Ad closing in a few seconds...

Guide to driving a company car abroad

  • Our guide to taking your company car out of the country
  • Find out what you need to know, and what you need to bring
  • Do you need an International Driving Permit or a VE 103B form?

If you’re planning on taking your company car out of the country, it’s important you do some preparatory work ahead of your trip.

The best way to begin is by planning your route on a mapping website, taking special care to identify what’s required to drive on each type of road you’ll use.

Then follow our checklist below to ensure you don’t fall foul of other countries’ laws and legislation.

  • Driving licence

It’s essential you bring your full UK driving licence with you when you drive abroad.

  • V5C or VE 103B?

Bring your V5C vehicle registration document with you as you might be fined if you’re pulled over and you've forgotten it. If your company car has been leased on a business lease, you’ll need to contact the leasing firm to arrange them sending you a VE 103B form. This is known as a ‘vehicle on hire’ certificate, and should be handed over in place of the V5C when asked for your driving documents.

  • Tolls/vignette

Have a close look at the route you’re intending on taking. Some may have tolls, and others might require a pre-purchased ‘vignette’, which is basically a form of tax disc that you buy in order to travel on certain highways. It needs displaying in your window and failure to have one could result in a heavy fine.

  • Insurance

You must check with your insurance company that you’re covered to drive abroad, and whether there are any stipulations on your policy such as third party cover only.

  • Breakdown cover

Your firm’s breakdown cover may need extending to cover driving abroad and failure to arrange this could result in huge recovery bills if you’re caught short without it.

  • International Driving Permit (IDP)

To drive in some countries outside Europe you might need an IDP. This can be obtained at a Post Office, from the AA or RAC, and costs £5.50. You must fulfil the following criteria: you need to be over 18, have passed your driving test and be a resident of the UK or Northern Ireland.

  • Rules of the road

Each country has specific rules governing driving, so make sure you research what is expected of you in every country you visit.

For a snapshot of what you need in some of the more common countries, see our guide below:

 

Austria

France

Italy

Portugal

Spain

Driver's minimum age

17

18

18

17

18

Country (GB/NI) sticker?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Headlinght adjustment?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tolls (Motorway)?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Spare wheel?

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yes

IDP needed for UK licence holders?

No

No

No

No

No

Replacement bulbs?

n/a

Recommended

Recommended

n/a

Yes (and the tools needed to change them)

Seatbelts?

Compulsory 

Compulsory 

Compulsory

Compulsory

Compulsory

Spare petrol can?

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yes (full)

n/a

On the spot fines

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Snow chains/winter tyres (in winter)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

n/a

Do I need to take my UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents with me?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Warning triangle?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Recommended

Front and rear triangles mandatory