Run international bus or coach services and tours after Brexit

What UK bus and coach operators need to do to provide services, tours and holidays into Europe and other countries if there's a no-deal Brexit.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page is out of date. It told you how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

The Brexit transition period has ended and new rules now apply.

For current information about what you need to do, read: Run international bus or coach services and tours.


Run occasional international services

The UK will join the Interbus Agreement if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

This is an agreement about the international occasional (not scheduled) carriage of passengers by bus or coach. It applies to the EU, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.

Check back for updates about when the UK has joined the agreement.

Your drivers will need to carry these documents with them:

  • a certified copy of your standard international operator licence
  • the top copy of the Interbus waybill - buy this from the Confederation of Passenger Transport
  • a copy of the vehicle log book (V5C)

Confederation of Passenger Transport\
Telephone: 020 7240 3131
Find out about call charges

Run regular international services

You can continue to run existing, authorised scheduled services to EU countries until 31 July 2020 if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

You cannot apply for new authorisations or renew an existing one to operate in the EU after Brexit.

Renew your authorisation to run regular services in the EU before Brexit if your authorisation expires before 31 July 2020.

Interbus Agreement extending to regular services

The Interbus Agreement does not yet cover regular, scheduled services, but it should soon.

You’ll be able to apply to run new scheduled services when the Interbus Agreement covers these.

Check back for updates.

Cabotage jobs

Cabotage is the carriage of passengers for hire or reward between 2 points in an EU country by a vehicle that is not registered in that country.

You will not be allowed to do cabotage jobs after a no-deal Brexit.

Services to non-EU countries or countries not in the Interbus Agreement

If there’s a no-deal Brexit, you will not be able to run:

  • regular services to outside of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • occasional services to countries which are not in the EU or are not part of the Interbus Agreement
  • regular or special regular services in the EU after 31 July 2020

You’ll be able to drive through countries that are not in the Interbus Agreement, but they cannot be your destination.

Example Your service could drive through Switzerland, but it would not be allowed to stop there.

Check back for updates.

Register your vehicle trailers

You must now register these types of trailers before you drive to or through most EU and EEA countries:

  • commercial trailers weighing over 750kg
  • non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg

Vehicle registration documents

Your drivers will need to carry your vehicle registration documents when driving abroad for less than 12 months. This can be either:

  • the vehicle log book (V5C), if you have one
  • a VE103 to show you’re allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad

Display GB stickers

Display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle and trailer, even if you have a number plate has the Euro symbol or a Great Britain national identifier.

You do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland.

Vehicle and trailer insurance

A ‘green card’ is proof you have motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Your drivers will need to carry one for the vehicle they’re driving if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

You’ll need multiple green cards if:

  • you have fleet insurance - you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
  • your vehicle is towing a trailer - you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)
  • you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey

Contact your vehicle insurance provider at least one month before you need green cards.

What to do if your vehicle is involved in a road accident

You may need to bring legal proceedings in the EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway against either the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

You might not get compensation if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced. This will vary from country to country.

Get legal advice if you need more information about this.

What bus and coach drivers need to do

Your drivers should exchange their UK Driver CPC qualification for an EU one if you’re an EU company. They will then be able to work for both EU and UK companies after Brexit. They need to exchange it before Brexit.

Check what other things your bus and coach drivers need to do to prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit. This includes:

  • getting international driving permits (IDPs)
  • renewing their passport early enough
  • having the right type of travel insurance with healthcare cover
Published 9 August 2019
Last updated 29 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Changed the date that you can continue to run existing, authorised scheduled services to EU countries from 31 December 2019 to 31 July 2020. This is because the European Commission has extended a temporary set of measures. Added that you do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland.

  2. First published.