When you’re abroad, travelling by car can be easier than public transport and more cost effective than hiring taxis.  Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on driving abroad.

Driving in the EU/European Economic Area (& Switzerland)

Whether you are hiring a car or driving in your own vehicle to your destination, if you’re going abroad to an EU country, a European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can use your standard driving licence.  There’s no need to apply for anything else, but just remember to bring your license with you!

Driving outside the EU/EEA

For countries that are not Switzerland or within the EU/EEA, you will need to acquire an International Driving Permit.  To learn more about permits and the procedures, we’ve found the AA website offer some great information on how to apply, and where.

You can get an International Driving Permit directly from AA, RAC or the Post Office.

A permit costs £5.50, and to purchase one you need:

  • To be a resident in Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • To have a valid UK driving license
  • To be over the age of 18

Travel Insurance & Breakdown Cover

When you’re driving abroad, the last thing you want is to break down or find yourself in an emergency.  While it’s unlikely that something will happen, it’s in your best interest to secure travel insurance and double check that you are covered for roadside recovery, just in case.  For travel insurance, there are some really competitive deals out there, some of which will include breakdown cover.  However, it’s worth checking with your current breakdown provider to see what you are already paying for in your current policy.


Before setting off, make sure your driving licence is valid, so that you aren’t penalised while you are out on the road.  This is particularly important if you have been driving a few years – licences can sometimes expire without us realising! You should also familiarise yourself with the laws in the country you’re visiting, making a note of different regulations they abide by when driving.


While driving abroad, here’s a list of documents you will need to keep with you:

  • Full valid driving licence (not a provisional license)
  • A copy of your DVLA driving record and a licence check code
  • An International Driving Permit (in the required countries)
  • The vehicle’s original license registration document
  • Motor Insurance certificate
  • Travel insurance certificate
  • Passport(s)
  • A Visa (In the required countries)

Remember that without this documentation, you may be fined – not fun while you are abroad! If you are hiring a car, it’s best to check exactly what you need with the rental company beforehand.

If you are planning to take your car abroad, why not give it a quick service with our experts at Eden Tyres? We’d love to hear about your trip too!