How does Brexit affect driving to Europe?

Driving in France guide

If you’re driving to continental Europe this winter for a ski trip, you’re forgiven for being confused about how Brexit affects your plans.

There is much confusion surrounding the issue – even the Government’s own web page about driving on the continent after Brexit has not been updated for six months and gives no detail on arrangements during the transition period. As a result, those driving to France and beyond over the following months should be prudent.

Take your vehicle’s V5

In the event that your vehicle breaks down, cannot be repaired, and needs to be transported back to Britain from the EU, it is possible that border control services could ask to see the original V5C log book to prove the vehicle is being legitimately brought into the country.

International Driving Permit (IDP)

International Driving Permits (IDP) can be issued at the post office. There are different types depending on the country that is being travelled to. If travelling through any countries that require different IDPs, you will require both. If you are unable to produce a valid IDP at the request of the police, you could face an on-the-spot fine or have your vehicle seized. If you break down and we need to arrange a hire vehicle on your behalf, you must have the appropriate IDP.


Green Cards / GB Stickers

Green Cards are a proof of insurance provided by your provider. Even if your policy covers driving in Europe as standard, you will need to ask your insurer to provide you with a Green Card. There is usually no charge made for this. GB stickers may be required to drive abroad post-Brexit


Please check the expiry dates on your passports in case you might need to renew any of them. There’s a handy passport checker below at

How to apply for an International Driving Permit

If you’re driving to the EU you’ll be required to hold an International Driving Permit. You can apply for this permit from larger Post Offices from 01 February. The permit costs £5.50. You will need to request a driving permit at least a month before your holiday. You will also be required to hold a green card which is proof that you have UK car insurance. A green card can be obtained from your insurance company.

ETA Euro breakdown

Our free Driving in France e-book is packed with information and advice on what to bring with you, the basic rules of the road, laws on speeding and fines, toll road information, advice for motorcyclists and much more.

Driving in France guide

Don’t forget that for short-term driving trips in France and beyond, European breakdown cover from the ETA offers fantastic value. With English-speaking helplines and assistance available 24/7, you can rest assured that help is at hand should you break down abroad.

To download your free e-book, just press here.

Insurance from the top ethically accredited company in Britain

Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance provider according to The Good Shopping Guide, but we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. We also launched Green Transport Week and helped establish Car Free Day and Twenty’s Plenty to name just a few. We’ve been campaigning for sustainable transport in this way for 30 years with the help of people like you. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out insurance with us. Home insurancecycle insurancetravel insurance and breakdown cover and we take care of the rest. We provide an excellent level of cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.


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