Is Your Fleet Summer Holiday Ready?

Venson urges fleet managers to check company car drivers are fully covered to drive to Europe to avoid flight chaos

With holiday chaos hitting the headlines almost daily, company car drivers may be considering driving to find the sun without risking cancelled flights. However, Venson Automotive Solutions is reminding fleet managers to make sure their drivers have all the correct cover and paperwork before they take their company car across the channel.

A recent Venson survey revealed that one in three (34%) of those who still plan to book a European break or already have a trip booked, are concerned about the potential of their holiday being cancelled.  16% have yet to decide and say they do not know what to do. Driving rather than flying could be the solution, but for company car drivers they need to be aware of the rules and requirements for driving abroad.

Simon Staton, Director of Client Management for Venson Automotive Solutions commented: “While we may be on an island, staying on British shores is not the only option for flight-free holidays. Some of those we surveyed have decided to drive to Europe or are considering doing so, and this could be a great choice for those who still want to get away to warmer climes. Driving your own car abroad can be easier, cheaper and less stressful than hiring a car when you arrive, as long as the driver and the car are fully covered and meet all local driving regulations.”

Company car drivers should always check they will be covered to drive abroad, and fleet managers should check the details of the lease before allowing employees to take their fleet vehicle across the Channel for work or leisure. Company car drivers will also need to carry the necessary documentation to prove they have permission to take the car abroad. Car drivers who are not the registered keeper of the vehicle will need a VE103B (Vehicle on Hire Certificate) from their employer or leasing company. Drivers should check with their fleet manager and allow at least two weeks for processing of the paperwork.

With almost half of holidaymakers surveyed planning to remain on UK shores for their holiday this summer, it is also important company car drivers let their fleet manager know if someone else will be driving the car and if they are insured to do so.  Driver licence checks may also be required.

Staton continued: “While the Motor Insurance Green Card scheme no longer applies, driving on the continent still comes with additional requirements that drivers must investigate before travelling. For example, many countries require you to carry high visibility reflective vests and breathalysers in the vehicle, as well as the usual warning triangle. With a little preparation and all the necessary paperwork complete, taking the shuttle or ferry to the continent could offer Brits the flight-free, stress-free break they need.”

EU Driving Checklist

  • Driving licence: You will need a valid photocard driving licence issued in the UK – check the renewal date and renew in plenty of time if it is running out. If your licence is not a UK issued Photocard licence (for example, if you hold a paper driving licence or driving licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man), you will need to hold a valid International Driving Permit.
  • VE103B: If you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle you will need a VE103B. It enables the police and other authorities to verify that the person driving the vehicle has permission from the asset owner to do so.
  • Insurance: Check your motor insurance covers the region you will be travelling to and any you pass through, and carry the insurance certificate with you.
  • Roadside assistance: Keep emergency contact details of your European roadside and accident assistance provider to hand.
  • Emergency equipment: Many countries require drivers – local or tourist – to carry certain equipment inside the car, including reflective vests, fire extinguisher and warning triangles. Check the requirements of your destination and all countries you will travel through. You must be able to reach the high-vis vest from inside the car, do not keep it in the boot.
  • Emission stickers (permits): Some European cities require vehicles to display emission stickers. These must be purchased before you go abroad.
  • Headlight converter stickers: Left hand drive vehicles need stickers to deflect headlights, unless the beam can be adjusted manually.
  • UK sticker: Rules on number plates and UK stickers vary between countries, so check whether you need a sticker. Post-Brexit you need a UK sticker, not the previous GB sticker. Unless you are traveling to Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you do not need a UK sticker if your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag.
  • V5C log book: If you own the vehicle, carry the log book in the vehicle at all times
  • Healthy vehicle: Carry out a vehicle health check before you depart, to reduce the chances of breakdown. Tyre pressure and tread, fluid levels, wiper blade condition and light bulbs are some of the most important items to check.
  • Know the rules: Even if you regularly drive abroad always check the local rules of the road before you go, as requirements can change.
  • Passport: Of course, don’t forget to pack your passport and ensure you have the relevant Visas, if required. Your passport must have at least six months left by the end of your trip.