Drive abroad: step by step

Get permission to drive in another country if you’re taking your own vehicle abroad or hiring one.

  1. Step 1 Check where you can use your licence

    1. Check the rules for using your driving licence abroad

    You may need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive outside the UK.

    1. Check if you need an IDP
  2. Step 2 Apply for an international driving permit (IDP)

  3. Step 3 Get insurance

    1. Check if your vehicle insurance covers you for the countries you're driving through

    Check this with your car hire company if you’re hiring a vehicle.

  4. Step 4 Prepare the documents you need to take with you

    1. Check what documents you need to take a vehicle out of the UK

    If you're hiring a car you may need to share your driving licence information with the hire company.

    1. Get a 'check code' to share your driving licence information

    If you got your licence in Northern Ireland, you’ll need to show the rental company your paper counterpart instead.

  5. Step 5 Check the rules for the country you're travelling to

    The rules for driving may be different in the country you're going to. For example, drink-driving rules might be different or you might need to carry extra equipment in your car.

    1. Check if you need to display a country sticker on your vehicle
    2. Check what you need to do if you’re driving in the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
    3. Check the travel advice for all countries

    When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need you can drive abroad.