Driving around Europe post-Brexit

Are you thinking of some sort of road trip? Maybe you’re moving to an EU country? Perhaps you’re taking up a new job? Regardless, if you’re heading to Europe and planning on driving there, you might want to do your homework first. Because with all the Brexit stuff, there are some rules and regulations that you could do with knowing. Motorists currently feel in the dark, but don’t be put off – this article will bring you up to speed.

The good news is that your UK driving licence will remain valid in the EU no matter what happens. So, the main thing to realise that in the event of a no-deal Brexit (in October 2019), you’re going to need some extra documentation if you want to hit European roads. UK drivers will need to purchase an International Driving Permit in addition to having your normal driving licence. It’s no biggie though – you can get one from your local Post Office.

Wherever you’re headed, don’t just bring your pets with you. The rules as they stand might be clear, but if the UK leaves the EU then the UK will be categorized as an unlisted country, so you need to keep watching the news to stay on top of the latest guidelines on pets. However, understand that you’ll probably have to microchip your dog or cat, as well as send a blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing lab.

You should also stay on top of any small print from an insurance perspective. If the UK is part of the EU and you have an accident, it’s pretty straightforward. Your level of cover is consistent and any crash is dealt with in the normal fashion. But if the leaves the EU, things become complicated and you might end up having to make a claim via a UK rep. If you’re in any doubt as to what you’re insured for, contact your insurance company and ask them. It’s what they’re there for and at the end of the day, you’re paying them money for peace of mind.

Of course, if you intend on driving to a European country with the aim of living there, this changes things further. You’ll have to exchange your UK driving licence for a local EU version. You might also have to pass a driving test in the country you intend on living in. If you’re in a rush, you can take an intensive driving course just like the crash courses you can take in the UK.

Likewise, if you’re moving back home to the UK after travelling or living in the EU, you can exchange your EU licence for a UK licence provided that you’ve passed your driving test in the UK.

Krissy Georgiadis

Written by Krissy Georgiadis

Law graduate and wanderlust sufferer. I like rum and beaches.