Driving abroad

Check if you need an international driving permit (IDP)

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.

You may need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive outside the EU or EEA.

Driving in Europe after Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, you might need an IDP to drive in all EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, apart from Ireland.

You will need a:

  • 1926 permit to drive in Liechtenstein
  • 1949 permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus
  • 1968 permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland

Get an international driving permit (IDP)

You can get an IDP over the counter at the Post Office.

They cost £5.50 and you must:

  • be a GB or Northern Ireland resident
  • have a full UK driving licence
  • be 18 or over

If you already have an IDP

After 28 March 2019, your permit might not be accepted in some countries. Check if the country you’re visiting will still accept your 1926 or 1949 permit after this date. You can check the front of your permit to see which type you have.

If your current IDP is not accepted, you’ll need to replace it with a 1968 permit.

A 1949 permit lasts for 12 months. A 1968 permit lasts for 3 years or until your UK driving licence expires, whichever comes first.

Check which IDP you need

In some countries, you’ll only need to get a permit in certain situations. For example, if you’re hiring a car, or if you’ll be there for more than 30 days.

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 here, check with the embassy of the country you’re travelling to. If you’re hiring a car, check with your car hire company.

Country Before 28 March 2019 28 March 2019 onwards Other requirements
Albania 1949 1968  
Algeria 1949 1949  
Argentina 1949 1949  
Armenia 1949 1968  
Australia 1949 1949  
Azerbaijan 1949 1968  
Bahamas 1949 1968 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Bahrain 1926 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 1949  
Barbados 1949 1949  
Belarus 1949 1968  
Benin 1949 1949  
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1949 1968  
Botswana 1949 1949 IDP needed for car hire.
Brazil 1926 1968 You need to get a certified translation of your IDP from the British consulate.
Burkina Faso 1949 1949  
Cambodia 1949 1949  
Canada 1949 1949  
Cape Verde 1949 1968  
Central African Republic 1949 1968  
Chile 1949 1949  
Congo 1949 1949  
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 1949 1968  
Cuba 1949 1968  
Democratic Republic of Congo 1949 1968  
Dominica 1949    
Dominican Republic 1949 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Ecuador 1949 1949  
Egypt 1949 1949  
Eswatini (previously Swaziland) 1949 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.
Fiji 1949 1949  
French Polynesia 1949 1968  
Georgia 1949 1968 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Ghana 1949 1949  
Guam 1949 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 1949  
Guyana 1949 1968  
Haiti 1949 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
India 1949 1949  
Iran 1926 1968  
Iraq 1926 1968  
Israel 1949 1968  
Jamaica 1949 1949  
Japan 1949 1949  
Jordan 1949 1949  
Kazakhstan 1949 1968  
Kenya 1926 1968 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Kuwait 1926 1968  
Kyrgyzstan None 1968  
Laos 1949 1949  
Lebanon 1949 1949  
Lesotho 1949 1949  
Liberia 1949 1968  
Macedonia 1949 1968  
Madagascar 1949 1949  
Malawi 1949 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Malaysia (Sabah) 1949 1949  
Mali 1949 1949  
Mexico 1926 1926  
Moldova 1949 1968  
Monaco 1949 1968  
Mongolia 1949 1968  
Montenegro 1949 1968  
Morocco 1949 1968  
Namibia 1949 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.
New Zealand 1949 1949  
Niger 1949 1968  
Nigeria 1949 1949  
Pakistan 1926 1968  
Papua New Guinea 1949 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 30 days.
Paraguay 1949 1949  
Peru 1949 1968  
Philippines 1949 1968 IDP needed for car hire, and for stays longer than 90 days.
Qatar 1949 1968  
Russian Federation 1949 1968  
Rwanda 1949 1949  
San Marino 1949 1968  
Saudi Arabia 1949 1968 IDP needed for car hire.
Senegal 1949 1968  
Serbia 1949 1968  
Seychelles 1949 1968  
Sierra Leone 1949 1949  
Singapore 1949 1949 IDP needed for car hire, and for stays longer than 30 days.
Somalia 1926 1926  
South Africa 1949 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 1949  
Sri Lanka 1949 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 1949 Show your UK driving licence or IDP to the police to get a visitor’s licence.
St. Vincent 1949 1949 Show your UK driving licence or IDP to the police to get a visitor’s licence.
Syria 1949 1949  
Tajikistan None 1968  
Thailand 1949 1949  
Togo 1949 1949  
Trinidad & Tobago 1949 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Tunisia 1949 1968  
Turkey 1949 1968  
Turkmenistan None 1968  
Uganda 1949 1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days.
Ukraine 1949 1968  
United Arab Emirates 1949 1968  
United States 1949 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 1926 1968  
Uzbekistan None 1968  
Vatican City 1949 1949  
Venezuela 1949 1949  
Vietnam 1949 1968  
Zimbabwe 1949 1968