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Driving in Europe following Brexit – what you need to know

Just like the demise of the paper counterpart driving license back in 2015, following last week’s referendum result, there’s been a distinct lack of clarity on how this will affect us all as we move forward and eventually leave the EU.

Naturally, here at Cars on Demand we’re always interested in how new legislation affects how and where we drive, and the referendum result has brought with it a refreshed focus on what British drivers need to consider if they’re planning to drive in the EU.

So, what exactly should you be thinking about if you’re hitting the open road abroad this summer holiday?

It’s important to stress that there won’t be any immediate changes to driving in Europe as a result of the referendum. However, you do need to be extra vigilant when it comes to adhering to the laws that already apply so you don’t get caught out.

For example, driving in France requires all motorists to carry a warning triangle, reflective jacket and breathalyser kit in their car at all times – and ensuring you’ve got these items is now more important than ever. Minor indiscretions might have been overlooked previously, but EU traffic police are now likely to become much more vigilant in enforcing penalties now.

When it comes to insurance cover, the change will happen over the longer term. For the moment, if the cover on your policy offers an extension for travel in Europe, it will continue to provide protection. Current legislation dictates that any car insured in one EU country is automatically insured to the minimum legal level in any other EU country.

In the long-term, this will not apply once Britain has left the EU, but it’s thought that most insurance companies will still extend cover for short European trips for a reasonable cost or for free.

When it comes to identifying your vehicle as British, you need to ensure that you display a GB sticker, even if your vehicle already has GB euro-plates featuring the flag of the European Union.

Apply the sticker to the rear of your vehicle, as it’s currently unclear if GB euro-plates will still be valid outside of Britain. It’s always safer to display one to avoid any unnecessary hassle that could serve to impact on your holiday.

Being aware of the precautions is always a good idea and will ensure that you can drive abroad safe in the knowledge that you are within the law and free to enjoy your holiday without any motoring hiccups.

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