By William Coleman
With Brexit just a few weeks away, we Brits will have to make a few adjustments and be on the lookout for driving changes in Europe once the deal, or no deal, is done.
The CaravanTimes crew are no strangers to driving across the European continent and leaving EU countries to then re-enter the EU a few miles down the road. These crossings presented quite a few challenges that we were not ready for. Let’s just say it was lucky we had cash in our pockets and beer in our fridge.
It looks as though we may not have the same freedom of travel we’ve been used to for decades, so we’ll need to make sure we have the right paperwork to cross multiple borders while travelling.
Before Brexit, when travelling through different EU countries you didn’t have to have any additional paperwork for your vehicles, it was only when entering a non-EU country that you needed to have additional green cards and insurances.
Having driven through countries like Albania, Turkey and Bosnia we realised each country requires you to buy a green card and separate insurance to drive legally. This could now be the case for all European destinations on the continent.
To help guide us all through these slightly confusing times, StressFreeCarRental.com has revealed what to look out for when driving in continental Europe in 2021, as life for British motorists will be very different.
A spokesperson for StressFreeCarRental.com said: “With a deal still being negotiated, there is a lot up in the air with Brexit and what changes we may, or may not have to adhere to in 2021.
“If Brits are planning to drive around Europe for work or holidays next year, then they need to be prepared, as Brexit is likely to affect their plans.”
Will you need an International Driving Permit?
From 1st January 2021, we may need what is called an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some European countries. We purchased them for each team member for the Bailey Bristnabul trip to ensure there were no driving issues.
The UK Government is currently involved in negotiations with the EU about this and has promised more details later this month.
In the meantime, if you have overseas travel booked we’d recommend buying an IDP from a post office for £5.50. Be sure to take a passport photo along with you and check to see if your chosen post office does them; it took us five attempts to find one that did the IDP.
Will your current licence be accepted?
EU and EEA licences will continue to be accepted in the UK for visitors and residents. The EEA is the European Economic Area, which is the EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
Will you need a green card when driving abroad?
British driver’s UK car insurance is still valid for visiting the EEA during the transition period. But after this period, you may also need a green card. This is a document from your insurer to prove your car is covered if you’re driving in Europe.
The government’s official advice is: “You should plan to carry one for the vehicle you’re driving in the EU and EEA, including in Ireland, from 1 January 2021.”
Please note that separate green cards are needed for trailers and caravans.
Do you need any additional car and motor insurance?
Under the European Union 2009 motor insurance directive, any vehicle legally insured in one EU country can be driven between other European nations on the same policy. So Brits will still be insured under their current providers, but if you drive through Europe without a green card, you might face a fine or have your vehicle seized.
What about a GB sticker on vehicles?
The UK government is recommending that you have a GB sticker on your car, even if there’s already a GB symbol on the number plate.
Anything else I need to know?
British drivers need to remember to carry their V5C logbook with them if they own the car. If it’s a hire car, then you’ll need to get a VE103 form to show you have permission to take it out of the UK.