Allianz Assistance UK urges motorists to be aware of driving permit requirements in the EU
Allianz Assistance UK, the travel insurance and assistance services expert, is recommending travellers get to grips with the documents that they might need in order to drive in Europe, if Britain leaves the EU with a ‘no deal’ Brexit this Friday. Holidaymakers could find themselves in need of an International Driving Permit (IDP) if they plan to drive whilst abroad and supply is already in strong demand.
IDPs are already a requirement if planning to drive in many countries outside the EU/EEA, but this could soon apply to Brits who are heading off to Europe if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. IDP’s cost £5.50 and can be obtained over the counter at Post Offices across the UK. Applicants must be a GB or Northern Ireland resident, have a full UK driving licence and be 18 or over.
Kate Walker, Head of Direct Business at Allianz Assistance UK explains. “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal this Friday then IDPs will be needed alongside a main driving licence, if you are planning to drive whilst you are on your travels. This could apply if you are taking your own car abroad or hiring a car at your European destination.
“It is also really important that you know exactly what you need before you set off because to make things slightly more complicated, there are three different IDPs currently in use and you may need more than one depending on the country that you are visiting. But be warned, the Post Office has been experiencing an increase in customers looking to purchase an IDP, so if you are heading abroad soon, you might want to secure one sooner rather than later.
The Post Office says on its website,[i] “We’re aware that some of the 2500 branches across the UK providing International Driving Permits (IDPs) have seen high demand, and we’re sorry to anyone who has been unable to purchase an IDP at their chosen branch. We’d like to reassure customers that we have plenty IDPs in stock and we have been providing branches with extra supplies.”
Concludes Kate Walker: “It’s best to add ‘checking IDP requirements’ to your pre-holiday preparation list along with other essentials like travel insurance, valid passports and the correct currency. All the necessary information you need is available on www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit. The good news is, there is no requirement for UK licence holders visiting EU/EEA countries to undertake any additional test to drive after the UK leaves the EU.”
Holidaymakers planning a trip to Europe can check which IDP licence or licences they require by visiting https://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit
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Make sure you check what IDP you need for the country that you are visiting.
Visit your local Post Office to purchase an IDP.
Have all the documents you need to buy an IDP. You will need to take your full valid UK photo-card driving licence, a passport standard photograph and your valid passport as proof of identification if presenting an older paper version licence.
Be aware that a 1926 or 1949 permit lasts for 12 months. A 1968 permit lasts for 3 years or until your UK driving licence expires, whichever comes first.
Note that if you’re travelling through more than one country, you might need more than one type of IDP.
If you already have an IDP, make sure it’s still valid in the country you’re visiting.
Remember that if you’re hiring a car to always speak your car hire company to check that you have the correct IDP.