If your workers need to drive in a country outside the UK, both you and they need to be fully aware of differences in laws and driver and vehicle requirements in all countries that will or might be passed through. Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) driving licences are valid in all European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, but the differences in regulations will still need to be checked.

As for bringing a vehicle into the UK, there’s a set of actions that need to be completed, including notification, checks, registration, tax and insurance. If this isn’t done, either by the driver, fleet operator, trader or a contracted importer, relevant parties can be prosecuted.

Regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

At the time of writing, the UK hasn’t yet left the EU and it’s unclear what changes will be made (if any) to requirements for UK vehicles or drivers in EU and/or EEA countries as a consequence of withdrawal. Consequently, check the step-by-step guide to driving abroad on GOV.UK before departing as the guidance on this page may no longer be correct (although we’ll endeavour to update it as soon as possible).

Key actions for driving abroad

  • Make sure drivers are aware of differences in driving requirements and compulsory equipment in each country. For example, daytime headlights on cars are compulsory in Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
    • A country-by-country guide for driving in Europe can be found on the AA’s website: theaa.com.
    • Taking a vehicle abroad for less than 12 months is termed as a ‘temporary export’. During temporary exports, UK-registered vehicles still need to comply with UK law, so the driver must have the V5C (log book), the MOT certificate and insurance needs to be valid for the duration and the vehicle must be taxed before returning.
  • Get International Driving Permits (IDPs), which are valid for 12 months from the date of issue, from the Post Office. Visit postoffice.co.uk for more information.
    • As of 1 February 2019, IDPs can’t be issued by the AA or RAC (as they were before), nor via mail order facilities.
    • It’s vital that if a journey across borders is planned for around and after 29 March 2019 that checks are made as to what drivers and vehicles need to be equipped with (such as IDPs) just before departing (and perhaps even during the journey) since the requirements might change as a consequence of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
  • Check for recent or upcoming regulatory changes, if any, in a country you will be driving through, even if you have passed through recently.
  • Make sure passports (with up-to-date emergency contact details), visas and other documents will be valid for the duration of the journey.
    • A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can allow eligible drivers and passengers to access free or reduced emergency care in the EEA and Switzerland (although you will still need travel insurance). Apply for free at gov.uk/ehic.
    • Take photocopies of important documents and keep them separate from the originals or store them securely online.
  • Note the number to call for emergency services in each country you will travel through; 112 can be used in any EU country.
    • It’s also a good idea to look into the location of embassies, the services they offer and opening times.
  • Be aware of toll roads or low-emission zones (also known as Environment Zones) along your route. UrbanAccessRegulations.eu can help with this for travel in Europe.
  • Look up what vehicle registration schemes are available for imports by visiting gov.uk/vehicle-registration-schemes-for-the-motor-trade.
  • Check what rules apply to short-term imports (where a vehicle will be in the UK for no more than 6 months) by visiting gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk.

Relevant suppliers

A variety of services and products that can help with the management of motor fleets are available from our preferred suppliers, with special rates for Allianz Commercial policyholders.

Fleet risk solutions

Driver training by DriveTech

Real-time driver coaching

Improve efficiency with Lightfoot

Vehicle CCTV and tracking

Solutions by VUE

Vehicle incident analysis

Fleet telematics by Ingenium Dynamics

Additional resources

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some common queries about managing risks to people, property and business continuity.

Related topics

While abroad, workers must be protected against potential workplace risks, much alike how they should be in the UK, and so the following risk management topics are just as relevant: