Post Office expands sale of international driving permits ahead of Brexit

The Post Office is selling International Driving Permits at 2,500 branches Credit: Anthony Upton/PA

The Post Office has increased the number of branches selling International Driving Permits (IDPs) ahead of Brexit.

UK motorists may require the documents to drive in the EU in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from the bloc.

IDPs were previously available from the AA and the RAC through the post, at the AA shop at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone and at 89 Post Office branches.

From Friday they can only be bought from 2,500 Post Office branches – around a fifth – at a cost of £5.50 each.

The AA saw a 19% increase in applications between September and December compared with the same period in 2017 and said companies with numerous drivers who travel overseas will now need to queue alongside other Post Office customers.

The requirement for UK motorists to have an IDP varies across the world and different versions of the document cover specific countries.

Previously just two types were sold in the UK, but a third is now available which will enable driving in several more EU states.

Mutual recognition of driving licences between the UK and EU may end in the event of a no-deal Brexit, meaning UK drivers may need an IDP to drive in the EU.

Roads minister Jesse Norman said: “The Government’s priority remains to secure an agreement with the EU that means UK driving licences continue to be recognised.

“But the wide availability of IDPs now through Post Offices should give reassurance to UK motorists that they can continue to drive in the EU, whatever the outcome of Brexit.”

Martin Edwards, managing director of identity services at the Post Office, said: “Millions of travellers already visit our branches each year to access our range of travel services, including travel money, travel insurance and digital passport applications.

“It means we’re well placed and resourced to extend the availability of these documents.”

The AA is warning that UK drivers could be sent back home or fined after crossing the Channel if they do not have the correct documentation following a no-deal Brexit.

The organisation’s president Edmund King said: “The Government has taken a backwards step in discontinuing postal and online applications for IDPs, which the AA has conducted successfully for the last few decades.

“The sharp uptake in applications shows that drivers are concerned about driving on the continent post-Brexit.”