Travelling Abroad with a Leased Vehicle

Travelling Abroad with a Leased Vehicle

As the summer approaches many of you may be planning a trip abroad.  If you have a leased car, you will need to make sure you have the correct documentation.

To travel abroad with your car, you normally need to have the V5 registration certificate to prove you are the legal owner of the vehicle.  If you drive a leased car, whether you are leasing the vehicle personally, or if it is a company car, you will not be the legal owner so you will not have the V5 certificate.  In these cases a VE103 form is required.

VE103 Form and Letter of Authorisation

The legal owner of your vehicle will be the finance company your lease is arranged with.  If you wish to drive your vehicle abroad you will need to call your finance company to ask for a VE103 form.  This is a vehicle on hire certificate to be used in place of the V5 certificate.  It will contain vehicle details such as the make, model and registration number.  As well as confirming the name and address of the individual leasing the vehicle and the length of the contract.

You will need to apply for a VE103 form in good time before your trip, at least 14 days in advance.  Your finance company will also send you a letter of authorisation.  This will state that the finance company, as the legal owner of the vehicle, has given you permission to take the car abroad. 

When requesting a VE103 form and letter of authorisation you will need to provide the following information;

  • Driver's name
  • Contact telephone number
  • UK address as displayed on driving licence
  • Date you will be leaving the UK and the date you will return 
  • Countries you will be visiting while out of the UK
  • Names of any additional drivers 

Insurance and Breakdown Cover 

You will also need to check with your finance company whether insurance for driving abroad is provided.  Some finance companies will want to insure the car themselves, if this is not the case, you will need to call your own insurance company to ensure you will be covered.  

With the majority of lease arrangements breakdown cover will be included.  It is important you check with your finance company whether your breakdown cover extends outside of the UK.  If it does not, you will need to arrange your own breakdown cover for the duration of your trip.

Finance companies will charge a fee for providing a VE103 form and letter of authorisation.  This is to cover admin costs as well as any associated insurance or breakdown cover provided.  The fee charged varies from company to company.

Also remember ...

  • If you drive a company car, you will need to check the company policy on taking the vehicle abroad.  Some may allow this, some may not.
  • You will need to take your full, valid UK driving licence.
  • Check the driving laws of the country you are visiting.  There may be items you are required to carry such as a breathalyser or warning triangle not usually needed in the UK.  Details of requirements in each country can be found on the AA's website.

Read more: If you are travelling to Paris you will need a Crit'Air sticker

Without the correct documentation you could be delayed at the border.  The consequences of not having the VE103 form will vary from country to country.  The BVRLA highlight the case of one driver who was stuck at the border for 4 days until the VE103 form had been sent through.  

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