April 9, 2020

‘Be prepared’ call as UK leaves EU

Licence Bureau – which provides a driver licence validation service – is advising businesses and fleet operators not to panic in the wake of Brexit but to start taking steps to keep drivers legal.

As the country embarks on a ‘transition period’ – scheduled to end on 31 December 2020 – current UK/EU rules will still apply.

A UK driving licence will continue to be a requirement to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, says the company. Validity of current UK licences will remain, and specified driving permissions will not alter. The same will apply for drivers with non-UK licences.

However, businesses should consider that these rules may change and put into place plans to ensure they are fully prepared for what may lie ahead after the 11-month transition period is up, says Licence Bureau’s sales director Steve Pinchen.

He said that businesses should start paying attention to four key areas:

International Driving Permits (IDP)

Although the requirement of IDPs is dependent on a future UK-EU trade deal, drivers may need one or more IDPs, as well as a UK driving licence, to drive in an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country. With three types of IDP, the type required will be dependent on the country you will be driving in.

Insurance

Drivers will need to carry a motor insurance ‘green card’ when driving in the EU and EEA, and certain instances such as fleet insurance may require multiple green cards. The advice is to contact your vehicle insurance provider one month before you travel.

Vehicle registration documents

Short trips may require drivers to carry either a vehicle logbook (V5C) and an original Vehicle Registration Document (VRD) or a VE103 and a Vehicle on Hire Certificate if the vehicle is hired or leased. This is a more controlled planning process for company vehicle drivers but must be communicated to all staff using their own vehicles for business.

Non-UK licence holders driving in the UK

The rules have not changed but businesses need to ensure they are reviewing and documenting licence categories, expiry dates and locations where a driver passed their test. Just because they have an EU licence does not mean they passed their test there. Areas to cover include: what is their entitlement to drive? Do they have convictions in the UK? When did they first start driving here?

“Although the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, there is no need for businesses or individual drivers to panic,” explained Steve Pinchen. “We are advising fleet operators that, at least for the meantime, it is ‘business as usual’.

“However, with likely fundamental changes on the horizon, we are urging businesses to start planning ahead and get the necessary documents and processes in place to ensure there is no disruption to activity when the transition period ends.”