Europe driving

The essentials you didn’t know you needed for driving to Europe

Europe driving

Planning a motorised jaunt across the channel? Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it, but even the glamour of a pan-European dash comes with its rigours. The DVLA has issued a statement with reference to what paperwork you may need to acquire before you buy your ferry ticket.

The focus is on proof of ownership. It’s always been necessary to carry your V5C, but with the exponential increase in vehicles purchased on a personal lease, further documentation is required.

Specifically, a VE103 ‘on hire’ certificate that can be acquired from your rental or lease provider. While the V5C would be proof of ownership, the VE103 is proof of stewardship – while rented or leased, this car is in your care. Either, as per their relevance, are legally required to be in your possession when driving in Europe.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) director of member services, Nora Leggett, spoke about the importance of correct documentation: “We believe thousands of motorists could inadvertently flout European legislation when driving across the Channel this year by travelling without the correct documentation.

“We ask that drivers who lease or rent their car notify their rental or leasing company now before the summer holiday peak so that the VE103 certificate can be processed and sent in plenty of time to avoid the prospect of stiff financial penalties, delay and upset to holiday plans”.

Driving Abroad

Other requirements when driving in Europe:

  • Insurance: make sure you’re insured to drive in Europe. Contact your insurance provider for more information on your coverage.


  • Breakdown cover: nobody wants to be left stranded by the side of the road in Europe. Breakdown cover with Europe-wide jurisdiction is essential when driving on the continent.


  • Water: important for long trips to Europe and elsewhere. In the event that you’re lost or stuck by the side of the road, water is essential, especially when you’re away from home.


  • Passport: the obvious one, but easy to forget!


  • A healthy car: prevention is better than cure. A health check for your car is always a good idea before taking any long or arduous journeys.

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