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7 things you need to know about driving a lorry in the EU from 1st Jan 2021

Here we explain what UK lorry drivers and hauliers will need to, in order to drive professionally in the EU from the 1st January 2021. The UK government have recently published changes in the rules if you are UK driver, driving a lorry in the EU. These rules are due to be changed on the 1st of January 2021.

Fianna Hornby

Words by: Fianna Hornby

Published on 30 November 2020 | 0 min read

Here we take a look at the key things you will need to know:
1. You’ll need a UK driving licence & international driving permit
You will need to carry your UK driving licence with you at all times when driving. You might need an international driving permit (IDP) too, this will allow you to drive in some EU and or EEA.
The type of IDP you need will depend on what countries you will be driving through. No details have been released about this yet, but more information should be coming soon. It has already been confirmed by the UK government that you will not need an IDP in Ireland if you have a UK driving licence. IDP’s currently cost £5.50, to get one you must:
  • be a resident of Great Britain or Northern Ireland
  • hold a full UK driving licence
  • be 18 or over
2. You’ll need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) to drive in lots of places
You will require a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification to be able to drive a lorry professionally in; the UK, the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The rules on what you need exactly depend on where the company you work for is based.
I work for a UK company
If you work for a UK company, you will need a Driver CPC to be a lorry driver in the UK.
It is important you complete your Driver CPC periodic training by your deadline. You can drive to, or through EU countries with your UK Driver CPC.
I work for an EU company
If you work for an EU company you will need to exchange your UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC one (from 1 January 2021).
What you need to do will depend on where you live and or work. Some countries use a Driver CPC card, some will require you to add code 95 to your driving license. Find more information on what the rules are in different countries here.
3. You might need to update your passport early
If you’re travelling after 1 January 2021 your passport will need to:
  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
4. You may need a visa
At the moment, it is looking like you will not need a visa for short trips (90 day stay, in any 180-day period). If you are working or studying in the EU longer, you might need a visa or permit.
When these rules are confirmed, you should be able to see each country’s guidance here. Find more information on what the rules are in different countries here.
5. You’ll need to get travel insurance
Always make sure you get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover included before you go abroad for work or travel.
This is especially important as you may no longer be covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
6. You’ll need truck and trailer insurance
You will need a ‘green card’ as proof of insurance when driving abroad.
You may need more than one ‘green card’ if:
  • You have fleet insurance (get a green card for each vehicle)
  • You are towing a trailer or caravan (get a green card for the truck and one for the trailer/caravan)
  • If your insurance policy renews during a journey, you will need one ‘green card’ per policy
If you need a green card, get in touch with your insurance provider at least 1 month before you work away, as they are likely to be busy.
7. You’ll need to buy GB stickers and number plates
You will be required to display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the back of your truck & trailer (even if the truck has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier).
Are you a haulage company who needs more info?
For full guidance visit the UK government website here.
Want information about international travel outside of the UK?
Read the guidance from the UK government, on their website here.

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