Will I need to apply for an International Driving Permit if I want to drive my car in the EU?

UK driving licences may no longer be valid by themselves for driving in the EU from 1 January 2021 and it will be necessary to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).

There are three types of IDPs, which are valid in different EU and European countries:

  • Liechtenstein - The 1926 IDP may be needed
  • For countries such as Spain, Malta and Cyprus you will need IDP 1949. The permit is valid for 12 months.
  • For countries governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic need an IDP 1968. This is valid for three years, or until your driving licence expires (if it has less than three years’ on it). This IDP is valid for all other EU countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland.
  • For travel to multiple countries that are covered by the different conventions (i.e. travel to France and Spain), permits that cover both conventions will need to be obtained before travel.

Ireland – doesn’t require foreign drivers to carry an IDP in addition to their driving licence. Therefore, if you hold a UK driving licence you will not need an IDP to drive in Ireland from 1 January. The cost of the International Driving Permits is £5.50. All IDP applications need to be made via the Post Office.

You will also need to ensure you have:

  • A GB sticker displayed on your car
  • A green card from your motor insurance company (please check with your insurance provider on how long it will take to receive this)
For more information refer to guidance from the government.

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