Driving in the EU after Brexit – What you need to know

What will change?

The seemingly never ending saga of Britain leaving the EU rolls on as we go about our day to day business waiting for the final decision to be announced. Until that day comes, we need to prepare ourselves in the right ways to be able to take the hit of any disruption that may follow. If the UK leaves the European union at the end of October without a deal, you will need to be carrying extra documentation to legally drive your vehicle in a country the remains in the EU (https://www.gov.uk/eu-eea).

Do I need extra documentation to travel in the EU?

The extra documentation that you have to carry can be in the form of your vehicle logbook, and or VE103, this is a document that shows you have been given permission to drive your hire/leased vehicle abroad. Again, depending on the way that Brexit is delivered, deal or no-deal, you will need to carry a Green Card when driving in and around the EU. A Green Card is proof that you have motor insurance for the vehicle that you are travelling in, currently the EU and some added countries are Green Card-free areas, though this would change for us upon a no-deal Brexit.

You would also be required be required to purchase an IDP or International Driving Permit. These come at a small fee of £5.50 and act as a translated version of your driving licence, allowing the relevant foreign officers to easily check your identification. There are two different kinds of IDP, one of which, the 1949 variants which post-brexit will only be usable in Cyprus, Spain and Malta. Then there’s the 1968 variants which will be applicable for any other EU state.

What should my number plates display?

In terms of your number plates, it would be best for you to be displaying a GB badge on them to make it clear that you are a traveller from this country. That being said, you can display one of the recognised GB stickers in place of this, as they can act as a national identifier also. And remember, if you are towing a trailer this must also display a national identifier, along with a second number plates for the trailer itself, as in some cases it will be required to be registered.

What if I am towing a trailer?

If you are towing a commercial trailer that weighs more than 750kg, or a domestic one that weighs over 3,500kg  then you must adhere to certain rules when you travel in the EU. This means that you will be require to register this trailer in a similar way to registering a new vehicle.  This has actually been enforced since the start of April.

Will any thing change for my pets?

One major change that may slip by many people when embarking onto future travels into the EU is in regards to their pets. As the UK will been as an unlisted country, there are a number of steps you must take to ensure that your pets are safe to be taken into a foreign country.

  • Your pet must be microchipped and given a rabies vaccination before it travels. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
  • Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  • The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful.
  • You must wait three months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  • You must take your pet to a Official Veterinarian (OV), no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.
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