September 24, 2021

Dumbflashgames

The travel folks

What you need to know driving in green-listed countries

4 min read

AS more countries are being added to the UK green list for travel, you may decide to drive on the continent.

However, a lot has changed for British drivers since the UK left the EU.

Here are some tips to make sure you are not caught breaking the law.

Experts from car leasing at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts have rounded up the key changes and driving rules now operating in green-listed countries.

Are UK driving licences still be valid in Europe after Brexit?

Driving licences issued in the UK will still be valid when driving in EU member states.

However, if you are one of more than 3,000 UK drivers who still hold a paper licence and haven’t opted for a photocard upgrade, you will need an international driving permit.

This permit will be required to drive in 27 EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

What is an international driving permit (IDP)?

There are three types of permits needed for driving in the EU and it’s worth making sure you have the right one.

If you’re caught behind the wheel in the EU or European economic area (EEA) without the correct IDP, you may be fined, sent to court, or have your car confiscated.

Drivers will need a 1926 IDP if you want to drive through or in Lichtenstein.

When driving in Cyprus, Iceland, Malta and Spain you must have a 1949 IDP.

All other EU/EEA countries require drivers to travel with a 1968 IDP.

IDPs cost £5.50, last for three years and can be bought from most post offices.

It’s worth noting, because of the special post-Brexit arrangement the UK has with the Irish Republic, British drivers travelling to Ireland do not require a special driving permit beyond their licence.

Can you still take a leased vehicle overseas?

If you wish to take your lease vehicle abroad you will need to contact your finance provider to obtain the relevant permissions before you leave for your trip.

You will need to fill in a vehicle-on-hire-certificate (VE103B) form, a legal document that acts as an alternative to the V5C logbook.

Thus contains the details of the vehicle such as registration number, make and model and will also confirm the name and address of the person leasing the vehicle as well as the length of the contract.

What about driving in France?

France has a number of laws to be aware of.

For safety reasons, all cars on French roads must be kitted out with a warning triangle and have a high-vis jacket stowed in case of emergency.

The French also expect all drivers to carry a breathalyser kit at all times.

Disposable breathalysers are available and it’s recommended that you carry two of these so that if one is used, you can continue on your journey with a spare.

Do you need a GB sticker?

It is necessary for all cars without an EU licence plate to carry a GB sticker to indicate that your car is British.

The exception is cars carrying an EU plate, which a majority of British cars produced before the Brexit period do.

No British cars produced post-Brexit will carry EU plates so any car manufactured after this year will have to carry a GB sticker when travelling in Europe.

However, if you’re driving in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, the age of your car is immaterial and you’re required to present a GB sticker regardless of your number plate or the age of your car.

What are the rules in green list countries?

The Balearic islands, which include Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca are part of the sovereign state of Spain, meaning that it falls under Spanish road laws.

You must be over 18 to drive and have a full, valid UK driving licence, proof of ID (passport), motor insurance certificate and your V5 registration document. You also need a GB sticker.

The fine for failing to wear a seat belt is set at €200 and speeding fines are between €100 to €500.

In Malta you need to be over 18 and hold a valid, full UK driving licence, a GB sticker, insurance certificates, the V5 registration document if you own a car or the hire car paperwork for a rental.

You should also make sure your insurance covers you for a third party.

Gibraltar is still a place where people drive on the right-hand side of the road. You must not use your lights during daylight hours, and only use dipped headlights in the hours of darkness.

One thing to be aware of is that Gibraltar only had 10 petrol stations, so make sure you fill up your tank.

In Madeira it is illegal for children under 12 to be allowed in the front seat of a car and to overtake in free-flowing traffic.

Green lanes on motorways are only for drivers using automated payment systems.

Keith Hawes, director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, said: “Things are slowly but surely returning to something approaching, if not normality, then a world that’s more familiar.

“This means, for those wishing to go to specific places, summer holidays are back on the cards.

“Travellers need to be aware of how much the world has changed. Not everyone will manage to get away this summer, but if people do, we want to make sure they aren’t left unawares or unprepared when driving in Europe.”

For more details about Nationwide Vehicle Contracts visit nationwidevehiclecontracts.co.uk

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