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Driving Abroad

Contact Us - Traffic and Highway Services

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On this page you will find information on recommended documentation to be carried when driving abroad, applying for an International Driving Permit (IDP), driving in France and low emission zones in European cities. The latest information on International Driving Permits and exchange entitlement is regularly updated in the downloads section of this page.


  • Documentation

    • Before you travel, make sure you have all the correct documentation with you, this may include:  
      • Both parts* of your valid full (not provisional) driving licence;
      • An International Driving Permit (if necessary)
      • Your vehicle's registration certificate (if travelling in your own vehicle)
      • For borrowed, hired or leased vehicles, a letter of authorisation from the registered keeper and either the vehicle's registration certificate or the vehicle's hire agreement
      • Your motor insurance certificate (your insurer may also require you to notify them before you go abroad)
      • Your passport(s)
      • Your travel insurance documents
      • A entry visa (if necessary)
      • A low emissions zone certificate (if necessary) 
    • If you are taking a boat or going in a vehicle other than a car or motorcycle you may need additional documentation.
    • *  The Guernsey Driving Licence is made up of two parts, a plastic card and paper counterpart.  If queried please provide directions to this page or supply a copy of this information letter. pdf icon Guernsey Driving Licence [106kb]
  • International Driving Permits (IDP)

    • In order to drive in certain countries abroad you may be required to hold a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your Guernsey driving licence.
    • An IDP is recognised internationally and normally allows the holder to drive a private motor vehicle without further formality. Persons going to a country for longer than three months, to take up residence or employment, or for any reason other than tourism, should make enquiries about their personal position before relying on a permit.
    • Application Form
    • Driving Abroad and International Driving Permit Information
    • Quick Guide to Driving in the EU
  • European Low Emissions zones and urban restrictions

    • Many cities across Europe (including France) now operate low emissions zones, congestion charge schemes and other restricted access schemes.  A list of such restrictions can be found on the AA website (restricted access schemes). 
    • Many of these restrictions affect foreign-registered vehicles and some require registration before you travel.
  • Driving in France

    • For further information on driving in France follow this link,
    • See below for items its compulsory to carry:
    • High visibility vest(s)
      • A high visibility vest (one per passenger) must be carried inside the passenger compartment of your vehicle in case of a car breakdown.
      • Don't dismiss this as a silly rule - the French police will stop British-registered vehicles to check they have the correct equipment for driving in France.
      • If you breakdown on the motorway or need to repair a puncture, make sure you wear it as soon as you step out of the vehicle or you could risk a hefty fine.
    • Warning triangle
      • A warning triangle is a legal requirement in France.
      • Most modern cars now come with one fitted as standard, but don't rely upon the manufacturer giving you one.
      • Always check if there's one present in your car before you leave - it is an excellent way of warning traffic of your stranded vehicle ahead should you experience difficulty which will go along way to keeping you safe.
    • Spare bulbs
      • By law you're also mandated to carry a spare bulb kit for your vehicle, should you have a failure.
      • While most motorists in the UK would get a broken bulb fixed as soon as possible, the French police deem it necessary to replace it there and then on the grounds of safety.
    • Your driving licence
    • Headlight beam adjusters
      • Modern car's headlights are set up to point towards the nearside - or kerbside - of the vehicle.
      • A right-hand drive car on the right-hand side of the carriage way means this could blind oncoming traffic at night.
      • Either adjust the angle of your headlights, or fit headlight beam adjusters to compensate and help improve safety by increasing visibility on the nearside.
    • Display a GBG sticker on the rear of the vehicle 
    • Low emissions zone sticker 
      • Full time or 'emergency' zones are being introduced across France and so far affect Paris, Lyon, Lille, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Marseille, and Chambéry. Bordeaux is expected to implement a scheme in 2018.
      • The zones restrict access to all types of vehicles including passenger cars and motorcycles.
      • If you drive in one of these restricted areas, you'll have to display a Vignette' (sticker) in your windscreen.
      • Failure to purchase and display the vignette will result in a fine being imposed. Read more and obtain the sticker from the official source here.
      • There are six different types of sticker, and the sticker required depends on the emissions of the vehicle. To obtain the sticker you'll need to provide some of the information which appears on your registration document.
      • Be careful though, as we are aware that there are some websites who are offering the vignette at a vastly inflated price who are not related to the French government authorities.
      • Restrictions will be tightened progressively between 2017 and 2020






Driving in the EU Guidance Note Quick Guide to Driving in the EU International Driving Permit Application Form Hiring A Vehicle Abroad Fair Processing Notice

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