Company car drivers risk falling foul of EU driving laws

  • 4.2 million Brits drive over to Europe each year
  • Company car drivers need VE103 certificate when driving abroad
  • Failure to comply could lead to a fine or even imprisonment

Those who drive their company car abroad this summer may be unintentionally breaking the law. Anyone taking a UK-registered vehicle out of the country for less than 12 months must have their V5C (logbook) with them. Leasing firms won’t typically hand this document out though, meaning a VE103 (vehicle on hire) certificate must be obtained.

Company car drivers need permission to drive abroad

Lesley Slater, operations and business development director at LeasePlan - the UK's second largest car leasing company - said: “Last year we took 6,817 calls from our customers requesting permission to take their vehicles overseas.”

She added: “We urge drivers who lease their car to contact their vehicle management company prior to travel, so the VE103 form can be processed and sent to the driver in time for the off, to avoid stiff financial penalties or even imprisonment.”

How do I obtain the VE103 certificate?

In order to acquire a VE103 certificate, drivers will need to download an application form and send it off to the RAC or BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association). The completed form must be accompanied by a photocopy of a letter of authority from your hire/lease company. The VE103 form is valid for one year after the date of issue. 

Want to know more about driving on the continent? Take a look at our driving abroad guide.

Better yet, why not try our Parkers driving abroad quiz?