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One of the major perks of being a qualified and professional HGV driver is the opportunity to go abroad as part of your job. While this isn’t necessarily the case for every HGV job, it is a regular part of some jobs working for international haulage companies. It’s one thing getting on a plane and heading off on your travels on foot, but when you’re in charge of several tonnes of vehicle it can be a little more complicated than that.

We’ve gathered all the key things you need to prepare and bring with you before you head off on a work trip abroad. Some of these things are essential, and some will depend on where you’re going, so pay attention to the finer points of what you’ll need in your particular location.


What you must have

There are some pieces of documentation you’ll need to carry on you at all times.


Your passport will be needed wherever you go, and it must be in date and fully valid at all times. If you’re travelling with other members of your crew, everyone must have their own individual passport, no matter what their job role on the trip.

Driving licence

You must have a full and valid driving licence for the vehicle you’re driving, which is also valid in the locations you’re driving through.

Tachograph information

Even when driving out of the UK, you need to keep a full and thorough check on your driving hours because the law is Europe-wide. That means using whatever form of tracking your employer prefers, whether that’s a digital drivers card or traditional tachograph documentation.


What you may need


Outside the EU, your required travel documentation may. This can mean you need to apply for a Visa to enter your destination country.  To make sure you have the right travel documents, check the destination on this list to find out what you need.


International Driving Permit

Also known as the IDP, this permit is needed in some countries, but not others. A big part of doing your preparation before you set off is checking things like whether you need an IDP to drive in your destination. The information contained in your IDP are the type of vehicles you’re permitted to drive, as well as the time period your licence covers. This will be displayed in the appropriate languages depending on where you’re going, so officials in your destination country can read the information easily.

Even with an IDP, you’ll still need your regular driving licence as specified above.


Cabotage rules

Cabotage is any job you do in a foreign country using your vehicle which is registered in the UK. This means paid work on top of the initial delivery job you might be doing when you bring goods from the UK to another country.  You can usually complete three additional cabotage jobs in any seven-day period by default because this is included in your international licence.

You’ll need to check, however, whether you need to register and pay VAT in the host country where you’re earning money for cabotage work.


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