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What do I need when driving in Europe

Compulsory kit for your car

If you're planning a European road trip you’ll want to make sure you take the right kit with you, to avoid the risk of a fine for not carrying something as simple as a warning triangle or reflective jacket. 

Road rules change, too, so even if you’re a regular abroad you’ll want to keep up with the latest.

Compulsory equipment

The rules vary quite a lot from country to country – our quick guide will tell you what you need to know for the 14 countries most popular with British drivers: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Brexit

The documents you'll need to carry if driving in Europe will change in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit.

The UK and EU have agreed an extension to Article 50 until 31 October at the latest, with the option to leave earlier as soon as a deal has been ratified.

So while no deal remains the legal default at the end of this extension period, it's now unlikely that there will be any changes affecting European travel this summer e.g. you will not need to carry an IDP or insurance green card to drive in an EU country.

If the UK does leave without a deal:

  • Whether hiring a car or driving your own, it's likely that you will need an Insurance Green Card and an International Driving Permit
  • If you have a UK Photocard licence, then for shorter visits you won't need an IDP to drive in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, or Switzerland.
  • If you only have a UK paper licence, then for shorter visits you won't need an IDP to drive in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
  • You will also have to have at least six months on your passport (excluding months over 10 years added if you renewed it early)
  • Read the latest Government advice 

 

Compulsory kit – our handy PDF guide
Touring tips

Our country-specific touring tips include compulsory equipment rules as well as helping you get up-to-speed with local laws, from drink drive and speed limits to child safety. There’s also more general advice on things like fuel availability and tolls.

Touring tips for driving in over 40 countries

updated 23 July 2019