With the restrictions around foreign travel slowly starting to ease you may now be thinking about your next summer holiday destination, or maybe you’ve already booked yourself a winter getaway.
In the last year or so, the rules around taking your Scheme car abroad have changed a couple of times due to the impact of Brexit, so we wanted to remind you of where you can go in your Scheme vehicle and what you need to do if you’re planning a trip away.
Where can I take my vehicle?
Your Motability Scheme insurance cover allows you to take your car abroad within the European Union (EU) and to Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein free of charge for up to 90 days in any 12-month period.
What documents do I need to take?
If you’re thinking of taking your Motability Scheme car on holiday with you, you will need to get a VE103 (Vehicle on Hire certificate) before you travel, which confirms you have our permission to take the car abroad. This includes if you are travelling to the Republic of Ireland.
You can request a VE103 by calling the RAC on 0800 731 3310. When you request your VE103 you’ll also be able to include RAC European Breakdown Cover at no extra cost. If you choose to travel abroad without arranging breakdown cover, you’ll be responsible for all recovery charges in the event of a breakdown.
Do I need a Green Card?
In the months after the United Kingdom left the European Union (EU), a Green Card, which proves your vehicle is insured when driving in Europe, was required to drive in the countries listed above.
However, from 1 August 2021, you no longer need a Green Card to drive your Scheme vehicle in these countries.
The only exception is if you are towing a trailer or caravan, which may need a Green Card of its own. You can request this from RSA Motability (RSAM) by calling 0300 037 3737. They will issue a Green Card free of charge, but please be aware they will only provide third party cover whilst the trailer or caravan is attached to your Motability Scheme vehicle.
If you are a powered wheelchair or scooter customer, you do not need a Green Card or any other documents to take your product abroad.
Long term travel
If you are travelling for more than 90 days, you must speak to RSAM at least three weeks in advance of your journey. They will consider your request and there may be a charge to extend your insurance cover. If your request is permitted, they will send you written consent to confirm you can take your vehicle abroad for longer than 90 days. You can contact them on 0300 037 3737.
Please note that cover for legal expenses and replacement locks is not available while you are abroad.
GB and UK stickers
Following the UK leaving the EU, most countries required vehicles registered in the UK to display a ‘GB’ sticker when driving abroad. However, from 28 September 2021, the rules around number plate stickers have changed and you may now need to display a ‘UK’ sticker instead.
You can find out more about these changes on the Government’s website.
What else do I need to know?
If you have a UK photocard driving licence, this will still be valid when taking your Scheme car abroad. However, if you hold a UK paper driving licence, you may now need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some European countries.
These requirements may also change again in the future, so it is worth checking whether you require an IDP before you travel, even if you hold a photocard licence. More information can be found on the Government website or Post Office website.
Travel rules can vary between countries, so it is always important to check whether there are any specific requirements for the country you are visiting. Many European countries require you to carry items such as a first aid kit and a reflective vest in your vehicle, so you should make sure you are prepared before you set off. For more information on what is required in the country you are travelling to, visit the RAC website.
It is also worth taking a Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident form in case you have an accident while you are abroad. These can be printed in English and the language of the country you are visiting, so that you can easily exchange details with another driver despite any potential language barrier. You can obtain a copy of this form from www.cartraveldocs.com.
Bookmark the Government’s website for the latest information on travelling to the EU. In addition to the driving documents mentioned above you will also need:
- Passport valid for at least six months
- Travel insurance that covers healthcare
- Animal health certificate if you’re travelling with pets