Travelling to the EU after UK exit

The nature of the UK’s entry and transport arrangements with the EU are being finalised during the transition period of 11 months from 1st February 2020. We have assembled guidelines on the main areas of concern for those travelling in an EU country after the UK leaves which may help to allay your fears.

Driving in the EU

Concerned about whether your UK driving licence will be valid after 31/01/20?

We are assured that you do not currently need to apply for an International Driving Permit through the post office if you are travelling across Spain, Portugal or France in 2020. However it is quite likely that you will need to apply for one from 2021.

If so, for 2021, what you would need when applying is the following:

  • Full valid UK driving licence – photocard or an older paper licence
  • A passport sized photo
  • The £5.50 application fee (cash or debit / credit card)
  • Original valid passport as proof of identification, if presenting an older paper version licence

If you are looking for more detailed information about driving in the EU, the Department for Transport is updating their website as information becomes available:

It is also advisable to obtain a green card from your car insurance provider, which is usually free and which provides you with evidence that you have the minimum required level of insurance cover for the EU countries in which you are driving.

Travel Insurance

We always recommend buying travel insurance when travelling abroad to insure against any number of issues that may arise before or during your trip. It is particularly recommended to ensure that the policy you take our covers you for any potential medical costs you may incur whilst you are away.

It is unclear at this stage whether an EHIC (the replacement of the EH111) will still give UK citizens access to free medical assistance in the EU after 2020, but for the duration of 2020 the EHIC card is still valid and provides basic medical cover. However if you have a travel insurance policy, you will be protected by that cover and addiionally for a higher level of medical and logistical support if you fall ill or require repatriation.

Entry Visas

Plans are underway to permit UK travellers to enter the Schengen area without the requirement of a visa for short trips (possibly up to 90-180 days a year). The full details of this have not yet been confirmed, however for more information on the matter, you can look at articles such as the following:

Travelling with pets

Information on travelling with pets in Europe after we leave the European Union can be found on the UK government’s website:

ABTA’s website provides very comprehensive information about most of the new requirements for travelling after the UK’s exit. Visit:

Information correct as of 2/1/2020