The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) is reminding customers who are taking a rented or leased vehicle abroad this summer to seek permission from the organisation that owns the vehicle prior to departure.
Once permission is granted, customers should receive a written letter giving permission as well as a Vehicle on Hire (VE103) certificate. The VE103 certificate will be provided in lieu of the vehicle registration document (V5c), which is a legal requirement for driving in mainland Europe. Most, although not all organisations will charge a fee to provide the necessary documentation.
The certificate should be kept in the vehicle throughout the duration of your overseas journey as failure to produce the necessary documentation could result in an on-the-spot fine, or worse still, the vehicle being impounded.
The BVRLA recommends that drivers should seek permission in good time to ensure that they have the VE103 well in advance of their journey. The process can take up to several weeks from initial request to being in receipt of the certificate.
Drivers travelling to the continent should also be aware that low emission zones are in place in 17 cities across Germany and in 3 cities in France, requiring drivers to display a sticker indicating the emission levels of the vehicle.
In Germany, drivers can purchase the appropriate sticker in hotels, garages and environmental offices on presentation of a valid VE103. Alternatively, they can be ordered online. The cost is in the region of 17.50 Euros.
In France, stickers can only be purchased online and the process can take up to six weeks from ordering. The cost is in the region of 3.70 Euros plus postage.
On-the-spot fines will apply to those drivers not displaying the appropriate stickers within designated low emission zones.
Drivers should ensure that they are aware of the local driving regulations and be prepared with any equipment that must be carried within the vehicle. A comprehensive country-by-country guide is available on the AA website.