If you’re planning to head overseas in a leased or rented car this summer, then you need to ensure you have the correct paperwork. Failure to do this could lead to a fine or even confiscation of your vehicle, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.
What should I do? You must have permission from the organisation that owns the vehicle before you leave.
What paperwork do I need? You will need a VE103 certificate, which can be used instead of a V5C registration document to prove that the vehicle’s owner has given you permission to take it abroad.
Is there anything else? Be aware that a growing number of European cities have low emission zones which require you to display a sticker or permit confirming the emission level of your vehicle (e.g. Euro 5). According to the BVRLA, 17 cities in Germany currently operate low emission zones, plus 3 cities in France.
In Germany, drivers can purchase the appropriate sticker in hotels, garages and environmental offices on presentation of a valid VE103. Alternatively, they can be ordered online. The cost is in the region of 17.50 Euros.
In France, stickers can only be purchased online and the process can take up to six weeks from ordering. The cost is in the region of 3.70 Euros plus postage.
On-the-spot fines will apply to those drivers not displaying the appropriate stickers within designated low emission zones.
Of course, you should also make sure that you are familiar with all the other driving regulations which apply in the country you’re visiting. Ignorance is no excuse. The best source of information I’m aware of is the AA Driving In Europe Guide, which you can find here.