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Fears of post-Brexit UK driver ban overplayed

The DfT has said it’s confident of mutual licence recognition after Brexit, putting paid to reports that UK drivers could be banned in Europe.

UK driving licence

The DfT said it was confident of mutual licence recognition post-Brexit.

A report in the Express today said British drivers could be left unable to drive, hire cars or take out insurance on the continent after Brexit, because EU chiefs will no longer recognise UK driving licences.

The article states that slides released by the European Commission setting out its negotiating position warn the mutual recognition of licences will be axed if an appropriate Brexit deal is not reached.

It added that as a precaution, preparations are being made to sign the UN convention on road traffic, enabling drivers to apply for an International Driving Permit and continue driving in Europe.

However, a DfT spokesperson said to Fleet World that the department is working on an agreement with the EU for mutual licence recognition after Brexit, which it said “is in the interests of both sides” and added it is confident of mutual licence recognition.

The spokesperson continued: “However, it is only sensible that we put contingency measures in place for all scenarios. Ratifying the Vienna Convention will guarantee that UK driving licences will be acceptable throughout the EU when held with the relevant supporting International Driving Permit.”

As outlined by the AA, an IDP is basically an official, multi-language translation of a driving licence that’s recognised worldwide and valid for 12 months. It costs £5.50 to apply for an IDP, which can be issued by selected post offices or by post or via the AA.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.