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What documents will I need while travelling?

As a minimum, we advise that you take the documents listed below with you:

  • Valid, full (not provisional) driving license (photo card & paper counterpart)
  • Motor insurance certificate (check with your insurer that you are covered)
  • Your passport
  • Your V5c vehicle registration document (the original, not a copy)
  • An International Driving Permit

What if I’m driving a vehicle that is borrowed, leased or hired?

If you are travelling in a vehicle that is owned by your company, someone else, or is hired or leased you will need to carry:

A letter of authorisation from the registered owner; and The V5c Vehicle Registration Document, or VE103b Vehicle on Hire Certificate

What are the rules on drinking and driving?

European countries have strict drink-drive laws which carry heavy penalties. Make sure you know the alcohol limits for the country, or our best advice is not to drink at all if you will be driving.

Do I need to carry a breathalyser in France?

As of 1st July 2012 it is illegal to drive in France without carrying an approved electronic or chemical breathalyser. The breathalyser must carry the “NF-approved” certification. We advise motorists to carry two breathalysers to cover you in you have to use one, or one is tested and faulty by the police.

What happens if I need medical treatment?

You’ll need a European Health Insurance Card to access basic medical services at a reduced cost, and sometimes free. We also advise you to take out travel insurance that will pay the cost of treatment not covered, and will help you to get home in an emergency.

Apply for your European Health Insurance Card.

Using your mobile phone while driving

Most European countries have banned the use of mobile phones while driving, just like driving in the UK. We advise that you don’t use your phone at the wheel to avoid heavy fines and penalties.

Speed camera detection devices

You cannot use any device that can be used detect police radar guns in most European countries. If you’re caught with such a device you can face a large fine, driving ban and prison.

Some countries also don't allow speed camera location alerts on your sat nav; please make sure these are disabled.

Overloading your vehicle

Don’t be tempted to overload your vehicle, this can cause damage to your car and lead to penalty fines and invalid insurance. If you’re planning a booze cruise keep this advice in mind.

Cars that used Leaded and LRP petrol

Northern European countries no longer sell leaded or lead replacement petrol (LRP). We advise you to take a small supply of anti-wear additives that you use in the UK.

Tyres and snow chains

Most European countries have the same minimum tread requirements for tyres as the UK – 1.6mm over the central over three quarters of the tread over the whole circumference.

You’ll need winter tyres fitted and snow chains in some countries during certain times of the year.


Whilst we endeavour to keep this information updated, the rules and regulations related to driving in Europe may change without notice and this information may contain technical inaccuracies. We cannot be held responsible for information which may become out of date or liability for incorrect information.

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