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Driving Abroad: What You Need to Know

Driving Abroad: What You Need to Know

If you are planning on renting a car while on holiday or taking your car abroad with you, and want to know what has changed since Brexit, look no further! We are here to make your driving holiday as simple as possible. Here’s what you need to know.

Your licence

It goes without saying that before you head off on your holidays, if you plan on driving while abroad, you need to make sure that your licence is in date. Without a valid licence you won’t be able to hire a car.

You can renew your licence online and the process should take a week or so. If you have lost your licence, applying for a new one should take fewer than five days.

International driving licence

During Brexit negotiations, there were concerns that it would be necessary for British nationals to get an IDP (International Driving Licence) in order to drive in some countries. An IDP is a formal translation of your driving licence into multiple languages and must be carried alongside the UK driver’s licence. However, these concerns have been laid to rest; if you have a valid photo driving licence and you are planning on driving in the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you won’t need an IDP.

If you are driving outside of the EU or the other countries listed above, you may need an IDP; check online or with your travel agent for more details and if in doubt, get one anyway; you can get them from your post office for each country that you plan driving in.

Check local rules

Ignorance is no excuse when it comes to breaking laws, so before you get behind the wheel overseas, make sure that you are familiar with any specific driving rules for the country. Some territories may require you to carry additional kit, such as warning triangles and Hi-Viz clothing, emissions stickers and breathalyser tests. If you are hiring a car, check with the car hire company that your vehicle has everything you need.


Whether you are taking your own vehicle on holiday or hiring a car abroad, it is vital that you make sure you have adequate insurance. Check your own insurance and your holiday policy, as well as that available with the hire car.

Get holiday ready

Whether you are driving to the airport, the ferry port or the train station, it pays to make sure that your vehicle is in top condition; missing precious holiday time thanks to a missed flight or a breakdown whilst you're away is too big a risk to take. Book your vehicle in for a once over at a local garage to ensure that your holiday travels go without a hitch.

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