Check which vehicle documents you need to carry if you drive a bus or coach across international borders.
Your vehicle must be taxed and you must carry certain documents about your bus or coach when you drive between countries. These include:
- the vehicle and trailer registration documents
- a public service vehicle operator licence disc
- permits needed for the journey
- vehicle insurance documents
- a GB sticker
There’s separate guidance about the bus and coach driver documents you need for international journeys.
Vehicle and trailer registration documents
Your need to carry your vehicle registration documents when driving abroad for less than 12 months. This can be either:
- the vehicle log book (V5C), if you have one
- a VE103 to show you’re allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad
There are different rules if you take the vehicle out of the UK for 12 months or more.
Trailer registration certificate if you’re towing a trailer
You need to carry the trailer registration certificate when you travel abroad.
Letter about MOT extensions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) (Great Britain only)
MOTs have been extended due to coronavirus. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has updated its electronic records, but has not issued new paper documents.
When you make international journeys, carry a copy of this letter from DVSA that explains your MOT has been extended. This letter has been shared with the European Commission.
You should also carry:
- a printed copy of the email confirmation you received from DVSA if you were given a 12-month extension
- a print of the vehicle record from the service to check the MOT history of a vehicle – this shows the new expiry date
Public service vehicle operator licence disc
You must display a valid operator licence disc for either:
- a standard national and international operator licence for Great Britain
- a standard national and international operator licence for Northern Ireland
Bus or coach service permits needed for the journey
You need to carry copies of the licences or permits that are needed for the journey you’re making.
Vehicle insurance (green cards)
A ‘green card’ is proof of motor insurance cover when driving abroad.
You should carry one for the vehicle you’re driving in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.
You will need to carry more than one green card if:
- you have fleet or multi-car insurance – you’ll need a green card for each vehicle
- your vehicle is towing a trailer – you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer or caravan (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)
- you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey
You must carry a physical copy of your green card when driving abroad. Electronic versions of green cards are not acceptable.
Make sure your employer has got green cards
Make sure your employer either:
- contacts their vehicle insurance provider at least 6 weeks before you travel to get a copy
- prints green cards their insurance providers electronically send to them (this does not need to be printed on green paper)
When you will have to show your green cards
You will need to show green cards if you’re involved in an accident.
You may need to show green cards at police checks and at the border when:
- you enter the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
- move between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
This will depend on the border authorities of each country.
If you’re involved in a road accident
Contact your insurance provider if you’re involved in a road accident in the EU.
Any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurance provider of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway where the accident happened. You might have to make your claim in the local language.
You will not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.
Get legal advice if you need more information about this.
You do not need a GB sticker if your number plate includes the GB identifier on its own or with the Union flag.
You must display a GB sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following:
- a Euro symbol
- a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales
- numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier
If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must display a GB sticker no matter what is on your number plate.
Vehicle tolls, charges or taxes
You may have to pay a:
- vehicle toll or charge in EU countries
- vehicle tax in some non-EU countries
Some non-EU countries have an agreement with the UK that means that registered goods vehicles are exempt from these taxes.
Countries currently charging visiting foreign goods vehicles to use their roads include:
Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Check locally for the latest, most up-to-date information about road charges and taxes.
You may need to carry paperwork, stickers, payment cards or electronic toll devices to use roads abroad.
Vehicle emission levels and controls
Many European towns and cities are Low Emission Zones (LEZ). This means that vehicles are not allowed in (or charged a fee) if their emissions are above a certain level.