Caravan owners warned of driving in Europe without number plate sticker

With the weather already dousing the UK in sunshine, many drivers are already looking forward to the summer and their chance to go on holiday.

But, experts are warning drivers of some key items they will need to ensure their journey to Europe remains as stress-free as possible.

The V5C logbook is often simply overlooked as just another piece of paperwork, but it can be a vital piece of documentation when overseas.

Motorists may be asked to show the V5C at any time, and could potentially risk large fines or have their vehicle confiscated if they cannot comply.

UK law still applies to a UK-registered vehicle if they take it abroad for less than 12 months, meaning it needs to be taxed, have a current MOT and have UK insurance.

The GOV.UK website states that drivers must take their vehicle log book with them if they are going abroad.

They may have to show it if they are stopped at a port or driving abroad and it must have their most recent UK address listed.

To avoid any travelling misery, drivers should ensure they have their V5C at least a week before they set off.

If they are applying for a new or updated log book, it can take up to five days if they apply online, or between four to six weeks if they apply by post or have changed their address.

John Woosey, founder of Ripe Caravan Insurance, said: “Rules and regulations around driving abroad change often – so it’s vital that holidaymakers and anyone wishing to drive their car or tow a caravan abroad is up to date with the latest information. 

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“You could be in for a nasty shock if not, which could ruin your entire trip.

“The timeframes mentioned here are also often best-case scenarios and don’t consider any potential strike action, delays, or unforeseen circumstances.

“So the sooner you can double-check you have all documentation, the better.”

Motorists will obviously need a valid full driving licence to show they can drive the category BE, allowing them to tow a caravan.

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They should allow around three weeks to ensure they get the documentation in time and prove they are able to tow trailers.

According to Ripe Caravan Insurance, motorists will need a UK identifier sticker for their number plate when travelling abroad.

If they are towing a caravan, they will need two – one for each number plate. England, Scotland, Wales and GB flag identifiers are no longer valid.

The Government website states: “You must display the UK identifier when driving a UK-registered vehicle abroad. If your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack), you do not need a UK sticker.”

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