Driving abroad

You need your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence to drive abroad.

You can use:

  • a photocard licence
  • a valid paper-only licence issued before 31 March 2000, if you still have one

You might also need an International Driving Permit in some non-EU countries.

If you’re hiring a car, the hire company may ask for a check code so they can view your driving record.

Driving in the Republic of Ireland

You can drive in the Republic of Ireland if you have either:

  • a UK driving licence
  • a foreign driving licence, but you usually live in the UK

If you’re banned (disqualified) from driving while in the Republic of Ireland, you might also be banned from driving in the UK.

Driving in Europe

You can use your Great Britain (GB) or Northern Ireland driving licence in all EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland.

If you’re caught breaking the law, for example by a speed camera, the authorities can get the vehicle’s registered keeper’s details from DVLA.

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living or travelling in the EU while the UK remains in the EU.

For rules in other European countries check with a motoring organisation like the AA or the RAC.

Driving outside the EU/EEA

You may need an International Driving Permit to drive outside the EU/EEA.

Check first with the AA.

Getting an International Driving Permit

You can get an International Driving Permit directly from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office.

International Driving Permits cost £5.50 and you must:

  • be a GB or Northern Ireland resident
  • have passed your driving test
  • be 18 or over

Advice on driving in specific countries

The AA and the RAC have advice on driving in specific countries, including information on compulsory equipment.

Moving abroad

If you move abroad, check with the driving licence authorities there to find out how to get a local driving licence.