With the endless coverage in the news these days, you’d be forgiven for suffering from Brexit fatigue and simply glazing over at the mere mention of the word.
But you shouldn’t, because what happens with Brexit could have some serious implications on all aspects of your life, not least if you spend a lot of time driving in Europe.
To help you get to grips with what to expect in a post-Brexit world, we’ve pulled together a rundown of the some of the main changes to affect drivers after 29th March.
An IDP is, in essence, a translated version of your existing driving licence.
It allows foreign officials to quickly and easily check your credentials and only costs £5.50 to buy and you can apply for one at the Post Office.
To add a little bit of confusion there are two different IDPs and you could be turned away at the border or face other enforcement action, such as a fine, if you don’t have the correct IDP.
So which IDP do you need? A 1949 IDP is valid for 12 months and is required for Spain, Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland, while a 1968 IDP is needed for all other EU countries and is valid for three years.
Good news for those of you who live in Northern Ireland but cross into Ireland regularly as the UK government has said that an IDP won’t be necessary for you post-Brexit.
In addition to an IDP, drivers heading to Europe with their car will also need a European Green Card.
These will replace the European Certificates of Insurance that previously allowed UK drivers to travel under their existing policy.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to apply for a Green Card and it shouldn’t cost you anything, you just need to get in touch with your car insurance provider.
For all 1ST CENTRAL customers in need of a Green Card, just fill out this simple form and we’ll get yours in the post to you. We just ask that you give us at least three weeks notice before you head off on your travels.
If you want to find out more about Green Cards, you’re in luck as we’ve pulled together the Green Card: Ultimate Guide, so check it out.
Hundreds of towns and cities across Europe have established ‘Low Emission Zones’ which prevent the most polluting vehicles from entering certain areas.
Drivers are required to buy emissions stickers from local outlets before entering these areas, which can cost up to £10 each, so it’s best to check which ones you need before you start your journey.
Many countries, including France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Spain all have their own unique sticker system, so it’s worth taking a look at the Green-Zones website well before driving in any of these countries.
With that in mind, regulations vary from country-to-country, most offer exemptions for classic cars, which are those defined as being over 30 years old and registered in an EU or European Economic Area country.
It’s possible that this exemption could cease for British-registered classic cars after Brexit. If that’s the case, the only option is to plan a journey that avoids the LEZ areas.
Another thing for you to worry about, and unfortunately might have to fork out for, is that if your passport has less than six months left on it it’s unlikely you’ll be able to travel across the EU.
If you’ve got a trip planned with less than six months on your passport, you might want to renew it ASAP.
Another new development is that you might even need to apply for a visa to travel across the continent, which could cost around £50, although these costs could be waived if agreements are put in place as part of the deal.
It’s also worth noting that if there’s a no deal your EHIC cards will no longer be valid. Instead you’ll need to purchase travel insurance as you would if you were travelling to any other non-European country.
However, if there’s a deal, your EHIC card would be valid until the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020.
Residents of the Republic of Ireland driving on UK licences won’t be able to continue using there licences if there is a no deal.
The Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) said UK licences held by those resident in the Republic will “not be recognised” after a no-deal Brexit.
Advice issued by the Republic’s driving licence authority is for motorists to exchange their permits ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU on 29th March.
However, drivers from Northern Ireland who drive in the Republic won’t be impacted.
If you’re planning to take your car to Europe post-Brexit, it’s worth checking with your insurer before you leave to make sure that, if you’re involved in an accident with a European motorist and want to make a claim against them, your insurer will contact their insurer on your behalf.
Currently, if your insurer isn’t obligated to provide this service, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) would step in.
However, post-Brexit, this will no longer be the case, and you will be forced to deal with a foreign insurance company, most likely in the language spoken in that country.
Currently, UK-registered cars driving in EU and EEA countries are required to have a GB sticker stuck to the back of their car, unless the vehicle is fitted with a Euro-plate.
But if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK-registered cars will be required to display a GB sticker, even if they’re fitted with a Euro-plate.
However, if you replace your car’s Euro-plate with a number plate that features the GB sign without the EU flag, you won’t be required to use a GB sticker.
Post-Brexit, UK drivers will be required to register their commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing more than 3,500kg before they can be towed in most EU and EEA countries.
Motorists can also voluntarily register non-commercial trailers that weigh more than 750kg, but there’s no legal requirement to do this.
The Department for Transport (DfT) says British expats living in EU countries should exchange their UK driving licence for a local EU licence before 29th March 2019.
Current rules allow UK driving licences to be easily swapped for European ones, but this looks set to change post-Brexit.
British expats might even be required to take a driving test in their country of residence if they don’t exchange their licence before the rules change.
So now you know all about the potential post-Brexit motoring changes, why not check out our guide to driving abroad, and whilst you’re at it, it might be worth topping up your knowledge of the local driving laws too.