Car hire – important changes for UK driving licence holders!

As a nation we love travelling and taking our holidays abroad. Hiring a car overseas gives the holiday maker or business traveller the maximum flexibility and freedom to manage their time away. The drive down Highway 101 on the west coast of America from San Francisco though Carmel and Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in California is one of the most spectacular and popular in the world, while the hill top roads of the Amalfi coast in Italy from Positano to Sorrento boast hair-pin bends and breath-taking views. But British travellers should be aware of recent changes to regulations and take note of the following advice.

Since the DVLA abolished the paper counterpart of the UK driving licence earlier in the summer, all customers hiring a car may now be required to present a one off passcode when collecting their vehicles. The passcode needs to be obtained from the DVLA at in advance and you’ll need your driving licence number, post code and National Insurance number in order to complete the process. Fortunately it’s quick and easy to organise and once obtained, the code is valid for 21 days. Pass codes are for one time use only though, so you should complete this task every time you hire a vehicle. Of course, you also need to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance in place. It’s a good idea to consider taking a Supermax excess insurance in advance which prevents any confusion or additional fees when collecting your vehicle abroad and you should check the vehicle carefully to report any existing damage or faults before setting off. Oh and drive carefully of course – even the most experienced driver can find it disorienting on the wrong side of the road!

A huge range of holidays, car hire and all things travel are available at your local independent travel agency. Contact Absolute Travel in Stansted on 01279 648 900 or visit to book your travel insurance with us online.

Ashley Gowing, Managing Director, Absolute Travel & Tours

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