Driving in the EU from 1 January 2021
Driving licences and international driving permits
You will still need to carry your UK driving licence with you.
You may also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU and EEA countries from 1 January 2021.
The type of IDP that you may need will depend on the countries you will drive through. Further detail on this will be available later in 2020.
You will not need an IDP to drive when visiting Ireland if you have a UK driving licence.
You can get an IDP over the counter at the Post Office.
An IDP costs £5.50 and drivers must:
- be a Great Britain or Northern Ireland resident
- have a full UK driving licence
- be 18 or over
Insurance for your vehicle, caravan or trailer
A ‘green card’ is proof that you have motor insurance cover when driving abroad. You should plan to carry one for the vehicle your driving in the EU and EEA from 1 January 2021.
You will need to carry multiple green cards if:
- you have fleet insurance – you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
- your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan - you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer / caravan (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)
- you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey
Contact your vehicle insurance provider 1 month before you travel to get green cards for your vehicle, caravan or trailer.
Vehicle registration documents
If you’re taking your vehicle to the EU for less than 12 months, you should carry one of the following documents with you:
- your vehicle log book (V5C), if you have one
- a VE103 to show you’re allowed to use your hired or leased vehicle abroad
You will still need to register some commercial and non-commercial trailers before towing them to or through most EU and EEA countries.
GB stickers and number plates
Display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier.
You do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland.
What to do if you’re involved in a road accident
If you’re involved in a road accident in an EU country you should in the first instance contact your insurer.
From 1 January 2021, any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened. You might have to make your claim in the local language.
You will not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.
Get legal advice if you need more information about this.