There are a number of requirements you might not be aware of when driving in Europe. We have collated all the information here in one place to assist you.
Important Documents for driving in Europe
- Full, valid driving licence and national insurance number
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- Proof of ID (passport)
- V5C Certificate
- Travel insurance documents
- European Breakdown Cover policy number and documents
- Before you travel ensure your vehicle’s tax and MOT are valid and up-to-date
- Crit’air sticker (if needed)
10 tips for driving in Europe: before you leave
1. Put together a travel pack
Create a travel pack containing all the appropriate documentation you will need to comply with the legal requirements of the country you are visiting and to help if you get into difficulties.
In addition to your passport and driving licence this may include your vehicle registration document (V5); motor insurance certificate; International Driving Permit (if required or advised); breakdown policy and contact numbers; travel insurance documents, and any emergency helpline numbers.
2. Check your breakdown cover extends to Europe
You may need to increase your existing cover or take out standalone European breakdown policy to avoid unnecessary stress and significant additional expense if anything goes wrong with either your car or caravan. Also make sure it covers your needs as some will state clauses on the maximum amount of days you can stay in one country.
3. Car & Caravan Insurance
It sounds silly but make sure your car insurance covers you to drive abroad. Check with your insurance company that you’re fully covered to drive abroad. If you don’t have overseas cover, you will only have the minimum legal cover (usually third party only) in the EU and you may need to pay an extra premium to extend your insurance cover. The same may be for your caravan insurance, this might need to be added or extended depending on your holiday.
4. Visa Yes or No?
Make sure you’ve got correct visas for the country you are visiting and that your passport is valid. Even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019 it is unlikely that you will need a visa for short trips of 90 days or less according to European Commission proposals. For more information about Visas click HERE.
5. Vaccine check
Visit a travel health centre or your GP to find out what vaccinations or medication you may need before your trip – do this early as some destinations require vaccinations months in advance of your trip. For more information click HERE. Don’t forget any pets you might be taking will need vaccinations. For more information on pets click HERE.
6. International Driving Permit
Check whether you need an International Driving Permit in the country you plan to visit. Click HERE for more information
7. Travel insurance
If you become seriously ill or injured abroad, you will need full travel insurance to cover any medical bills, otherwise you could be left with a hefty bill after you get better – most countries will even charge you if an ambulance is called out.
8. European Health Insurance Card
A European health card isn’t a substitute for travel insurance, but it does entitle you to free or reduced-cost emergency care in some instances. To find out more about what they cover, visit the NHS advice page. For more information on European Health Insurance Card click HERE.
9. Duty free allowances
Check HM Revenue & Customs Travel website for information on duty-free allowances and any banned goods etc.
10. Passport validity check
For certain countries – and in the event of a no deal Brexit – your passport must be valid for six months after the date you travel and be less than 10 years old – check the entry requirements before you go.
Click on the country below to find out more information traveling in each of the countries.