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Fleet managers and business drivers should plan for European travel

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The AA’s business services team is reminding fleet managers, rental companies and finance providers to refresh drivers on requirements for driving in Europe this summer.

From newly launched low emission zones, to ensuring enough lead time to acquire a VE103 form, there are a number of potential issues facing fleet decision makers and company car drivers intending to take their cars across the Channel over the holiday period.

Stuart Thomas, director fleet and SME services at the AA, said: “Millions of people are set to take their cars abroad this summer and, while the complications of Brexit may not yet bite, there are still plenty of rules to catch drivers out.

"With so many vehicles now leased, the requirements for company car drivers or finance and rental customers can prove complex. Businesses may feel that they have shared this information before, but there is no such thing as overkill when ensuring drivers get on with enjoying their holiday rather than dealing with fines or prosecutions.”

Authority to travel

A VE103 form, which is the substitute V5 issued to business drivers by fleet management and leasing companies, provides authority to travel. However, it can take several weeks to process requests for Vehicle on Hire forms and penalties for not providing documents on request include on-the-spot fines and even impounding the vehicle in some European countries.

Many European cities also now operate low emission zones. In popular European destinations such as Paris, Lyon, Stuttgart and Milan, appropriate stickers must be ordered in advance to display vehicle emissions and eligibility to enter restricted areas. In Germany stickers can be bought on the spot, however, French vignettes must be ordered at least six weeks in advance. More information on this can be found at urbanaccessregulations.eu.

Although drivers are unlikely to require an International Driving Permit (IDP) to travel across Europe, fleet and finance companies are reminded to direct customers to the Post Office if they intend to take their vehicle further afield.

Driving rules and regulations vary from country to country, so the AA suggests fleet managers and leasing companies should direct drivers to the AA Driving in Europe website to avoid unnecessary fines or inconvenience to drivers.

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