The DVLA have introduced new changes to driving license laws that will affect European bound holidaymakers hiring cars this summer and Nationwide Hire is urging all Brits to charter cars on UK shores to avoid getting caught up in the confusion.

For decades British driving licences have included a paper portion that lists any penalty points or fines accrued by license holders. As of June 8, this portion will be scrapped in a bid by the DVLA to simplify the system and make the switch to online records.

In the wake of the switch, experts are predicting car hire chaos in European nations. From France and Spain to Italy and Germany, European car hire companies are reliant on the paper portion to check whether or not drivers have clean records.

Anita Teague, marketing manager said: “There are big changes on the horizon for British driving licenses and these will undoubtedly affect European bound holidaymakers this summer. To keep holidays as smooth and stress free as possible we’re advising all Brits to take out European cover and hire cars in the UK, as opposed to a foreign destination.”

The DVLA has attempted to streamline the European car hire process by instructing holidaymakers to log into the Share Driving Licence service, input their license details and obtain a unique code. This can then be issued to European car hire companies and used to check licence details and penalty-point records. Drivers have also been advised to print out their electronic records in PDF format.

While this is the legally approved process it’s likely that European car hire companies will initially reject the system. This prediction is backed up by the latest market research from RAC confirming even Brits aren’t clued up on the new system. Despite the fact that there is less than one month to go before the paper portion becomes obsolete, just 45% of UK drivers are aware of the changes.

The UK-based vehicle rental company is urging Brits to take advantage of its European cover option and hire a car on UK shores. This will eliminate the risk of being turned away by European car hire companies that are adamant on seeing paper portions of licenses.

European insurance and emergency cover starts at £150 per vehicle.

For bookings and further details visit

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