Planning a European road trip this summer? A no-deal Brexit could mean Britons on short-term visits to Europe potentially need three types of international driving permit (IDP).
British drivers who can currently drive in all EU countries using their normal licence, but need an additional international driving permit to drive in some countries outside of the EU and EEA (European Economic Area). There are currently issues two types of IDP issued to UK licence holders who are resident in the UK: the 1926 or 1949 permits.
From 28 March 2019, countries that are party to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic will no longer recognise 1926 and 1949 permits issued by the UK. Instead you may need a 1968 IDP to drive in the majority of European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and many more – 24 in all. Until January 31 2019, you can get 1926 and 1949 permits from 89 UK post offices, or by mail order from the AA or the RAC. From February 1, you will only be able to get 1926, 1949 and 1968 permits over the counter from 2500 UK post offices. Each will cost £5.50.
Each EU and EEA country will decide if they require a foreign driver to have an IDP, in addition to a driving licence, to legally drive in their country. In some circumstances you may need more than one IDP. For example, when driving through France (1968 IDP) to Spain (1949 IDP). To drive in Liechtenstein, you may need a 1926 IDP. One positive note from the UK government was that British motorists will still be able to drive in Ireland without any additional paperwork, but overall UK holidaymakers wanting to take their car overseas face additional effort.
In addition, the government has warned Britons living in the EU may be forced to retake their driving test. In guidance notes updated on January 14, its statement read: “In the event that there is no EU exit deal, you may have to pass a driving test in the EU country you live in to be able to carry on driving there.”
However the worry is that a backlog of applications may mean processing delays and people may not have the licence they need in time for the deadline. The AA estimated as many as half a million ex-pats living in France and Spain would have to take a new test if they had not exchanged their licence, should there be no deal.
Here is a list of countries that will require an IDP following a no deal Brexit.