Lockdown Easing: Taking Vehicles Abroad

truck driver in cockpit with gps

With lockdown easing and foreign travel resuming it is important to be prepared for the information and documents you will need when taking your vehicle abroad. In this blog post we have compiled a list of requirements needed for you and your vehicle when travelling outside the UK immediately.

Currently, government guidelines advise British nationals against all non-essential international travel but you can check the latest travel advice here.

From a health and safety point of view the government is reminding operators of the importance of enabling social distance measures. They also recommend face coverings as they offer some benefits in situations where social distancing is difficult to manage.

Of course, the vehicle must meet all regulation and technical requirements within the UK as its registered country before travel. You should also check that your insurance is valid for all countries on your route.

A UK registered lorry, coach or bus must have the following prior to travel:
  • Valid and current vehicle tax
  • A vehicle registration certificate (V5C) or plating/replating certificate as appropriate – if the vehicle is rented or leased, you could either be given a photocopy of the relevant forms or be provided with a VE103B (Vehicle on Hire Certificate)
  • A valid insurance certificate or cover note – There is advice from Public Health England to travellers in general, for example in relation to insurance, which is part relevant to commercial transport. In relation to insurance for drivers, crew, maintenance and business operations, the provisions now applicable to the particular countries in respect of specific policies need to be checked carefully and confirmed prior to departure.
  • A valid MOT, passenger service vehicle or goods vehicle test certificate (if appropriate)
  • A valid reduced pollution certificate (if needed)
All vehicle drivers/ passengers/ crew members must also comply with the following prior to travel:
  • A valid driving licence. You must have the right category of licence for the vehicle you’re driving
  • A Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card
  • A valid passport
  • Visa – visas are not required for entry into EU member states if you hold an EU passport but you may need a visa if travelling outside of the EU – you can check the entry requirements of the countries you are travelling to here. Within Europe, border controls have been re-introduced in many locations and substantial restrictions on international travel have been imposed. The position should be checked country by country on the relevant FCO travel advice pages.
  • You must comply with EU rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph if you’re driving a goods vehicle within the EU.
  • International Driving Permit (IDP) – this is necessary in certain countries and shows the details of your driving license in other languages including your driving entitlements. You can check if you require an IDP for the country you are travelling to here.

Depending on the country you are visiting you may be required to display a sign indicating that your vehicle is different to others on the roads (e.g. right hand drive). You may also be required to carry warning triangles or a first aid kit so it is essential to check local regulations prior to travel.

Currently certain countries have closed most border points, imposed quarantine periods on incoming UK road freight transport crew or refused entry. Road transport operators should use the Freight Transport Association’s or Road Haulage Association’s international road transport services to check specific information based on cross-European trade information provided to the International Road Transport Union. You should also check the government website before you travel for any updates on essential documents required for yourself or the vehicle.