Planning on driving abroad in 2024 and beyond? Here’s what’s changing before your next overseas drive.

So, you’re dreaming of cruising down the French Riviera or zipping through the bustling streets of Tokyo? Brilliant! But before you start humming ‘Viva La Vida’ as you navigate foreign roads, there’s a wee bit of homework you need to do, courtesy of our pals at the DVLA.

What’s This Permit Thingamajig?

It’s called an International Driving Permit (IDP), and it’s your golden ticket to driving outside the UK without a fuss. Sounds fancy, right? But here’s the kicker – there are three different types of IDPs, and the one you need depends on your destination. A bit like choosing the right adapter for your phone charger when you’re abroad.

Change is Afoot!

Hold onto your hats, because where and how you snag an IDP is about to get a shake-up. The DVLA has put a date on this tango of transition, so mark your calendars and read on to keep ahead of the curve.

The Essentials Before You Jet Off

First thing’s first, you need a valid driving licence (shocker, we know). But after you’ve checked that box, the IDP dance begins. If your UK driving licence has your photo, you’re mostly in the clear for the EU and a few extra spots like Norway and Switzerland.

However, if your stay is more than just a quick jaunt, you might need to revisit this.

Paper licence holders, or those from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man, it’s paperwork time for you, I’m afraid.

Navigating the Maze

Thankfully, navigating UK government websites is not as daunting as you’d think. They’ve got a pretty solid rundown of which IDP you’ll need, based on your destination. So, for many travellers, you might not need an IDP for short trips. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?

Where to Get Your IDP: The Big Shift

As of the stroke of midnight on March 31st, the Post Office will pass the IDP baton over to certain shops equipped with PayPoint. The price? A cool £5.50. To qualify, you need to be a UK resident, over 18, and hold a full UK driving licence.

Pick Your Permit

Choosing between a 1926, 1949, or 1968 permit? The 1926 or 1949 versions last a year, while the 1968 model sticks with you for three years or until your driving licence says “it’s time”.

Still Keen on the Post Office?

For those who have a peculiar fondness for conducting vehicle business at the Post Office, fear not. You can still tax your vehicle or renew your driving licence there after April 1st. Whatever floats your boat!

Driving abroad is an adventure waiting to happen, but like all great adventures, it requires a bit of prep. With these changes on the horizon, it’s best to get ahead. And remember, whether you’re securing an IDP or just daydreaming about your next road trip, GPSBob is here to keep you in the loop and on the move. Safe travels, and here’s to the open road – no surprises, just smooth sailing (or driving, in this case).