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The Brexit conundrum: what might it mean for your fleet?

By Richard Hipkiss - Industry News|Tips & Advice

As the UK Parliament continues to grapple with the Brexit challenge, businesses the length and breadth of the UK are left to second guess what the future might hold in store.

Numerous possible Brexit permutations still lay on the horizon for the UK – from further votes on the Prime Minister’s deal or renegotiation with the EU to no Brexit at all or, still, a no-deal Brexit.

Whatever the outcome proves to be, fleet businesses will find themselves affected – to a greater or lesser degree.

Forewarned is forearmed and so in this latest post, we have outlined some of the key considerations for both businesses and drivers.

International Driving Permits

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the current UK photocard driving licence may no longer be sufficient for drivers making journeys to other EU or EEA countries. It is likely that International Driving Permits (IDPs) will be required.

IDPs will not be needed to drive in the Republic of Ireland.

An IDP is an official document that validates a UK driving licence by enabling foreign authorities to interpret driving entitlements, validity periods, and the identity of the holder. Without one, drivers risk being sent back home or fined when they cross the Channel.

Permits were previously available via the AA and RAC, but this is no longer the case. Costing £5.50, they can now only be issued over the counter from a Post Office branch. Drivers will need to bring their full valid UK photo-card driving licence, a passport sized photo and, if presenting an older paper version licence, a valid passport as proof of identification.

You will need:

  • A 1926 permit to drive in Liechtenstein
  • A 1949 permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus
  • A 1968 permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland

A full list of IDPs and which countries you need them for can be found here.

While the outcome remains unknown, our advice would be to apply for an IDP now to ensure that you are covered.

Insurance Green Cards

Whether we are set for a deal or a no-deal Brexit, drivers of UK registered vehicles may need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU, EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland (members of a Green Card-free circulation area).

An insurance Green Card will replace the current European Certificate of Insurance and provides evidence of motor insurance cover when driving in these countries.

Fleet operators will need to obtain Green Cards from their insurers for each individual vehicle they plan to operate in Europe. Some countries may also require a separate Green Card as proof of insurance for trailers, alongside one for the towing vehicle.

The automotive supply chains

Although many vehicle and parts manufacturers have been putting post-Brexit contingency plans in place, a no-deal scenario could end up increasing costs across the fleet supply chain.

Potential congestion at the UK-EU border for both cars and parts could also cause significant delays and supply constraints.

The UK remains in a state of political and economic uncertainty, but whatever the Brexit outcome ultimately proves to be, changes to the supply-demand market dynamic may result in price rises and increased lead-times for new vehicles. Furthermore, this may trigger temporary growth in the used car market.

Driver data

The use of fleet data has become crucial to safe and efficient company operations – but the accessing and management of driver information is also accompanied by inevitable security and privacy concerns.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force last year to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe and to help ensure the protection of personal data. Businesses went into overdrive to ensure they were compliant – but what will happen post-Brexit?

The government has stated the following:

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA) retains the GDPR in UK law. The fundamental principles, obligations and rights that organisations and data subjects have become familiar with will stay the same. To ensure the UK data protection framework continues to operate effectively when the UK is no longer an EU Member State the Government will make appropriate changes to the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 using regulation-making powers under the EUWA.

Regardless of the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU, it is expected that the UK will receive ‘adequacy status’ from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). Adequacy status would mean that the EU determines that the UK offers an adequate level of data protection and would allow the transfer of personal data under GDPR, subject to appropriate safeguards.

In the event of a no-deal scenario, there may be a period during which the UK is without an adequacy status. Under these circumstances, we will rely on contractual safeguards to continue processing the personal data of EU citizens.


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