If you are planning to drive a vehicle while on holiday, you should check whether you need to obtain an International Drivers Permit.
A combination of information should be researched, which includes:
- your travel insurance policy
- your hire car agreement
- private vehicle insurance policies
- your local Automobile Association
What is an International Drivers Permit?
An International Drivers Licence is a United Nations sanctioned document which allows people to drive overseas without having to take any additional tests, provided they have a valid driver’s licence. An International Drivers Permit is valid in over 150 countries. An International Drivers Permit is normally valid for one year from the date of issue, providing your driver’s licence also remains valid.
- AAA provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of the USA. This link also has details about applying for an Inter-American Driving Permit, which provides similar licence coverage for Central and South America.
- CAA provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of Canada.
- AA – United Kingdom provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of the UK.
- SmartTraveller provides links to each of the Australian State and Territory Automobile Associations where you can purchase your International Drivers Permit for citizens of Australia.
- AA – New Zealand provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of New Zealand.
Review the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to see if there is any specific requirement to hold an International Drivers Permit.
Hire Car Agreement
Many hire car policies require the drivers to hold an International Drivers Permit. Review the terms and conditions of your hire agreement to see if there is any specific requirement.
Private Vehicle Insurance
Review the terms and conditions of any private vehicle insurance policies to identify any specific requirements for the driver of the vehicle. This includes if you are borrowing a car from family, friends, or entering into any vehicle swap arrangement.
If you review all of the information as detailed above and are still not sure if you need an International Drivers Permit, I recommend that it is worthwhile to obtain one prior to your trip. The International Drivers Permit is inexpensive and easy to obtain. In the event of a vehicle accident where you need to make an insurance claim, holding an International Drivers Permit significantly reduces the risk that your insurer will not cover you.
Anne Sutherland-Smith is the creative force behind Pretraveller.com, a travel blog that specializes in offering insightful guidance for exploring Japan, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Her passion for these diverse and dynamic regions shines through in her expert advice, particularly in helping travellers stay connected with the latest in SIM cards, pocket WiFi, and eSIMs.
With an unquenchable thirst for Asian and Oceanian cultures, Anne has carved out a niche as a knowledgeable guide for those venturing into the bustling streets of Tokyo, the historical alleys of Kyoto, the vibrant scenes of Seoul, the scenic landscapes of Australia, the vibrant markets of Hong Kong, or the futuristic cityscape of Singapore. Her articles are full of practical tips and detailed information, ensuring travellers are well-equipped for their journeys.
Anne’s approach is grounded in providing reliable, authoritative travel content that enhances the travel experience. From navigating the complexities of digital connectivity on the go to immersing in the local culture, her advice is designed to make travel both enjoyable and seamless.