The UK government’s guidance on driving in the EU changed on January 1st 2021, in line with the end of the Brexit transition period.
However, it’s still not difficult to take a driving holiday in the EU – in fact, you’re more likely to be stopped due to COVID-19 restrictions than you are because of Brexit.
If you want to drive in the EU, you’ll need to take your UK driving licence with you. If you have a paper licence with no photo-card, you might also need to apply for an International Driving Permit or IDP.
It’s worth noting that Ireland is exempt from this – currently a UK driving licence is all you need to drive in the Republic of Ireland.
Proof of insurance
You will need to have proof that your vehicle is insured. This is called a Green Card and you will need one when driving in the EU, including the Republic of Ireland.
A separate Green Card is needed for anything you tow, such as a trailer or caravan, and you may also need separate insurance for your trailer depending on the countries you visit.
Green Cards must be physically printed out. However, it may be possible to print your own after receiving an electronic version from your insurer. Leave at least six weeks between requesting a Green Card, and your planned date of travel.
GB vehicle identification
Vehicles registered in the UK should display a GB sticker clearly on the rear of the vehicle.
You need a GB sticker if your vehicle’s number plate currently shows:
• The EU flag
• An England, Wales or Scotland flag (as opposed to the Union Jack)
• Your registration number with no flag or national identifier
A GB sticker is mandatory in Spain, Malta and Cyprus, regardless of what is on your number plate.
Car accidents in the EU
If you are the victim of a car accident caused by another driver in an EU country, you will need to make your insurance claim in that country, and potentially in their language.
Contact your own insurance provider for help, and be aware that if the other driver is not insured, you may not be entitled to a payout.
Be prepared in case you suffer a crash or breakdown while driving abroad. Some countries require you to carry a high-visibility warning triangle to place in the road, and it’s smart to have some drinks and snacks with you in case you get stranded.
Upgrade your car
We all deserve a break after the past year and a half spent at home, and a driving holiday is a great way to do so safely during any remaining Coronavirus concerns.
If your current car has seen better days, why not scrap it? J Davidson pay some of the best prices for scrap cars in Manchester, and it’s a lot easier than negotiating a decent part-exchange deal.
By selling your car for scrap, you can put the money towards your new set of wheels, and maybe get a bit more space, luggage capacity or air conditioning to make your summer road trip in the EU even more special in 2021.