Brexit has dominated the mainstream news for the last three years – but the deadline of October 31st is looming large. So, what will change about driving abroad in EU countries following Brexit – and will anything change if we leave without a deal?
Whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, certain changes will come into force. The main one, for UK drivers, is the necessity to carry an IDP – International Driver’s Permit – in any EU or EEA, (European Economic Area), country. There are two different types, each valid in different countries, available for £5.50 from your local Post Office. To find out which IDP you need for your destination, check out the official Government information on the issue. However, it may be that you need to purchase both type of IDP – countries such as Spain and France use different versions.
For EU drivers living in the UK, any EU issued drivers licences will remain valid for use within the UK. Any drivers coming into the UK from the EU will require an insurance green card, (more on that later), or evidence of valid insurance for their vehicle.
If the UK leaves the EU on October 31st having not managed to negotiate a deal with the EU, there will be a lot more changes for people looking to drive abroad. Alongside the IDP, drivers will be required to carry ‘Green Card Insurance’ to protect valid UK vehicle insurance in EU or EEA countries. Each ‘Green Card’ is valid for 90 days, and if you’re travelling with a fleet of vehicles or a trailer or caravan, you will need a valid ‘Green Card’ for each vehicle or trailer. Your ‘Green Card’ will be valid in all EU or EEA countries for the full 90 days, but if you travel again after this time, you will need to apply for another one. Make sure you plan ahead and leave at least five weeks to obtain this pass as they take between one and four weeks to process and you may not be able to travel without one. All vehicles currently fitted with Euro licence plates, (a plate with both the UK and EU flag on), will need to display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle. If you have a designated UK licence plate, or you change your Euro plate to a UK one, you won’t need to display a GB sticker on your vehicle.
Any insurance claims should be made against the driver or their insurer in their native country, not through a UK based insurance provider. Drivers should be warned that they may not receiver compensation in a No-Deal Brexit scenario if they are involved in an accident with an uninsured or untraceable driver in an EU or EEA country.
Many British households own one or more pet, and the thought of being separated from your animal companion can sometimes be too much to bear. However, strict guidelines will be introduced on October 31st – and they will change depending on how the UK leaves the EU. Regardless of this, there are several extra steps pet owners will have to take if want to take their pet away with them. The full guidelines are available from the Government and should be carried out in plenty of time before you travel.
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