Brexit will affect a lot of UK motorists driving in the countries in the EU in a few ways. The changes to the driving rules will affect car insurance, driving licenses, driving permits and much more. After 29 March 2019, any motorist on the road, needs to adhere to these new rules.
International Driving Permits
The Department for Transport has advised that if the UK leaves the EU without any deal on the table by 29th March 2019, any UK motorists looking to drive in Europe need to purchase an international driving permit (IDP).
It’s basically a translated version of your current driving license. Any foreign official can check your credentials very fast and effortlessly. You will be charged £5.50 for the purchase and you can apply for one at the local post office.
Keep in mind that the IDP is not a valid document on its own so you need to have the regular photocard driving license whenever you are on the road.
Do You Need an IDP?
You can purchase one among the 2 types of IDP available. The first one falls under the Geneva Convention created in 1949 about road traffic while the second one is for the Geneva Convention created in 1968 about road traffic.
After Brexit, the 1949 IDP variants can only be used in Cyprus, Malta, Ireland and Spain. On the other hand, the 1968 IDPs should be purchased to allow travelling in any other country in the EU. The Department for Transport has stipulated that the IDP version you need depends mostly on the specific EU country you are visiting. Note that, drivers might face some enforcement actions such as fines or be turned away at the border if they don’t follow through.
Besides having the IDP, any British residents planning to drive in Europe after Brexit need a motor insurance green card. The document is provide by the insurance company to prove that you are adequately covered to drive abroad. Luckily, it’s not that hard to apply for a green card and it’s free. You need to contact your insurer and get one immediately.
Road Traffic Accidents
If you are planning to take your car to an EU country post-Brexit, you need to check with your insurer first. That way, if you are involved in an accident with an European motorist and looking to making a claim, your insurer can communicate with the other person’s insurer on your behalf.
Vehicle Registration Documents
If there is no deal after Brexit, there should be any change with the vehicle registration documents when you are driving in Europe. However, don’t forget to carry your V5C vehicle log book in your vehicle when you’re driving abroad. If you have hired a UK registered car and are planning to take it to an EU country, you should bring the VE103 to prove that you have the permit to drive abroad.
Number Plates and GB Stickers
Currently, any UK registered vehicles driving in the EEA and EU countries should have a GB sticker on the back. That’s unless the vehicle has a Euro-plate (that’s a number plate that displays a GB symbol and EU flag in the left-hand column). If Brexit happens without a deal, any UK registered vehicles should have a GB sticker on the back, regardless of whether they have a Euro plate or not.
Post-Brexit, UK drivers, should register any commercial trailers weighing above 750kg and the non-commercial trailers weighing more than 3500kg before they can move out of the EEA and EU countries. Motorists should also register their non-commercial trailers weighing more than 750kg. However, there isn’t any legal requirement to do this. This requirement will be more of an issue for commercial haulage or those training at places like Easy As HGV.
Remember, some fines and penalties might be enforced on you if you don’t adhere to these rules. Therefore, follow them to the letter when you are driving in and out of the EU countries, post-Brexit.