Recently we got an email from Emily, one of our readers who is planning a trip to Greece in the summer and she was very concerned with how a possible no deal Brexit might affect her holiday to Crete. Her main concern was, would she be able to rent a car in Crete with a UK driving license after Brexit?
So we send out our resident fairies to investigate. First stop at the DVLA in Swansea.
DVLA (UK Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency)
The current DVLA law states that any driver with a full valid UK driving licence, is permitted to drive in any country in the EU or EEA.
In order to drive in countries outside the EU the driver will also need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP).
However, after Brexit takes place (whenever that might be) things might change. Especially after a no deal Brexit, renting a car in Crete or anywhere in EU or EEA might be difficult without the International Driving Permit.
There are currently three different types of the International Driving Permits depending on the destination country that you are intending to drive abroad.
- The IDP 1926, based on the 1926 Paris International Convention related to Motor Traffic (permit to drive in Liechtenstein).
- The IDP 1949, based on the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus).
- The 2011 amended IDP, based on the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland).
Are you planning to rent a car in Crete?
Imaging that you arrived at the airport on Crete and when you go to pick up your rental at the car hire desk you find out that your UK driver licence is not valid for driving in Greece.
Even if the car hire company takes pity on you and decides not to spoil your vacations and hands you over the car keys, you better think twice.
If you get pulled over by the Greek police most probably you will get a fine for driving without a valid licence.
In the unfortunate event of a car accident your travel insurance as well as your car insurance will not cover you. So why take the risk?
Head to your local Post Office
Before you land on the beautiful island of Crete for you dream vacations make sure that you first stop at your local post office and apply for the International Driving Permit. It only costs £5.50.
At the post office you will need to bring with you:
- Your full valid UK driving licence (photo-card or the older paper licence)
- A passport sized photograph
- The £5.50 application fee (cash or debit / credit card)
- Original valid passport as proof of identification, if presenting an older paper version UK licence.
As we mentioned above there are three different types of the IDP but you don’t need to worry about which one you need, just tell the clerk at the post office counter, the country (Greece) or countries that you are intending to drive during your holidays abroad and they will supply you with the correct type of IDP.
Providing that you have with you all the supporting documents that are mentioned above, you will get your IDP over the counter on the same day.
Your international driving permit will be valid for 1 to 3 years from the date it is issued, depending on the type required.
The IDP should not be confused with an International Driving Licence – a document that can easily be purchased online but is not an official certificate and it is not accepted globally.
Renting a car in Crete
When you rent a car in Crete or when you driving around the island you must always have with you, your UK driving licence as well as the International Driving Permit. The IDP on its own will not be valid without presenting your UK driving licence.
Now if you are looking for a reliable car rental company to use on Crete, we are happy to recommend MONZA Rent A Car ( https://www.monzarentacar.com ) a local family run business with many year’s of experience and with a large fleet of new rentals to satisfy even the most demanding drivers.
We hope this article sheds some light on renting a car in Crete or anywhere else in Europe after Brexit.