Run international bus or coach services and tours from 1 January 2021

What UK bus and coach operators need to do to provide services, tours and holidays into Europe and other countries from 1 January 2021

The UK has left the EU

This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It’ll be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

Run occasional international services

The UK will join the Interbus Agreement. This will allow the international carriage of passengers by bus or coach.

It applies to the EU, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.

The UK’s membership of the Interbus Agreement will allow international occasional services to continue.

Check back for updates regarding the status of UK’s membership of the Interbus Agreement.

Your drivers will need to carry the following documents:


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Run regular international services

The Interbus Agreement does not yet cover regular or special regular services but it should do soon.

You will be able to apply to run new regular or special regular services when the Interbus Agreement is extended to cover these.

Check back for updates.

Services to non-EU countries or countries not in the Interbus Agreement

Bus and coach operators will not be able to run:

  • regular services to outside of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • occasional services to countries which are not in the EU or are not part of the Interbus Agreement
  • regular or special regular services in the EU if the Interbus Agreement is not extended

You’ll be able to drive through countries that are not in the Interbus Agreement, but they cannot be your destination.


Your service could drive through Switzerland, but it would not be allowed to stop there.

Check back for updates.

Register your vehicle trailers

You must register these types of trailers before you drive to or through most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway:

  • commercial trailers weighing over 750kg
  • non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg

Register your trailer to take it abroad now.

Vehicle registration documents

Your drivers will need to carry your vehicle registration documents when driving abroad for less than 12 months. This can be either:

  • the vehicle log book (V5C), if you have one
  • VE103 to show you’re allowed to use a hired or leased vehicle abroad

Display GB stickers

Display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier.

You do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland.

Vehicle and trailer insurance

A ‘green card’ is proof of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Your drivers should plan to carry one for the vehicle they’re driving in the EU and EEA from 1 January 2021.

Your drivers will need to carry multiple green cards if:

  • you have fleet insurance – you will need a green card for each vehicle
  • their vehicle is towing a trailer – they will need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer (separate trailer insurance is needed in some countries)
  • there are 2 policies covering the duration of the trip, for example, if the policy renews during the journey

Contact your vehicle insurance provider at least 1 month before you need green cards.

More about vehicle insurance.

What to do if your vehicle is involved in a road accident

If your drivers are involved in a road accident in an EU country they should in the first instance contact your insurer.

From 1 January 2021, any legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle will need to be brought in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened. You might have to make your claim in the local language.

You will not get compensation in some countries if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or if the driver cannot be traced.

Get legal advice if you need more information about this.

What bus and coach drivers need to do

Find out what your drivers need to do to drive professionally in the EU from 1 January 2021.

Published 25 February 2020
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