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Travelling in Europe after Brexit

This advice applies to Scotland

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, nothing will change for travellers until 31 December 2020.

If you’re planning to travel to the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein, some things will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Get suitable travel insurance

European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will no longer be valid for health cover if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.

You’ll need to arrange your own travel insurance before you go. 

Unlike EHICs, travel insurance probably won’t cover you for illnesses you already have. This means it’s important to tell your insurer if you have any health problems. If they can’t cover you, they should recommend a specialist insurance company that can.

Check your passport is valid for your trip

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you might have to renew your passport if you have less than 6 months on it when you travel. It will depend on which countries you’re travelling to. You can check if your passport will be valid for your trip on GOV.UK.

Apply for your passport as early as you can - it can take several weeks to process in busy times. If you need to renew a passport urgently, you can book an appointment for the 1 week fast track service on GOV.UK. You'll need to pick up a paper application from the Post Office first.

Find out if you’ll face mobile phone charges

You might have to pay more to use your mobile phone abroad if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Before you go, ask your mobile phone service provider what the charges will be for using your mobile phone abroad.  

Make sure you understand how to turn off mobile roaming on your mobile if you’re worried about extra charges. This is usually in the phone’s ‘settings’ menu under ‘mobile roaming’.

If you’re driving abroad

There will be changes to driving if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement. You’ll need to get extra documents if you’re planning to drive in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Get a Green Card

A Green Card proves you have the right insurance to drive abroad. You’ll need one if you’re hiring a car or driving your own car. You can get a Green Card from your car insurance company. Ask for it at least 4 weeks before you go. You might have to pay a fee.

You should ask your car insurer if there are any limits to how long you can drive outside the UK when you apply for your Green Card.  

Check if you need an International Driving Permit (IDP)

You might need to get an IDP to drive in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein. You might need more than one IDP if you’re driving in more than one country.

You can check if you’ll need an IDP for the countries where you’ll be driving on GOV.UK.

You can get an IDP at the Post Office. You’ll need:

  • a full valid UK driving licence - photocard or paper
  • a passport-sized photograph
  • £5.50 application fee
  • your passport if you’re taking a paper driving licence

You must be 18 or over to get an IDP.

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