Will UK Driving Licenses be Valid in the EU after Brexit?

As Brexit draws closer, and with a deal still not in sight, many Britons are left wondering about the implications of a ‘no-deal’ scenario. Sitting amongst the plethora of items needing to be discussed by the UK government and EU representatives is the issue of driving license laws. Currently, anyone with a full UK driving license can rent and drive cars throughout the EU without needing any extra licenses or permits. However, with the UK landscape about to drastically change, the laws for UK residents driving in the EU may be set for a shake-up. This article is going to explain exactly what Britons can expect from driving in the EU, post-Brexit.

What does it depend on?

The changes to the driving license laws will be dependent upon whether or not the UK government can reach a deal with the EU. The Department for Transport have already stated that they believe they will reach an agreement with EU representatives on this issue as it is in the interests of both parties. However, the deadline for reaching a deal is drawing ever-nearer and so far nothing is certain.

If the UK do manage to reach a deal, it is likely that mutual license recognition will continue to be employed.

What about a no-deal scenario?

In the increasingly likely event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, UK licenses alone will no longer be valid within the EU. Instead, Britons would need to purchase an International Driving Permit to legally drive or rent cars across the pond.

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit allows you to drive in other countries for a small fee. The permit is currently available for use in countries outside of the EU but will also be needed for those inside the EU if Britain fails to reach a Brexit deal.

The International Driving Permit costs £5.50 and is available from the Post Office or via mail order. Applications for the permit must be made at least three months in advance of the journey. While there will be no new changes to permit itself, it important to note that there are two types — and which one you’ll need will depend on which country you’re visiting.

There are two types of International Driving Permit because different countries are a party to different United Nations conventions. The 1948 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic governs one type and the 1968 Vienna Convention of Road traffic governs another. The only difference between the two, aside from which countries they are valid in, is that the 1948 International Driving Permit has a valid duration of 12 months, whereas the 1968 International Driving permit is valid for a whole three years.

Which countries will I need which permit for?

From the 29th March, a 1949 convention International Driving Permit will be recognised in Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and Spain only. The 1968 convention International Driving Permit will be recognised in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland.

At Wyatt Coaches, we ensure all our vehicles and drivers are kept up to date with all the necessary legal obligations in an ever-changing political landscape. If you’re unable to drive for whatever reason, we’re always available to take you on an efficient and comfortable journey to your destination. Give our friendly team a call today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have.