Blog post

Essential Checks for Taking your Car Abroad

November 16, 2022

Planning an overseas trip in your car? Whether it’s for a family holiday or a business trip, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before you setting off and hitting the road. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the more important of them.


You’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you are who you say you are, and that you’re entitled to drive the car you’re driving. In order to make sure you’re clued up on this you’ll want to take with you a few key documents. Key documents include the logbook (or V5C) for your vehicle and your photo driving license. You’ll need to be insured to drive on foreign roads and you should have your documents to prove it. Finally, you’ll need to be able to prove that your car is safe to drive, which might mean getting your MOT certificate in order.

You can book your MOT online and get it done shortly before you leave if you’re worried about it expiring while you’re abroad. Do so within a month of the expiration date, and you’ll be able to preserve that expiration date.

Green Card

Until 2021, British drivers were required to carry a green card when driving in the European Economic Area. This requirement is still in place if you’re driving in other countries, like Turkey and Belarus. Check whether this rule applies to the country you’re visiting before you travel. The green card is there to demonstrate that you’re insured. Some insurers will allow you to print off the card yourself; others will post one to you. If you have multiple insurance policies, then you’ll need multiple green cards.

Renting and leasing

Leasing a car is a popular and usually straight forward option for travel abroad especially if you’ve flown to your destination. To drive a rental vehicle you’ll need a VE103 certificate which proves that you have the permission of the vehicle owner to be driving your car. This applies across Europe.

Clean-air zones

Many towns and cities throughout the European mainland have clean-air zones in force meaning you’ll face extra charges if you drive into one of them with a polluting vehicle. In some cases, you’ll need to demonstrate your green credentials with the help of a sticker on the rear of your car. Make sure you’re prepared and get hold of one of these stickers before you travel.

Check for special laws

Some countries adhere to their own laws relating to road travel. For example, in some European countries it’s against the law to dazzle oncoming drivers, which means that you’ll need to modify your headlamps with the help of a simple kit. There might also be a requirement to wear a high-vis jacket, or display a warning triangle, if you should need to stop.

Wherever your road trip might take you it’s always best to research and prepare ahead of travelling, that way you’ll have more time to kick back and enjoy once you’re on the open road…

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