With two bank holidays in May, many drivers may wish to take their vehicles abroad for a long weekend, and the BVRLA is urging drivers to ensure they do not do so illegally.
Drivers travelling in mainland Europe must carry their registration document at all times. However, as drivers of leased vehicles do not own their vehicles, 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, 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.
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.