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Driving holidays in Europe - Plan your self-drive motoring holiday

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. Fuller information can be obtained from the AA and the RAC, both of whom can issue IDPs.

Not a UK resident?

International Driving Permits are not required for most European countries. The exceptions are that if you have an old style all green licence it is recommended, but not required, that you obtain the IDP for Italy and Spain. IDPs are also required for the countries of the former Eastern Europe.

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 12 months 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 hold a driving licence issued in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, or you hold a foreign licence, call the AA on 0870 240 1456 for guidance.
  • 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.