questions asked by members of the C and CC about Euro touring post Brexit
By IAN HEWLETT/SUE TAYLOR
Posted on 07 February 2019
The Club has received many enquiries from members about the impact of
Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) on their ability to tour EU
countries, particularly in the event of a ‘no-deal’ scenario on how
future relations might work.
There is still uncertainty around the nature of Britain’s exit on 29 March 2019. To reassure Club members who are in – or planning to tour – EU countries after 29 March 2019, we answer 9 of the most frequently asked questions to help you plan your EU travels post Brexit.
Q. Is my current passport still valid for travel to the EU?
A. Yes, but it is important to know when your passport expires. It should be valid for at least six months when you leave the UK and British visitors may only be allowed to stay in EU countries for up to 90 days post-Brexit. It’s best to renew your passport early as the demand for the renewal service may be high.
Q. Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?
A. Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, you shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU. The European Commission announced in November 2018 that UK travellers would still be able to visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK.
Q. Will I need to apply for an International Driving Permit if I want to drive my vehicle in the EU post Brexit?
A. The Government has confirmed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, mutual recognition of driving licenses between the UK and the EU may end. This means that UK drivers wishing to drive in EU countries after 29 March 2019 would need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
For driving in the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus you will need a 1949 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic IDP.
The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic IDP allows UK citizens to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland.
From 1 February 2019 IDPs will be issued by about 2,500 Post Offices. If you are travelling through both France and Spain, for example, you would need to obtain both the 1949 and 1968 IDPs for your journey.
Check out the Post Office website for more information on International Driving Permits.
Q. Will my European driving insurance continue to be valid after Britain exits the EU?
A. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to see what is included in your policy.
The EU, EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland are part of a Green Card-free circulation area. Currently, you do not need a motor insurance Green Card to drive a UK registered vehicle in these countries. From 29 March 2019, in the event that there is no EU Exit deal and the European Commission does not make a decision ensuring that UK registered vehicles will not be checked for proof of insurance, drivers of UK registered vehicles will need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA.
Q. Will I still need a European Health Insurance Card?
A. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows access to state medical care in another member state when travelling in the EU. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK-registered EHICs may no longer be valid. The Club currently recommends taking out suitable travel insurance and this would become even more important if the EHIC is no longer valid.
Q. Does my trailer (caravan) need to be registered to be towed in Europe?
A. From 28 March 2019, you must register commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers with a gross weight over 3,500kg before they can travel to or through most EU and EEA countries. We are not aware of any normal leisure use trailers that would require registration.
You can voluntarily register non-commercial trailers that have a gross weight over 750kg but there is no legal requirement to do this.
For more detailed information go to trailer registration section of the Government website.
Q. Will my pet be able to travel to Europe post Brexit?
A. It is likely that if Britain leaves the EU with no deal and is treated as an unlisted country the rules for taking your pet to any EU country will change and the current Pet Passport will not be valid for travel to the EU.
The current Government advice suggests you contact your vet four months prior to travel to get the latest advice. Should the UK be classified as an unlisted country your pet will need to be micro chipped, have an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test (taken 30 days after the vaccination and a minimum of three months prior to travel) to verify sufficient rabies antibodies, and a health certificate from an Official Veterinarian issued no more than ten days before travel. This certificate allows four months of onward travel within the EU and re-entry to the UK within four months of the date of issue. On arrival in the EU, pet owners may be asked to provide proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and the blood test result alongside their pet’s health certificate.
Check out the Government's advice on european travel with pets post Brexit here.
Q. Will mobile phone charges increase after Brexit?
A. After 29 March, leaving the EU without a deal would mean the costs that EU mobile operators would be able to charge UK operators for providing roaming services would no longer be regulated. As a result, surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU can no longer be guaranteed. Check the roaming policies and terms and conditions of your mobile operator carefully before you travel. And make sure you know how to turn off data roaming on your handset prior to travel.
Q. Will a no-deal Brexit affect travel by Eurotunnel?
A. Even in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU, your rights as a passenger using Eurotunnel’s cross-border shuttle services will remain unchanged. Appropriate travel insurance must be obtained. Refer to Eurotunnel or your insurance provider if you have any questions, and check online for the latest Eurotunnel travel information before you travel.