Travel and transport after Brexit (holidays, pets and haulage)

Last updated: 9 October 2020

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.

We're now in a transition period (also known as the implementation period) that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. This means the UK is currently still following EU rules.

In January 2021 the transition period will end and our new relationship with the EU will begin. There will be effects on some areas of life in Scotland.

This may include changes to travel to and from EU countries.

The UK is now in the Brexit transition period. This means many of the details about what Brexit will mean are not yet known. This page gives the latest facts, but it will be updated as more details are confirmed. Please keep checking back for new information.

If the transition period ends before an EU trade deal has been agreed (a 'no deal' situation), you may need different documents to visit and drive in:

  • the EU
  • Norway
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland
  • Iceland
  • Andorra

This includes travel to these countries by air, sea, coach, rail or Eurotunnel shuttle. Your legal rights as a passenger will stay the same.

You may also need to make different arrangements in advance if you plan to travel with a pet.

GOV.UK has guidance on this.


If the transition period ends before an EU trade deal has been agreed (a 'no deal' situation), the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change for UK passport holders.

If you travel to an EU country after Brexit, you should have at least 6 months left on your passport from the date you arrive. Your passport should also be less than 10 years old.

GOV.UK has guidance which gives more information on which countries this affects.

The existing Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland will continue. GOV.UK has more information on this.

Holidays and travel

If you're planning to travel by air, sea, coach, rail or Eurotunnel shuttle after Brexit, all these services are expected to run as normal after Brexit. However, you should check with your travel company for the latest information before you leave.

If any of these services are delayed or cancelled, your consumer rights will remain the same.

The European Commission has said that there will be no difference to travel and holidaymakers won't need a visa during the 'transition period' (where the UK has left the EU but still follows EU rules while the new arrangements are made).

You may still need to check your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you plan to travel. If you're travelling with a pet, or planning to drive in mainland Europe, you may need to make extra arrangements as explained on this page. There are still more details to be agreed – this site will be updated when there's more information.

GOV.UK has more information on this.

Travel insurance

If you have a European Health Insurance Card, it may not be valid after Brexit. You must make sure that you have suitable insurance and healthcare cover, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.

Driving in the EU

If you're planning to drive in the EU after Brexit and have a UK Driving Licence, you may need to apply for and carry an International Driving Permit.

GOV.UK has guidance on this.

You may also need to apply for and carry a Green Card to prove you have third party insurance if you're driving in:

  • the EU
  • EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)
  • Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland

GOV.UK has guidance on this.

Travelling with pets

The rules for pet travel from the UK to the EU will change at the end of the transition period.

To make sure your pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU from 1 January 2021, you should contact your vet at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice and begin preparing your pet for travel.

GOV.UK has more information and advice.

Travelling as a haulier

If you're travelling in Europe as haulier after Brexit, there may be changes to the rules on licences, permits and qualifications which apply to you.

Hauliers and commercial drivers will need the correct documentation to drive in the EU should the UK leave without a deal.

Hauliers will be required to go through customs checks, and it's the responsibility of traders to make sure that the right paperwork is in place provided for the goods being carried.

More details of what hauliers will need to do is available at GOV.UK.

More information

More details on travel after Brexit will be added to this page as new information is available.

Meanwhile, there are a number of other sites you can check for updates:

The content on this site is correct as of today's date and is based on the information available at this time. Regular updates will be made as the Brexit process develops. In the event of a 'no deal', additional advice and information will be given on this site. Please continue to check back for updates.