With the United Kingdom leaving the EU there are naturally many questions about what that means for our customers. Indeed, any driver from the EU may want to be informed of the situation. We will go over what you need to know post-Brexit.
You will be happy to know that by in large nothing has really changed. The UK was always dedicated to keeping licence requirements the same regardless of the outcome of the EU agreement after Brexit.
This means that anyone from the EU and EAA can use their licence to drive and hire a car in the UK. With SIXT you will need to provide additional proof of ID to hire a vehicle, preferably a passport. Any ID must be valid at least 3 months after the end of the rental period.
The rules are a bit different for ‘designated countries‘ in the EU including Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. You are free to use this licence for up to 12 continuous months in the UK.
If you are from a non-EU country you may drive with your country’s licence for up to 12 months. For car hire, you may likely need to organise an International Driving Permit beforehand.
Of course, all SIXT vehicles will be insured and road-worthy and we even offer extra protection packages. If you have your own car you must be up to date on car insurance, which is mandatory in the UK.
For checking exact requirements here is a useful government website tool.
When do I Need to Exchange my EU Licence?
As stated the rules haven’t really changed. If you are using an EU or EAA Licence you are free to hire a car and drive in the UK. You only need to exchange if you become a UK resident.
If you obtain UK residence your EU licence expires 3 years after, or if you turn 70, or if the document expires within that time, whatever comes first. You can also pay a £48 fee to exchange the licence before this. Exchanges can be done without retaking tests or swapping documents.
To make clear ‘Designated Countries’, are any country with comparable driving test standards to the UK. These countries include:
- The British Virgin Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- South Africa
If you are using one of these licences you can, again, use it for up to 12 months. However, if you wish to exchange it for a UK licence you will be required to retake the DVSA test.
This should not be an issue if you simply want to hire a car. However, it’s worth knowing if you plan to move to the UK.