Close this search box.
Sign up for our weekly Newsletter

Car seizure risk warning for incorrect paperwork driving to Europe

Take the right paperwork if taking a vehicle on Euro trips such as by Eurotunnel


15 June 2017

Essential paperwork for driving in Europe

  • Vehicle registration document (V5C) for your own car
  • VE103 for leased or hired vehicle (or VE103B from BVRLA)
  • Photocopies of the V5C or letters of authority are not accepted
  • Driver may be fined and the vehicle could be impounded
  • Driving licence, insurance documents
  • Hi-vis jackets for vehicle occupants in cash of breakdown or crash
  • Breathalysers for France
  • CRIT’ Air emissions sticker for certain French cities
  • See Don’t forget your VE103 before taking your company car abroad

TAKE the right paperwork for driving to Europe or your fun break could be ruined by big delays, fines and even the risk of the car seizure.

That’s the warning reminder to drivers of lease and contract hire cars from the BVRLA.

Drivers travelling in mainland Europe must carry their registration document at all times. However, as drivers of leased vehicles do not own their vehicles (the vehicles are owned by the leasing company), they do not have the V5C registration document.

In this circumstance a Vehicle on Hire certificate must be carried. All EU countries require that a foreign driver travelling in a leased or rented vehicle carries a VE103 document with them.The VE103 contains details of the vehicle taken from the V5, along with the name and address of the hirer.

This is the only acceptable substitute for the V5C paperwork for European trips abroad, and enables the authorities to verify that the person driving the vehicle has permission to do so.  Photocopies of the V5C or letters of authority are not accepted.

Drivers caught without the correct documentation can face long delays which can be time-consuming and costly. The consequences will vary according to the country, but a driver may be fined and the vehicle could be impounded.

About the VE103

  • The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) introduced the Vehicle on Hire Certificate in 1963.
  • The Department for Transport has authorised the BVRLA to produce VE103B certificates for its members so that they can be carried in all leased and rented vehicles when travelling abroad by their customers.
  • Hired and leased vehicles include those on short-term hire and those on contract hire, finance lease, contract purchase and personal contract hire.

The BVRLA has been told of drivers being stuck at border control for four days while the VE103 document is sent through to them. There are even examples as close to home as Dublin where drivers have encountered issues following minor parking infringements.

BVRLA director of member services Nora Leggett says: “Whether it’s because they are not aware of the rules, or they decide to take the risk, there are drivers who travel abroad in a leased vehicle without the correct VE103 documentation.

“And we aren’t just talking about company cars; there are a significant number of commercial vehicles that leave the UK without a VE103 too.  It is essential that businesses understand their responsibilities and educate drivers to avoid significant disruption.

”As the trade body for the vehicle rental and leasing industry, the BVRLA provides VE103B certificates to its members. Not only can BVRLA members provide the necessary documentation to take vehicles abroad, but they can also provide fleets and drivers with advice on compulsory equipment such as breathalysers and hi-visibility jackets.”

New emissions stickers

Paris bans vehicles

  • In Paris and some other French cities since January 2017 you need to display a CRIT’ Air emissions sticker relating to the vehicle’s age and type of fuel.
  • At times of high air pollution vehicles with certain stickers will be banned from city entry between 8am and 8pm
  • For details click here

Award Winners 2024

Share this article


Want more motoring news?

Sign up here for our free weekly serving of motoring.

Sign up here for our free weekly serving of motoring.

Latest news