If you have a car and want to use it in your new place of residence, it’s useful to know what you’ll need to do to ensure you’re following the local laws.

If you’re moving to the EU, you’ll be glad to hear you don’t have to do anything. Your existing licence will be valid so you won’t need to get it changed to drive legally on the roads there.

The rules, of course, differ from country to country outside of the EU, so it’ll be a matter of doing some research to find out what you’ll need to get sorted. The AA has a handy list of driving rules for each country.

In many places you’ll need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) so that you can legally drive. You must apply for and receive one three months before you leave for your new home. You can get an International Driving Permit from the AA, the RAC and the Post Office.

To get one, you’ll need to already have a full UK driving licence and be a permanent resident of the UK. They last for 12 months, giving you enough time to get a new licence in your country of residence.

It is also imperative that you research the local driving laws too. You’ll most likely know the side of the road that other countries drive on, but some places also require you to keep certain items in your car. In France for example, you need to have things like a reflective jacket and headlamp beam deflectors.

It’s also worth noting that alcohol blood limits vary from country to country and so what you might be able to drink in the UK might put you over the limit elsewhere. As always, the best option is to not drink at all before driving.

Here’s a quick list of things to consider:

  • If you’re moving within the EU you can use your existing licence
  • The International Driving Permit allows you to drive legally on your UK licence for 12 months but there are different rules by country
  • You must apply for an IDP before you leave
  • Some places require residents to apply for a full driving license soon after arriving
  • In countries who don’t recognise the IDP you will need to get a licence before driving





Worried about driving abroad?

Worry no more! We have all the information you need in our handy new moving abroad guide.

From speed limits to Motorway signs, we’ve got it all.

Read our Moving to France guide

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