Everything you need to know about IDPs when travelling abroad

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Everything you need to know about IDPs when travelling abroad

Everything you need to know about IDPs when travelling abroad
Everything you need to know about IDPs when travelling abroad

There are many things you need to understand before hitting the road for your road trip, such as needing an International Driving Permit – also known as an IDP. This is an additional permit that drivers are required to have as well as a UK driving licence when driving abroad. It’s a legal requirement in numerous countries all over the world when renting or hiring a car.

If you need some planning advice for your road trip, RAC has created a guide covering everything you need to know when driving around Europe.

What is a International Driving Permit?

An IDP, initially put together in 1926 to create an overall agreement between countries, is a driving licence entitlement allowing you to drive in most overseas countries. Held alongside your full driving licence, an IDP is issued by your own country and lets you drive a vehicle according to the rules that have been agreed by the participating countries.

There are two types on IDP, depending on the countries you’re visiting, so check these details before you submit your application.

It’s always best to check with relevant tourist offices or embassies to get the exact details of what you need to do. If you’re hiring a car you need to check with the rental company you’re using to see if they require you to have a permit.

Do I qualify for an IDP?

In order to qualify for an IDP, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have passed a full UK driving test
  • You must be 18 years old or above

If you’ve passed your test but your licence has not yet been replaced with a full UK driving licence, you can still apply for an IDP using your pass certificate and provisional licence.

How to apply

To obtain an IDP you can pop into your local Post Office and fill out an application from. You can only do this three months before you want to start using your permit, so make sure all your dates and details are correct.

You will need the following to be able to apply:

  • A full UK driving licence – photocard or paper counterpart
  • £5.50 – £8 application fee
  • A photo of yourself – preferably passport size and signed on the back
  • Proof of identity

Be sure to have all your paperwork with you when on the road, including your driving licence, proof of IDP and details of your European Breakdown Cover.


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