Taking your lease car abroad?

April 4, 2023

Driving Abroad

With more and more people wanting to avoid flying, the alternative seems to be utilising the Eurotunnel and Ferries with travel to France, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain.

But before you go, its important you’ve got everything in-place before you take your lease car off the UK mainland.

It is a legal requirement when travelling into mainland Europe that you carry a V5C (Registration certificate) issued by the DVLA, however, when you have a rental or a lease vehicle, the main keeper is the finance house or suppliers.

This is where the VE103B come into effect. A VE103B is a “Vehicle on Hire Certificate” – It is produced by the DVLA and contains details of the hirer and the details of the vehicle.

There is usually a cost involved for the leasing or hire company to produce a VE103B, this will be documented within your contract or rental agreement.

Country Requirements

It’s compulsory in some countries to carry certain safety equipment in your vehicle, if you don’t you could be faced with a fine or even worse, the car could be impounded.

It’s always best to check on the AA website, the equipment required and don’t forget to take into account the countries you might have to drive through.

Essential Equipment for any Country

Here is a list of items that are essential for any contry you travel to with your car:

Headlight Adjustments
  • Whilst many modern cars have settings within the computer to adjust the angle, for those that don’t a headlamp beam converter kit is a must. These can be bought from Amazon or at services and are relatively cheap.
Spare Bulbs
  • Its compulsory in many of the European countries to carry spare bulbs should you have a unit that doesn’t illuminate, you can buy spare bulb kits from main dealers, Amazon or some services.
First Aid Kit
  • A first aid kit is required in most countries, make sure you get yours from Amazon, Halfords or some motorway services and carry it with you.
Warning Triangle
  • A lot of modern cars come with a warning triangle as standard, its a compulsory item in almost all European countries. These can be purchased from Halfords, Amazon or Motorway services.
Reflective Jackets
  • Many of the European countries make it a legal requirement to carry a reflective jacket. This is for the driver and its important that you keep this in the passenger compartment, it may be worth buying a few more should you be carrying passengers. These can be purchased from Amazon, Halfords or Motorway Services.

What if the car breaks down abroad?

Another really useful add on when taking your car abroad is European Breakdown assistance. Many of the manufacturers include breakdown assistance, however, the coverage does not extend to Europe.

RAC and the AA offer European breakdown cover at a reasonable cost. Click the highlighted links for more information.

Stay to the right!

Most European countries drive on the right-hand side of the road so negotiating roundabouts or overtaking my take some additional thinking.

Take it slow and think about every move, read the roadsigns and the road markings.


Most European countries use KPH (Kilometres per Hour) when displaying speed limits. A lot of modern cars allow you to change the speedometer from MPH to KPH, some cars show KPH longside MPH.

If you’re not sure then we will soon be offering a downloadable inforgraphic on common speedlimits and their MPH equivilents. Bookmark this page to find out more.

KPH to MPH convertor tool

Use this free tool to convert KPH (Kilmoetres per Hour) to MPH (Miles Per Hour) and back again.

MPG to l/100km convertor tool

Use this free tool to convert MPG (Miles per Gallon) to l/100km (Litres Used per 100km) and back again.

List of common KPH speeds in MPH

Kilometers per Hour (KPH) Miles per Hour (MPH)
10 6.21
20 12.43
30 18.64
40 24.85
50 31.07
60 37.28
70 43.5
80 49.71
90 55.92
100 62.14
110 68.35
120 74.56

Show that the vehicle comes from the UK

Most number plates have the UK symbol displayed on the number plates. For those that don’t, pick up a magnetic UK badge or sticker off Amazon or from Motorway Services.

It is compulsory to show that your vehicle is from the UK. Please Note. It is no longer legal to display a GB sticker when abroad, it needs to show a UK emblem.

More Information

If you’re in a Cocoon Vehicles car either on a car lease or a short-term car lease and you’ve got additional questions, please do not hesitate in getting in touch with the team on 01332 290173 or complete the ONLINE FORM below.

Driving Abroad Checklist

Use our easy to follow checklist below before you head abroad with your lease car:

  • Valid Passport
  • Full UK Driving Licence (In-date and at correct address)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • VE103B (Where required)
  • Travel Insurance Documentation
  • European Breakdown Cover Policy
  • Make sure your vehicle is Taxed (Where applicable)
  • Make sure your vehicle has a valid MOT certificate (Where applicable)
  • UK Sticker or Magnet – Buy from Amazon
  • First Aid Kit – Buy from Amazon
  • Breathalyser – Optional in France – Buy from Amazon
  • Reflective Jackets – Buy from Amazon
  • Warning Triangle – Buy from Amazon
  • Headlamp Beam Deflectors
  • Spare Bulbs
  • Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Vignette
  • CRIT-Air Sticker – Required for certain regions of France
  • Access to Electric Points (Where Applicable)
  • Make sure the country is listed as an Air-Bridge

Air Bridges / Travel Corridor

Air Bridges and Travel Corridors were only relevant during the Covid-19 pandamic. The majority of the restrictions have now been lifted but we have kept this text in for reference.

If the country you are visiting isn’t listed on the Governments website as having an Air Corridor, upon your return to the UK, you may be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Find out more: Air Bridges

There are so many circumstances where you may need that flexible vehicle, just call the team on 0330 330 9425 to see how we can help you!

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