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Essential holiday planning for lease car drivers

 Published 8th July 2019
Driver Guides  General Guides 

The list of required items for driving abroad seems to get longer every year. Alongside the passports, the shorts and t-shirts, the flip-flops and beach towels, the inflatable flamingo and the kitchen sink, you also need to make sure you have a GB sticker, green card, breathalyser, spare bulbs, headlight deflectors, high-viz jackets, warning triangle, and a first aid kit. It's no wonder that people forget about the VE103B.

If you're now wondering what a VE103B is and you drive a lease car - and let's face it, more and more of you are - you should probably add it to your holiday to-do list.

It's a legal requirement that if you are taking a car out of the country you should carry the V5 registration documents to prove the car is yours and registered at the same address shown on your driving licence (which you will also need to carry). The problem for lease car drivers is that the V5 is often held by the lease company as technically the car is theirs and you're simply renting it. The solution is the VE103B Vehicle on Hire Certificate.

The alternative may be long delays, your vehicle being refused entry at the border, or worse, impounded.

Essentially the VE103B is a short form of the V5 that contains all the necessary details. A VE103B is the ONLY legally acceptable substitute within Europe for the original V5 documents, unfortunately a photocopy of the V5 or even a headed letter of authority from the lease company won't do. The VE103B lists the vehicle description and registration details, confirms the registered keeper of the vehicle (the lease company), but crucially also contains a section detailing the name and address of the hirer and confirming the lease company has authorised the vehicle to leave the UK. A VE103B is available through your lease company and is valid for a maximum 12 month period from the start date but most will expire on the date you have told the lease company you will be returning.

So the upshot of all this is another item on your list of things to do before you go on holiday. Which brings us on to the most obvious point of all: if you're going to take your lease car on holiday this year get a VE103B now.

Even if you don't need it right now it will be one less thing to worry about if you've already requested one. If there are any delays in issuing a VE103B for your car the last thing you need before you go on holiday is the stress of wondering if your form will arrive in time for you to be able to go at all.

Given the fact there is usually a spike in requests around holiday time - demand peaked over the Easter bank holiday and it's likely to happen again once the schools break up for the summer - the earlier you get your request in the sooner it will be processed. The last thing anyone needs is to be told the essential piece of paperwork will take seven days to arrive when they have a ferry to catch in 24 hours time.

That's guaranteed to ruin a holiday almost as much as having to watch your pride and joy being towed into an impound yard while your family openly discusses how long it would take to bury a body using one of those little plastic beach spades because you didn't plan ahead…

Here's a holiday checklist before you go abroad

  • Request a VE103B from your leasing company well in advance before you leave
  • Check all passports have at least six months left before expiry.
  • Check if you need a Green Card. This replaces the current European Certificate of Insurance.
  • Rules of the road differ across Europe. The AA has a useful guide.
  • Before setting off on your journey make sure you have valid breakdown cover for Europe and your insurance cover is valid in Europe

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