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  • 28 October 2019
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    Motoring Aboard with a No-Deal Brexit


The European Union has agreed in principle to extend the Brexit deadline until 31 January 2020. There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding what will happen, and what (if any) plans and provisions have been put in place to make the transition as easy as possible. There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding what will happen, and what (if any) plans and provisions have been put in place to make the transition as easy as possible.



With this in mind, we have updated our blog with everything new we know about the Brexit situation, and how it will affect British motorists either driving abroad, or driving on home turf. It has been said that visas will not be needed for stays less than 90 days, although this is still under debate - so it’s always best to check!
While the UK is still a member of the EU, UK citizens traveling to Europe only need their passport to enter the other member countries. However, this will now change after Brexit and, from 2021, ETIAS for British citizens will be a requirement. This will be a similar system to the US and Canada.

Driving Abroad for Holidays

Motorists will need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive across Europe & Internationally. There are 3 types of IDP, depending upon where you will be driving, so make sure you chose carefully.

  • 1949 IDP: Valid for 12 months for Ireland, Malta, Spain or Cyprus
  • 1968 IDP: Valid up to 3 years for all other EU States
  • 1926 IDP: Only required if onward travel to Iraq, Somalia, & potentially Brazil
One IDP will be required for each country you will be driving through. The good news is that IDPs aren't overly expensive, at only £5.50 per IDP. It is not yet known if a UK citizen hiring a vehicle abroad would require to pre-purchase an IDP, however you may want to check with your rental company before you travel.

The application process for IDPs are less than 10 minutes, and they can be bought from your local Post Office, or via https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/international-driving-permit

IDPs also seem relatively easy to buy, however from 1st February 2019 they will only be sold via the Post Office. The process is a quick 5-minute transaction, you can simply walk in without an appointment or pre-order and ask at the counter.

See more information on IDPs and which one could be right for you here (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu-after-brexit-international-driving-permits#driving-in-the-eu-and-eea)

You will also need to acquire a Green Card for your specific dates of travel. This is a physical card, acting as a certificate for your vehicle insurance and is provided by your insurance provider, or third-parties within the UK. A Green Cards will be needed for driving within the EEA (European Economic Area) and some additional countries, including Andorra and Switzerland. A full list of EEA countries is available here: https://www.gov.uk/eu-eea

As we are still not 100% certain on what will happen come departure day, it is advised to take all additional motoring documents with you as they could be requested at the departure/arrival borders discretion. Green Cards are available as PDF downloads, generally within 24hours, however if you require a physical copy please allow 3 weeks before travel for it to arrive.

Also, it is worth mentioning that even if you are driving, flying or swimming to Europe, Passports will need to be valid for at least 3 months from the return date. Motorists will also need to take their V5C Log Book (this is generally found in your glove-compartment or boot), as well as GB sticker. If you are hiring a vehicle abroad, you will not need either of these. See more on Gov https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-brexit

HGV’s and Freight Transportation

In reaction to the latest from No.10 (Yes, the leaked Yellowhammer document), a “three month meltdown” has been predicted, in which we will see increased queues, delays and chaos as all major ports have reported to not be able to manage the increase in checks. These checks will range from police checks, vehicle checks and IDP/Visa/ID checks. A spokeswoman for The Freight Transport (FTA) said:
“This is the first time the industry is learning of any threat to fuel supplies – a particularly worrying situation, as this would affect the movement of goods across the country, not just to and from Europe, and could put jobs at risk throughout the sector which keeps Britain trading”.

The government for Gibraltar has also stressed how Spanish borders are “out of date” and citizens will risk queuing for up to 4 hours. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) also reacted with alarm to the idea of fuel shortages in particular, saying these possibilities had not been conveyed to them by the government. It’s hard to know what's really going to happen if and when we do leave the European Union.

Using Phones Abroad

The government website also says that if there’s no deal, "the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end." This means that using your mobile phone abroad from 1st November 2019, may incur additional charges. Each mobile phone provider has commented differently, so if this is of concern to you, check with your personal provider. SO… If you’re planning to use your mobile data for google maps… think ahead!
car abroad phone

Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as a lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance distribution activities only.

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