit updates website is regularly updated with any changes for your reference and we advise referring to the official UKGov website for in-depth information on any of these developments.

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