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International Driving Permits and Insurance – what you need to know

Since the UK officially left the EU in January, you may be wondering if you need an International Driving Permit to drive abroad. You might also wonder how this could affect your car insurance.

We’ve put together this handy guide on International Driving Permits and car insurance to make sure you’re protect when driving abroad.


What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence is not enough.

Effectively, it’s a multi-language translation of your driving licence and is required in some countries in conjunction with your licence as proof that you’re allowed to drive.


An International Driving Permit is NOT insurance

International Driving Permits shouldn’t be confused with Green Cards.

An IDP is just a copy of your licence, while a Green Card is an official document that proves you’re insured to drive.

If you’re driving abroad with an International Driving Permit, you still need to ensure your car insurance policy covers you.

If you’re unsure, speak to your insurance company or a broker like AbbeyAutoline.


Where do you need an International Driving Permit?

Firstly, some good news. The UK and EU agreed a Brexit deal before the end of the transition period. This means you don’t need an International Driving Permit to drive in any EU country, Norway, Iceland, or Switzerland.

Outside of Europe, however, an International Driving Permit is required or recommended in more than 140 countries. These include some American and Australian States, South Africa, and Canada.

Regardless of where you drive though, you’ll still need car insurance.

You’ll need a Green Card before driving in any EU country (click here for our update on Green Cards). For other countries you’ll need to provide proof that you’re insured to drive.


Can an International Driving Permit affect car insurance?

As we mentioned before, an International Driving Permit is just a copy of your licence. Buying one won’t affect your insurance directly.

However, you’ll need to check your car insurance policy to make sure you’re covered to drive abroad. You may need to upgrade your cover or take out a new policy.

For example, when driving abroad some policies may only cover third party damage. This means if you’re in a crash, you’ll have to pay for any damage to your car out of your own pocket.

It’s worth speaking to your insurance company before travelling to ensure you have the right level of cover.

If you’re planning on driving abroad, with or without an International Driving Permit, and would like to discuss a car insurance policy, our experienced team would love to chat through your options with you. Give us a call on 08000 66 55 44 today.


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