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Taking Hired or Leased Vehicles Abroad

A warning from the BVLA to remind all drivers of lease and contract hire cars to take the correct paperwork with them when travelling to Europe. Without this, your fun trip may be ruined by long delays, big fines, and possibly car seizure!

Those travelling within mainland Europe need to remember to have their registration document with them at all times. However, those who are drivers of leased vehicles are not the owner of their vehicles and so will not possess the V5C registration.

In the event of this, a Vehicle on Hire certificate must be carried. It is a requirement of all EU countries, that foreign drivers travelling in a leased or rented vehicle has a VE103 document with them. This document 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 Euro trips. It enables authorities to verify that the person driving the vehicle has permission to do so. Please note that photocopies of the V5C or letters of authority are not accepted!

Those drivers caught without the correct documentation will face lengthy delays, which can be time-consuming and costly. The consequences will differ according to the country, but the driver may be fined and the vehicle could be detained.

There have been reports of drivers being stuck at border control for four days whilst the VE103 document has been sent through to the BVRLA. 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.