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Want to use your UK license abroad?

Every year millions of people from the United Kingdom travel abroad for both business and pleasure. Many of these people choose to rent a car when they arrive at their destination in order to make travel more straightforward, however we strongly recommend that before you do the same you familiarise yourself with some important advice on using your UK license abroad.

Is it possible to use my UK license outside the country?

Yes, fortunately it is. Those of you who hold a full UK drivers license and are over the age of 25 should usually have no problem using your UK license abroad, however there are a few things that it is very helpful to know which could prevent you from a few headaches down the road.

In the EC

If you want to use your driving license in one of the EC countries, you must be 17 years of age or above to drive a regular car, 18 years of age or above to drive a medium sized vehicle and 21 years of age or above to drive a lorry or a bus.

You will be able to use your license in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

Outside the EC

For those of you who wish to use your license in a country that isn't listed above, it is strongly recommended that you apply for an International Driving Permit. These permits are very easily attained from the AA and cost just £5.50 for a full twelve months.

Driving outside the EC without an IDP

Usually it is possible to drive outside the EC without having an International Driving Permit, however you will be restricted to a very short time period, usually up to a maximum of a month, depending on the country.

This means that for most people travelling on short holidays or taking weekend breaks on the continent, using their UK license abroad is not really an issue. However, just to be safe we do recommend you do your research to make sure that you're going to be eligible to drive - after all, you don't want to end up finding that you're not covered by your rental insurance if you have an accident!

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