Guide to taking your company car abroad

  • Make sure you stay legal on foreign roads
  • Find out what equipment you need to carry in your car
  • Drink drive limits vary - don't get caught out

If you’re looking to take your company car to another country, you need to make sure you are fully covered and legal before you go.  The last thing you want is a hefty fine or the car impounded while you’re trying to enjoy your holiday.

The first and most important thing you should do is talk to your fleet manager or facilities manager and find out if the company covers you for travelling abroad - it is illegal to travel without insurance so make sure the cover your company has is sufficient.

If you are not insured to travel abroad, you should be able to pay for your own insurance provided the company authorises you to use the car.

If the company does not authorise you to drive, you will need to look at an alternative way to travel - either a hire car or public transport.

The important stuff

You must carry a letter of authority from the company when you travel and have both parts of your licence with you at all times. 

Depending on whether you are travelling for business or personal use, you may be required to pay for both the Vehicle on Hire Certificate (VE103) and the breakdown cover.

The Vehicle on Hire Certificate applies to those cars that are leased by the company. It will be issued by the provider and must be carried with you at all times.

Mandatory equipment

In certain countries specific equipment has to be carried in the car with you or you risk a roadside fine.

Below are the main items that have different restrictions dependant on the country you wish to travel to:

  • Warning triangle
  • High visibility jacket
  • Headlight adjustment  - although it is worth noting that some modern cars will have a function to adapt electronically
  • Replacement bulbs
  • Spare wheel
  • Spare petrol can

Breakdown cover

Roadside assistance is likely to be included in your company car policy but does it include travelling abroad? 

If not, it is worth looking to get some. If not covered, roadside assistance and breakdown cover can be very expensive and bringing home a stranded vehicle could really hurt the wallet.

Also remember

  • Warranty cover may not have the same conditions in other countries
  • National speed limits will also differ so worth researching before you leave
  • Alcohol limits vary country to country – make sure you check before you leave – see below examples of how other countries differ.

Drink Drive Limits

Various countries have different drink-drive limits. Here are the ones you’re likely to need:

  • England: 80mg
  • Australia: 50mg
  • USA & Canada:  80mg
  • Germany:  50mg
  • France: 50mg
  • Spain: 25mg
  • Czech Republic: Zero Tolerance
  • Hungary: Zero Tolerance