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Blog Tips til biludlejning Deal or no deal? That is now the question – post-Brexit car hire

Deal or no deal? That is now the question – post-Brexit car hire

By now we have all heard of Brexit, however not many know what exactly the changes will bring. The now “not so happy campers” who have already booked their road trips and are set to travel after 31 October 2019 have now probably experienced a headache or two, as the future of travelling to the UK and European Union slightly uncertain. 

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If you are one of those happy campers who will set sail, or better yet drive the car, you might have a bunch of questions like: “What changes will Brexit bring to the table in the event of no-deal in regards to car hire, and what documents will you need to obtain before putting the key into ignition of your car hire post Brexit?”

No worries or headaches, we got you covered with all the necessary information regarding post Brexit travelling! 


Will there be any changes if the UK leaves with a deal?

Residents living in the UK will face the biggest changes when it comes to travelling and driving to Europe. If a deal is made the UK will enter a transition or implementation period. This means UK residents won’t need any new documents or papers before hitting the European roads with car hire after Brexit, meaning everything will remain the same during that period. Just make sure you have your driving licence, ID card or passport for proof of identity and a credit card, which needs to be in the main driver’s name. There are also rumours you might need a Visa to visit certain EU/EEA countries if you will be staying abroad for longer periods. Stay tuned to find out!

The same “rules” will apply to residents from European Union who will be driving car hire after Brexit to the UK. As of now, there is no sight of you needing the Visa for trips shorter than 3 months. 

Friendly tip: Check if your drivers’ licence is still valid, if not renew it before it expires to avoid any issues at the pickup location!


What papers will you need in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK residents will need to bring extra documentation and papers on their upcoming trip to the countries of the EU or the EEA. We want to make sure you will have the right papers before going abroad. 

Here is a list of documents you might need to bring with you to EU or EEA in an event of no-deal Brexit:

  • Passport – we strongly suggest you check if it needs to be renewed (keep in mind it takes at least 3 weeks for the government to issue a new one for you), as the passport needs to have at least 6 months left before it expires and it has to be less than 10 old. This rule will be applied to most of the EU countries, which are listed here. Check your passport for travel to EU after no-deal Brexit, here or if you need to order a renewal of the passport here.
  • Travel insurance and even health coverage – your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not be valid anymore. 

Irish residents will be able to enter the UK without a visa, the same way they do now, if they are visiting, studying or working in the UK. 

EU and EEA residents will be able to continue to drive with a valid EU driving licence in the UK. As of now, there are no needs for you to get an International driving permit. You will need your passport or ID card to enter the UK, however, the use of ID cards will not be possible after 31 of December 2020. You also won’t need to apply for a visa if your trip won’t be longer than three months.

There will be changes in healthcare when travelling to the UK. As an EU/EEA resident, you will no longer be able to access healthcare using the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Before heading to UK after no-deal Brexit, check with your health insurance provider what travel or health insurance it is beneficial to take to avoid possible medical expenses and if they are reimbursed in case of any emergency or doctor visit. 


Taking a UK car hire to Europe in an event of no-deal Brexit

Before driving your car hire to Europe, you need to double-check if the car rental company allow you to cross the borders and drive their car hire across the Channel. In case that they allow you to drive car hire post Brexit or you will be taking your car to EU or EEA countries, make sure you have all the necessary permits and documents required for driving there: 

  • Valid UK driving licence.
  • DVLA licence check code – most car rental agencies will ask for you to obtain one as they are most likely to check your driving profile (penalty points, driving history, health conditions, and what cars you are licensed to drive). Get your DVLA code a month before driving to EU, by clicking here.
  • International driving permit (IDP) – as the UK licence will not be enough for driving in the EU. Apply for IDP here.
  • GB sticker – which needs to be placed on the rear of the vehicle. Check with your car rental company if the car you are renting already has the sticker.
  • Emission sticker – depending on which EU/EEA country you are planning on driving too. Check before driving your car hire post-Brexit if the country you are headed to demands you to have one on the windscreen and what are their emission laws, by clicking here. Also, contact your car rental agency if they have provided your car with the Emission sticker in case you need one. 
  • Vehicle insurance or Green card (an international certificate of insurance), which serves as a guarantee that the driver has the necessary vehicle insurance. Contact your vehicle insurance company or car rental supplier to receive the green card before your trip. 

Note: the green card is valid for 30 days and if you have fleet insurance, a trailer or caravan - you’ll need a green card for each vehicle. 

  • Original vehicle registration documents like the VE103 certificate form if you are renting a car – contact your car rental to ensure you have the authenticated proof of permission, which proves you’re allowed to drive the vehicle abroad. Various organisations provide you with the VE103 certificate, however, there is a fee you will need to pay. For more information, click here. If you are bringing your car on the trip, you must always have a V5C or logbook.
  • Authorisation letter if the car you are driving is owned by the company where you work.


UK resident’s car hire in Europe after no-deal Brexit

In case you are getting to one of EU countries by plane, train or any other way of transportation, and opting for renting a car there on location in EU, you will need to bring the following to the pickup location:


A form of insurance is included; however, we strongly suggest you check what you’re covered for with the chosen rental car company or provider. 

What changes will car hire in the UK have on EU/EEA residents in an event of no-deal Brexit? 

Good news for all EU and EEA residents! At this point, it looks like there won’t be many changes for car hire after Brexit. 

Like we mentioned before, EU and EEA residents who will be driving or car hire in the UK need to know that their EU driving licence will still be valid in the UK in the event of no-deal Brexit. There will also be no need to apply for an International driving permit

EU/EEA residents driving their car to UK after no-deal Brexit

Don’t forget to bring your valid EU driving license, as we stated in the previous section. You will need to get insurance in a form of green card or any other approved valid proof of insurance, if your car is insured in EU/EEA country from 31 October 2019. In translation, any car that is coming from EU/EEA country to the UK will need a valid proof of insurance. 

Check if your country is a part of the Green Card system here, or use the tool of the UK government to make sure what you need.

If your country is a part of the Green Card Bureaux, we suggest you contact your car insurance company or provider to make sure you will receive the Green Card just in time for your departure to UK. 


What you need to know about travelling with your pets after Brexit? 

In case the UK leaves the EU, requirements for pet travel will change depending on whether the deal will be made or not. Either way, you will need to take your pet to the official vet 4 months before your trip to EU to check if they can travel and to receive the proper documents (no photocopies will be accepted). 

In an event of an agreed deal about Brexit and a confirmed implementation period, you and your pet can travel to Europe under the current rules with the use of current UK issued EU pet passport. If this will be your pet's first trip you will need to get a pet passport and contact the official vet for a check-up with vaccination dates and blood sample tests. 

In the event of no-deal Brexit, you (and your pet) will need to apply for a new pet passport, as the current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel. 

Once you contacted your vet here is what they need to do for your pet to be allowed into EU:

  • Take your pet's blood sample at least a month after its last vaccination. The pet's blood sample will need to be sent to an EU-approved testing laboratory. After having the blood sample sent you will need to wait 3 months from the date of the approved blood sample before you can travel with your pet. Therefore, keep in mind why is it important to contact your vet 4 months before your trip!
  • Give you a copy of the test results of the blood sample with the date on which the blood sample was taken.
  • Animal health certificate (AHC), which can be issued at the vet’s office but no more than 10 days before embarking on your trip. The AHC must be signed by an official vet, therefore, we strongly recommend checking which vets are appointed for that. 
  • Get your furry friends such as cats or dogs vaccinated against rabies and microchipped. 

If you’ll not complete all these steps, the possibility of your pet being rejected at the EU border is highly likely to happen. In the scenario of the blood test being negative or not successful, you’ll need to repeat vaccination and after 30 days revisit the vet for another blood test. Learn more about pet vaccination and blood tests, here

Make sure to check when your pet’s rabies vaccination expires as they will not be able to return to UK if it expires before the trip ends. 

For all the EU and EEA residents who are planning to travel with pets to the UK, no worries if the pet passport was issued by an EU member state, as it will remain valid. Make sure with the vet that the blood test sample is taken at least 30 days after the date of vaccination. If your pet's blood test is successful, they will be able to return from the UK to the EU. 


We crashed in Europe, what now? 

 In case of any involvement in road accidents, you will need to fill the European Accident Statement report (EAS), which has the facts about the accident and can help you with the insurance claims. But be careful as the EAS you might be given from the other driver involved in the accident might be in a language you might not even speak. 

To avoid the language barrier or any unwanted future issues while trying to prove a point in your accident, get the EAS form in your (English) language before driving your car hire to Europe after Brexit, here. The form is usually provided by your insurance company if you are an EU resident. We advise you to sign the EAS only under the circumstances of understanding the situation and language in which it is described. 

We also strongly suggest checking if the car you are hiring or taking to drive to EU is breakdown covered, as UK breakdown coverage is rarely valid abroad. You might need to upgrade the coverage policy for the duration of your travel. The best option is the Continental Cover, which provides drivers with all the necessary documentation to prove insurance cover together with 24-hour assistance while you are in Europe. When reserving an appointment to take care of the Continental Cover you will need the following details:

  • Number of people who will be travelling in the car,
  • Names of all the drivers in the car,
  • Countries you are planning on visiting while travelling, 
  • Rental length – total of days while you will have the rental car.

Note: The price for Continental Cover depends on the rental length. The longer the trip, the higher the price. 


Better being safe than sorry, right? 


No-deal no data roam 

Currently, the cost of calls, sending text messages and ”surfing the web”, or better yet scrolling through social media, is the same in the UK as it is in the EU. However, that will all change if the UK leaves without a deal. Mobile service and communication providers in the UK will no longer be bound to EU data roaming rules and vice versa of course. 

Keep in mind, the costs of using data roaming, calls and messages might go up resulting in extra charges on your mobile bill. The extra charges depend on your mobile service provider and network. Before you hit the road with your car hire after Brexit, check with your mobile service provider about the possible extra costs of using data roaming in the UK and EU. To avoid extra (high) charges try to find free Wi-Fi locations. 

General recommendations for driving in Europe

If this is your first time driving to Europe, we recommend you service your car before hitting the road. Check if there is enough water, coolant, and oil in the car and if there is enough pressure in the tires. After Brexit, you will also need to make sure the GB sticker will be on display, alongside with the visible licence plate. 

Europe has a rule about what kits and equipment you will always need to have in the car. We strongly suggest you check with your car rental company what is already included in the car as they are not responsible for having all the necessary or compulsory equipment, therefore, the driver of the car is. Here is what you must have:

  • First-aid kit, which shouldn’t be older than 5 years. Check what the first aid kit must include by EU standards, here,
  • Toolkit, which includes spare lights etc.,
  • Headlight converter stickers,
  • Snow chains or winter tires – depending on what and which EU/EEA countries you are travelling to,
  • Reflective jacket,
  • Breathalyzers, 
  • Red warning triangle, which usually comes with the car, but we recommend checking if yours has one,
  • Fire extinguisher.

For longer drives, we would advise you to take enough breaks in between to freshen up a bit. Also, a good thing to always have in the car is a bottle of water to avoid dehydration, especially during hot summer days. You never know when you might get stuck in traffic.


Last, but not least – make sure you are driving on the RIGHT side of the road! 

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