Driving in the EU after Brexit

The rules around driving in the European Union (EU), and EU nationals driving in the United Kingdom (UK), will potentially change when the UK leaves the EU after Brexit. Here’s what you need to do to get ready for the changes when the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019.

Will my motor insurance policy continue to be valid in the EU or EEA?

UK leaves either with or without a deal

If you’re driving a UK-registered and insured vehicle with a fully comprehensive UK motor insurance policy, you will continue to have third party motor insurance cover for travel to EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries.

UK leaves without a deal

From 31 October 2019 under a no deal Brexit, you’ll need to carry an insurance green card when driving in the EU, EEA and all other countries that recognise green cards. These can take from a week and up to a month to process, and are usually provided free of charge from your insurance provider. Check with your provider how long it will take.

Green cards typically last for up to 90 days. If you’re driving again in a country that recognises green cards, you’ll need to get another one from your insurer.

If you’re driving a vehicle that is registered and insured in your host country, such as a local rental car, you won’t need a green card.

You may also need to put a GB sticker on your vehicle, even if it already has a Euro-plate, which is a number plate displaying both the EU flag and a GB sign.

You won’t need a GB sticker to drive outside the UK if you swap a Euro-plate with a number plate that only has a GB sign and not the EU flag.

Will my driving licence still be valid for driving in the EU and EEA and will I need any other permits?

UK leaves either with or without a deal

When the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK drivers may also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in the EU and EEA.

An IDP costs £5.50, and you’ll need to get it before you travel from the Post Office.

There are three types of IDP, and which one you need will depend on the country you’re travelling to:

  • 1949 Convention IDP, will be valid in Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus and lasts for 12 months.
  • 1968 Convention IDP, will be valid in all other EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland, and lasts for three years.
  • 1926 permit to drive in Liechtenstein.

On 28 March 2019, some countries stopped recognising 1926 and 1949 IDPs issued by the UK. Instead you may need a 1968 IDP to drive in these countries.

If you’re driving through multiple countries which require different types of IDP – for example, if you’re visiting both France and Spain – you’ll need to get both types of permit, meaning you would pay £11 in total.

Along with the above, you may also need to put a GB sticker on your vehicle, even if it already has a Euro-plate, which is a number plate displaying both the EU flag and a GB sign.

You won’t need a GB sticker to drive outside the UK if you swap a Euro-plate with a number plate that only has a GB sign and not the EU flag.

I’m a UK national living in an EU country, what happens to my UK driving licence?

UK leaves either with or without a deal

You should exchange your UK licence for a driving licence from the EU country you are living in before 31 October 2019.

If you haven’t exchanged your UK licence by 31 October 2019, it will depend on the country you live in as to whether they will accept your UK licence. This could mean needing to retake your driving test in the EU country you live in to be able to carry on driving there.

Many EU countries only recognise non-EU country licences for up to six months. This would mean after six months your licence would be invalid and you’d need to take a test in the country you’re in.

Will I need to carry any additional paperwork when driving in the EU?

UK leaves without a deal

From 31 October 2019 under a no deal Brexit, you’ll need to carry an insurance green card when driving in the EU, EEA and all other countries that recognise green cards. These can take from a week and up to a month to process and are usually provided free of charge from your insurance provider. Check with your provider how long it will take.

Green cards typically last for up to 90 days. If you’re driving again in a country that recognises green cards, you’ll need to get another one from your insurer.

If you’re driving a vehicle that is registered and insured in your host country, such as a local rental car, you won’t need a green card.

You may also need to put a GB sticker on your vehicle, even if it already has a Euro-plate, which is a number plate displaying both the EU flag and a GB sign.

You won’t need a GB sticker to drive outside the UK if you swap a Euro-plate with a number plate that only has a GB sign and not the EU flag.

Find out more about insurance when driving abroad after Brexit on the GOV.ukopens in new window website or Money Advice Service website.

If I’m towing a trailer or caravan, will I need a separate green card for the trailer?

Yes, some EEA and EU countries require a separate green card as proof of insurance for your trailer, including caravans. If you’re travelling with a trailer, contact your insurance provider to get two green cards: one for the towing vehicle, and one for the trailer.

Find out more on the GOV.uk website.

I’m a haulier or commercial driver, what do I need to do?

From 28 March 2019, you must register commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg before towing them to or through most EU and EEA countries.

You can voluntarily register non-commercial trailers that weigh over 750kg but there is no legal requirement to do this.

[Find out whether you’ll need to register your trailer on the GOV.uk website.

](https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trailer-registration)

I’m an EU national living in the UK, what happens to my EU driving licence?

If the UK leaves either with or without a deal

EU issued driving licences will continue to be valid in the UK after the UK’s exit from the EU.

The UK expects drivers coming from the EU into the UK to carry an insurance green card, or evidence of their insurance cover.

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