Brexit Travel Advice and FAQs
Many people are booking their travel plans for 2019, 2020 and beyond and have questions about what might happen after 31st October when the UK is currently scheduled to leave the European Union (EU). The political process is still ongoing and while we don't yet know the final outcome, we have prepared a simple guide and actions to help you get the best out of your holiday, no matter the outcome.
Travel before 31st October 2019
As the UK is still currently a member of the EU, all existing travel arrangements still apply.
If your outbound trip departs before 31st October but doesn’t return until after, please refer to our advice below.
Travel after 31st October 2019
If a deal is agreed before 31st October, there will be a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020.
With a no-deal, UK holidaymakers and business travellers have had reassurances from the UK Government and European Commission that they will still be able to travel, as there is either contingency legislation in place or the travel services are covered by international law.
If the UK does leave the EU without a deal, there will be some changes. We’ve prepared some key information and actions you may need to take in advance so that you can continue with your holiday or business trip as planned.
Advice for travellers:
European Health Insurance Card and Travel Insurance
In the event of a no-deal scenario, the European Health Insurance card will not be valid.
Barrhead Travel has always recommended that holidaymakers take out appropriate insurance, whether they carry an EHIC or not, as there can be limitations to the medial care provided.
Travel insurance should always be purchased for holidays to the EU and beyond. Pick the right policy for your needs and not just the cheapest. Think about the level of healthcare it includes, what destinations and activities it covers and read the small print for exemptions, such as consuming alcohol, which may render it invalid.
Ensure it covers you for pre-existing medical conditions, which were covered by the EHIC card.
Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.
In the event of a no-deal, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would change. If you wish to take your pet to the EU on or after 31 October 2019, please discuss preparations for your pet’s travel with an Official Veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date you wish to travel.
Further instruction or advice may be issued at a later date by the UK government and pet owners should keep up to date with the latest advice.
It is important to check the expiry date on your passport. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK Government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country. The six months validity is only required if you are travelling after the date the UK leaves the EU.
You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules. You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans. Full details on renewing your passport can be found here.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is currently the same as it is in the UK. If the UK leaves without a deal these rules will no longer apply – however, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. This is not yet guaranteed. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.
If you have a full UK driving licence, you do not currently need an additional licence in order to drive in the EU. However, in the event of a no deal, some countries may require you to apply for an International Driving Permit. Find out more about International Driving Permits here
International Driving Permits cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office
Please note, you will need a GB sticker for your own personal car when driving in the EU after Brexit – this excludes hiring vehicles abroad.
If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle within the EU would be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. These cards would be issued by insurers and you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs.
Speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card for any trip on or after 31 October 2019.
The ABI – the trade body for the insurance industry – recommends you contact your car insurance company at least one month in advance of travelling.
For the latest information on travelling after Brexit, please visit https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travelle