Everything you need to know about driving abroad after Brexit – with or without a deal

Around 1.3million Brits living abroad and anyone wanting to drive on holiday might need to get new licences, updates to permits or make sure their passports are renewed – here's everything you need to know.

Driving licence and registrations

If you're living abroad and using a UK driving licence, you'll need to exchange it for a local EU licence before March 29.

You may have to pass a driving test in the country you live to carry on driving there.

That EU licence will be valid when visiting the UK, and can be swapped back if you return home.

If you're an EU national driving in the UK you won't need a new licence.

After a No Deal Brexit, a British licence could be not valid at all.

Anyone who wants to take a holiday abroad and drive in the EU in the event of No Deal will need an International Driving Permit instead.

They last for three years, or as long as your own UK licence is valid.

Spain, Malta, or Cyprus require a slightly different permit, which is only valid for 12 months.

But you'll be able to drive in Ireland with a licence for up to a year – as long as it's current and valid.

They cost £5.50 and you can get them from your local post office – you'll need proof of ID, your current licence and a passport photo.

After Brexit you'll also need to register most large trailers.

Number plates and stickers

All cars need to show either the GB sticker or a GB sign on their number plates.

Even if your car has a Euro-plate – featuring the EU flag and a GB sign – then you might need an additional GB sticker if we leave without a deal.

They must be a certain size – click here for more details.

Vehicle registration documents

If there's No Deal you should continue to carry around your vehicle registration documents with you when you're abroad for less than a year.

Vehicle insurance

Currently you don't need a motor insurance Green Card to drive abroad.

But after leave you'll need to carry one whether we leave with a deal or not – and some countries also require separate insurance for trailers too.

Speak to your insurance company if you're not sure about what you need to take out.

Experts have said you should give at least a month's notice to do this.

Road accidents

If we leave without an exit deal you might not be able to make a claim via the current UK-based claims representative or the UK Motors Insurer's Bureau.

Instead you could have to bring a claim in the local country against the driver or the insurer of the vehicle.

But if they leave the scene or aren't insured, you might not be able to get compensation.

Passports and visas

If you want to travel to Europe after we leave, you must make sure there's at least six months left on it.

If there isn't, you'll have to renew it before you go.

At the moment there aren't any plans to force Brits to get a visa to travel to Europe for short stays – with or without a deal.

But if they want to stay longer or work, then you'll need to apply for one.

After 2021 Brits will need to pay seven euros for a visa waiver.

Emission stickers

Like London, many other cities in Europe have low-emission zones which means older, polluting cars may not be allowed in.

Newer and lower polluting cars will be allowed in but need a sticker to show what kind of emissions their cars produce.

France, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Belgium all have their own systems.


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