HGV Driving in Europe – What you Need to Know


It’s no secret that as a HGV driver, you have a lot of rules and regulations to keep in mind as part of your everyday job. If you’ve been driving in the UK for quite some time, you may be considering widening your scope and taking up positions in Europe – and you’ll already know that this will have challenges of its own. Here are the top 5 things to keep in mind if you do decide to take your HGV further afield.

HGV driving in Europe

1. Driving qualifications

The good news is that your UK driving licence will be valid to use in EU destinations as long as you have a Driver CPC qualification to drive a lorry professionally. You won’t need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in countries like Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland (this may be necessary in Norway if you only have a paper licence, however). A training academy like Easy As HGV can help you to get the right qualifications if you’re just starting out.

2. Documentation

Alongside a valid UK driving licence, HGV drivers will typically need insurance documents, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), proper vehicle registration and a valid MOT certificate. You will also need to ensure that you have a valid passport.

3. Some countries use validation stickers

Countries like Belgium and Poland require HGV drivers to denote their status by displaying the relevant sticker on their vehicles. The good news is that this is simple to do, as these are available at all major petrol stations and can be bought online.

4.. Be aware of restricted driving zones

As you may already know, the UK has an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London that affects HGV drivers. There are similar restricted driving zones across Europe, including in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain and more, so it can be worthwhile to do your research to avoid fines.

5. Speed limits

Another major consideration is speed limits, as these will vary from highway to highway across most EU countries. If you have a general grasp of these before you set off to any given destination, you will be better equipped to adhere to them and minimise your chances of getting a fine, points on your license, or even getting jail time.

Is driving in Europe going to be easy?

As long as you keep the above points in mind and are familiar with local laws, you shouldn’t run into any problems. No matter where you drive, always drive safely and don’t forget to check for updates on driving regulations to remain compliant.

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