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Motorists may need special permits to drive in Europe under a no-deal Brexit - your questions answered

Mirror logo Mirror 14/09/2018 Emma Munbodh
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British motorists may lose access to their automatic rights to drive in the EU after a no-deal Brexit.

In the latest no-deal planning papers, the Government has said that after March 2019 "your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself" across Europe.

It means drivers may have to apply for an international driving permit instead - which currently applies outside of the EU.

These cost £5.50 and are available at some post offices.

The report follows earlier figures by the Department for Transport that claim between 100,000 and seven million international driving permits may need to be issued in the first year, if no agreement is met.

Edmund King, president of motoring association, the AA, said: "This will be an extra burden for UK drivers wanting to take a holiday abroad.

"We envisage quite a rush on post offices next year for the £5.50 IDPs if no deal is reached.

"Hopefully an agreement can be reached to prevent further red tape and expense for drivers."

a car parked on the side of a road: Car hire on holiday © Provided by Getty Images Car hire on holiday

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Amanda Stretton, at comparison website Confused.com, added: "Applying for an International Driving Permit before travelling to EU countries will cause unnecessary confusion for drivers, which we’re concerned could discourage them from driving overseas.

“For a start, there are two types of permit depending on which EU state motorists are driving in. And also, while the £5.50 price tag may not seem like much, it all adds up, especially on top of the initial cost of the trip.

“If we do reach a no-deal Brexit, we advise those planning a trip to Europe after March 2019 to research the requirements and details of the International Driving Permit."

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a close up of a sign: How will Brexit affect your summer holidays? Passports, Euros and exchange rates explained © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited How will Brexit affect your summer holidays? Passports, Euros and exchange rates explained

The Government is reportedly aiming to get a Brexit deal with Brussels agreed by mid-November at the latest, but has drawn up a plan to prepare for the scenario that the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place.

While UK driving licences are currently valid in the EU, the papers say if noeal is reached, an international permit may be required as is the case in countries like America and Japan.

An international permit currently lets you drive, legally, in 140 countries - each pass lasts for 12 months.

However is said it would be up to the Irish government to decide if they require an international driving permit from a UK driver.

Ireland's National Driver Licence Service website says: "As a visitor to Ireland, you can drive on a driving licence from any state outside the EU/EEA for up to a year provided the driving licence is current and valid."

At present, drivers can apply for a permit over the counter at 90 post offices across the country - however the turnaround time for applications - which is currently five minutes - could take significant longer if demand rises.

There are two types - a business permit and one for holiday use - both cost the same price.

If you own an EU driving licence, however, you will be able to drive in the UK without requiring any extra paperwork.

“The UK does not require visiting motorists … to hold a separate IDP to guarantee the recognition of their driving licence,” the paper said.

Going abroad? Checklist if you're planning to drive

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  • To drive in another country, you need to make sure your insurance covers you outside the UK.

  • If you're going to Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey or Ukraine, you'll also need a Green Card.

  • Don't forget to pack your car registration document (V5), travel insurance documents and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If it's a company car, you'll also need your authorisation letter.

  • Check the rules on car seats in your destination - as these rules vary across Europe and the world.

  • If you're visiting Paris, Lyon and Grenoble you are now required to show a £3.60 emissions sticker on your windscreen - regardless of how long they'll be in the city for. Failing to do so comes with a £117 on the spot fine.

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