Driving abroad

Skip to contents of guide

Check if you need an international driving permit (IDP)

You may need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. The permit you may need depends on:

  • which country you’re visiting
  • how long you’re staying

You need to have a valid Great Britain (GB) or Northern Ireland driving licence to get an IDP.

Driving in Europe

You do not need an IDP to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein if you have a photocard driving licence issued in the UK.

You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have either:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

Check with the embassy of the country you will be driving in.

Check which IDP you need

Check the table to find out if you need an IDP. There are 3 types of IDP:

  • 1926
  • 1949
  • 1968

The IDP you need depends on what country you’re visiting.

If you’re travelling through more than one country, you might need more than one type of IDP.

If the country you’re visiting is not included in the table, check with the embassy of the country you’re travelling to.

If you’re hiring a car, check with your car hire company.

If you already have an IDP, make sure it’s still valid in the country you’re visiting.

Country or territory Type of IDP More information
Albania 1968  
Algeria 1949  
Andorra 1949  
Argentina 1949  
Armenia 1968  
Australia 1949  
Austria None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
Azerbaijan 1968  
Bahamas 1968 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Bahrain 1968 IDP needed for car hire, and for stays longer than 90 days. You must get your permit certified by local authorities when you arrive.
Bangladesh 1949  
Barbados 1949  
Belarus 1968  
Belgium None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Belgian Embassy.
Benin 1949  
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1968  
Botswana 1949 IDP needed for car hire.
Brazil 1968 You need to get a certified translation of your IDP from the British consulate.
Bulgaria None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
Burkina Faso 1949  
Cambodia 1949  
Canada 1949  
Cape Verde 1968  
Central African Republic 1968  
Chile 1949  
Congo 1949  
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 1968  
Croatia None If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Croatian Embassy.
Cuba 1968  
Cyprus None You do not need an IDP to drive here for visits up to 30 days. For visits longer than 30 days you will need a 1949 IDP. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1949 IDP for any length of visit. Check with the High Commission of Cyprus.
Czech Republic None If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Czech Republic Embassy.
Democratic Republic of Congo 1968  
Denmark None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 90 days.
Dominican Republic 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Ecuador 1949  
Egypt 1949  
Estonia None You do not need an IDP to drive here for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Estonian Embassy.
Eswatini (previously Swaziland) 1949 If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you’re involved in an accident.
Fiji 1949  
Finland None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
France None If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the French Embassy.
French Polynesia 1968  
Georgia 1968 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Germany None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the German Embassy.
Ghana 1949  
Greece None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
Guam 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 30 days. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you’re involved in an accident.
Guatemala 1949  
Guyana 1968  
Haiti 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Hungary None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 12 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Hungarian Embassy.
Iceland None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 30 days.
India 1949  
Iran 1968  
Iraq 1968  
Ireland None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 12 months.
Israel 1968  
Italy None If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Italian Embassy.
Jamaica 1949  
Japan 1949  
Jordan 1949  
Kazakhstan 1968  
Kenya 1968 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Kuwait 1968  
Kyrgyzstan 1968  
Laos 1949  
Latvia None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
Lebanon 1949  
Lesotho 1949  
Liberia 1968  
Libya 1949  
Liechtenstein None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
Lithuania None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months.
Luxembourg None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months.
Macao (Macau) 1949  
Madagascar 1949  
Malawi 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Malaysia (Sabah) 1949  
Mali 1949  
Malta None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 12 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1949 IDP. Check with the Malta High Commission.
Mexico 1926  
Moldova 1968  
Monaco 1968  
Mongolia 1968  
Montenegro 1968  
Morocco 1968  
Myanmar (previously Burma) 1968  
Namibia 1949 IDP needed for car hire. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you’re involved in an accident.
Netherlands None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
New Zealand 1949  
Niger 1968  
Nigeria 1968  
North Macedonia 1968  
Norway None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 90 days. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Norwegian Embassy.
Pakistan 1968  
Papua New Guinea 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 30 days.
Paraguay 1949  
Peru 1968  
Philippines 1968 IDP needed for car hire, and for stays longer than 90 days.
Poland None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months.
Portugal None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months.
Qatar 1968  
Romania None If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Romanian Embassy.
Russian Federation 1968  
Rwanda 1949  
San Marino 1968  
Saudi Arabia 1968 IDP needed for car hire.
Senegal 1968  
Serbia 1968  
Seychelles 1968  
Sierra Leone 1949  
Singapore 1949 IDP needed for car hire, and for stays longer than 30 days.
Slovakia None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months. For visits longer than 6 months you’ll need a 1968 IDP.
Slovenia None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 90 days.
Somalia 1926  
South Africa 1968 If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you’re involved in an accident.
South Korea 1949  
Spain (including Balearic and Canary Isles) None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 6 months.
Sri Lanka 1949 As well as the IDP, you must get a Sri Lankan recognition permit from the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) in Colombo.
St. Lucia 1949 Show your UK driving licence or IDP to the police to get a visitor’s licence.
St. Vincent 1949 Show your UK driving licence or IDP to the police to get a visitor’s licence.
Sweden None You do not need an IDP to drive here for periods up to 12 months.
Switzerland None You do not need an IDP to drive here.
Syria 1949  
Tajikistan 1968  
Taiwan 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 30 days.
Thailand 1949  
Togo 1949  
Trinidad & Tobago 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Tunisia 1968  
Turkey 1968  
Turkmenistan 1968  
Uganda 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Ukraine 1968  
United Arab Emirates 1968  
United States 1949 If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you’re involved in an accident.
Uruguay 1968  
Uzbekistan 1968  
Vatican City 1949  
Venezuela 1949  
Vietnam 1968  
Zimbabwe 1968  
  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. You are currently viewing: 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.