Will your EV work abroad?

With summer on the horizon lots of people across the UK will be packing up their cars for road trips, grand tours and camping holidays across Europe and beyond.

Any long journey needs planning, but what if you’re planning to hit the road overseas in an EV?

You might be wondering if your electric car will even work abroad. The short answer is yes, but there are some important things to keep in mind.

Car driving up sunny mountain

BEFORE YOU EVEN START: The proper documentation

Any driver from the UK needs to take specific documents with them when they go abroad. This includes:


Driving licence

Insurance information

Your vehicle logbook (you V5C)

These all need to be kept safe while you’re away. It’s worth always keeping them together and with you. Don’t leave them in your car. If your car was registered in the UK, you also need to display one of the black and white UK stickers somewhere on your car.

Using chargers overseas

EV charging is usually split into types based on the charger and connector type.

Understanding your charger type lets you identify the places where you can recharge. As EV infrastructure continues to grow globally it’s becoming increasingly easier to find places where you can top up your battery.

If you’re planning a trip abroad though it’s definitely worth doing more planning than normal. Especially in advance. Access to charging should have a major influence on your trip, it can even help decide which country you visit, or whether you choose to drive there at all.

Your planning should include really detailed route planning that looks at where you can recharge and how far apart chargers are. The last thing you want is to be trying to find an EV charger in an unfamiliar country.

Keep the range of your car in mind at all times and make sure that there are enough places to stop and top-up your battery at every point in your journey.

Driving with roadmap

Double-check your insurance

Whenever you’re abroad you need to be prepared for any situation, it’s why travel insurance exists, to give you that safety net just in case.

When it comes to driving you need to make sure that your insurance protects you. Typically, UK car insurance policies provide third-party cover. It’s often a good idea to upgrade your insurance to provide comprehensive cover, including roadside assistance, alternative travel and make sure that if your vehicle winds up needing to be recovered, that it is also returned to the UK.

What if your car is leased?

If your car is leased this can have an impact on whether or not you take it abroad. Instead of a logbook there’s a different form (VE103) that you need, but the key thing is to check if your leasing agreement allows you to take your car out of the UK.

If not, and you’re planning a driving trip abroad this can change some of your planning as you might have to travel, then collect a hire car at your destination.

Road trips are a wonderful way to explore an area and see parts of a country you might otherwise miss out on. One of the great things about EVs is that you have access to a wide and growing charging network, which means the list of places you can visit is only ever going to grow as infrastructure develops.

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