Whilst the In-Out Deal or No Deal Brexit conundrum continues to confound politicians and the British public alike, those involved in the motor trade still need to ply their business; and holiday travel and commerce still mean that we take our vehicles to and from continental Europe.
Driving in Europe After Brexit
Since commercial services started in May 1994, almost 430 million passengers and 86 million vehicles have travelled through the Channel Tunnel making it one of the world’s busiest routes.
For many in the motor trade, the uncertainty of ensuring that sure you have the correct licences and insurance is proving something of a challenge. To help unravel some of the mystery surrounding the Department for Transport’s preparations, we outline what you will need to do when it comes to travelling abroad and getting the right motor trade insurance or fleet insurance to cover you.
GB Bumper Stickers
There have been some interesting vehicle registration and insurance developments emerging recently from The Department for Transport about taking vehicles to continental Europe in the event of a No Deal Brexit. These regulations apply to those just taking a casual jaunt across the Channel, to those involved in the import and export of goods and vehicles and fleet management
Perhaps the most recent development by the Department of Transport is that it recommends all vehicles travelling to continental Europe be fitted with a GB logo sticker. While rules have always required that UK motors need to display a GB logo, a number plate with GB on the blue edge will be deemed fit for purpose in the Republic of Ireland. And that goes for trade plates too.
Advice issued by the Government states that the rules will be enforceable under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic once Britain’s divorce from the EU is complete.
A Change of Driving Licence
When the UK leaves the European Union, many UK drivers might require new licences. If you travel before 31 October 2019 (the new official leave date), you can use your UK driving licence to drive within the EU/EEA. If you drive outside of these countries, or are travelling after the UK leaves the EU, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
In January 2019, the Government released new guidance informing British drivers that their current driving licenses will be useless on the continent in the event of a no-deal scenario. If you’re planning to drive in the EU, you will have to spend £5.50 on an International Driving Permit if we leave without a deal.
These are available to purchase from your local Post Office or driving organisations such as the AA and the RAC. You have to be 18+ and have to have a full driving licence to be able to have an IDP.
Correct Insurance Cover
When driving in the EU and EEA you will need to carry a motor insurance green card. You should contact your insurance provider before travelling abroad to obtain green cards for your vehicle or trailer.
If you have fleet insurance, you should let your insurer know that you’re travelling overseas and check if your existing insurance policy covers you for liabilities abroad. For extra protection, your insurer may recommend you upgrade your existing comprehensive policy to be covered abroad (you may have to pay extra for this) or, for infrequent trips, you might be able to add European cover as an optional extra, which usually covers you for up to 30 days.
Essential Kit for Driving in Europe.
Our essential checklist will tell you everything you need to know for driving in Europe, from what to take with you to things to remember when you get there.
- A Warning Triangle (compulsory in most countries)
- Breathalyser kit (compulsory in France)
- Reflective jackets (one for each passenger and be kept within the car’s cabin)
- Headlamp beam deflectors (depending on your vehicle, you’ll either need stickers
or you’ll manually have to adjust the beam)
- GB car sticker (if you don’t have a GB Euro number plate)
- First aid kit (compulsory in France, Germany, and Austria)
- European Health Insurance card (EHIC) (depending on validity when we ‘Brexit’)
Important Documents for Driving in Europe Post Brexit
It’s a good idea to take photocopies of these in the event of loss/damage to originals.
- Full, valid driving licence and International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Proof of vehicle insurance (including green card)
- Proof of ID (passport)
- Vehicle Log Book (V5C Certificate)
- Travel insurance documents
- European Breakdown Cover policy number and documents
- Before you set off make sure ensure your vehicle’s tax and MOT are and up-to-date
- Crit’air sticker. You will need a Crit'Air sticker to drive in Paris. Central Paris is covered with a permanent low-emissions zone (ZCR) that means all vehicles need to display a Crit'Air to be allowed entry during certain times.
Unsure about your own cover or looking to increase existing cover? call Tradex on 01708 678 400.