drive alive holidays

Drive-Alive Motoring holidays in Europe.

International Driving Permit

International Driving Permits for UK residents

Drive-Alive Holidays provides motoring holidays in Europe. The following information is intended as a guide to the situation regarding International Driving Permits in Europe.

 Not a UK resident?

International Driving Permits are not required for countries in the EU and EFTA  - unless we leave the EU without a deal, or with a deal which does not include an arrangement to recognise UK driving licences - watch this space! We are advising those planning to drive to Europe in the near future that it might be advisable to obtain an IDP in case of a sudden "no deal" scenario to avoid the possibility of shortages.

The best website to find out which countries require which type of IDP is the official government site

Fuller information can be obtained from the Post Office who issues IDPs from many of it's Post Offices. IDPs cannot be obtained online but the Post Office website includes links to the Post Offices who issue IDPs. The current cost is £5.50. You will need your UK photocard driving licence (or old style paper licence, plus your passport) plus a passport style photo. Make sure you specify all the countries you might drive through, as unfortunately the IDP requirements differ even within Europe. For example, you will need seperate IDPs for France and Spain. Again, there is a list of the different countries' requirements worldwide on the official government site.

If you have an old style all green licence it is recommended, but not required, that you obtain the IDP for Italy and Spain.

An IDP is not a substitute for a full UK driving licence, but is an additional document to be used alongside your driving licence.

International Driving Permits are available to people over the age of 18 who hold valid full UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) driving licences. An IDP is valid for either 12 months or 3 years (depending on type of IDP) from the date of issue. IDP applications can only be made up to three months in advance. An IDP may be post-dated up to three months in advance but cannot be backdated. Recognised internationally, it normally allows you to drive a private motor vehicle abroad when accompanied by a valid UK driving licence.

How to apply

  • If you're going for more than three months, to live or to work, you should make enquiries about your personal position before relying on a permit. You might need to obtain a driving licence from the country you are living or working in.

All information on this page is provided as a service to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies. If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.