Millions of Brits 'may need to buy a permit to drive in Europe' after Brexit, watchdog claims

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Millions of Brits may need a permit to drive in Europe after Brexit (Rex)

Up to seven million Brits may need to buy a permit to enable them to drive in the EU after Brexit, the spending watchdog has claimed.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said that a no-deal Brexit would cause multiple issues for British motorists abroad, and that contingency measures must be put in place.

The NAO report said that the Department for Transport (DfT) would face a range of issues, including driving licences and traffic flows at Dover.

Currently driving licences issued in each EU country are recognised in other member states (Pexels)

Currently motorists in every EU country are able to use their driving licences in every state in the union and the Government will be hoping to negotiate terms to carry this on after Britain leaves next year.

However, if talks go south and Britain walks away with no deal, UK motorists may have to apply for an international driving permit, costing £5.50 a year, according to The Times.

The permits are used by Brits when driving in 140 countries around the world but currently there are only 89 Post Office branches who issue some 100,000 permits a year – which would drastically increase in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


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The DfT estimates this ‘may increase to 4,500 post offices issuing anywhere between 100,000 and seven million’ permits in the first year.

The NAO said that the Government had ‘not completed a business case or agreed detailed delivery plans’ – meaning lengthy delays for drivers.

Theresa May confirmed that about 70 technical notices would be released over the coming months (Flickr)
All the key events before Brexit in 2019 (PA)

A DfT spokeswoman said: ‘The NAO concludes that the department is making a determined effort to ensure the UK transport system is fully prepared for EU exit and acknowledges that the department has already achieved a great deal.’

Theresa May told the Commons liaison committee yesterday that about 70 ‘technical notices’ would outline Government contingency planning in the event of a no-deal Brexit.