The Fixer: car hire concerns

There is much confusion about hiring a car without a paper licence.

Updated: 
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Dear Fixer,
I am taking my family on holiday to Spain in two weeks and I have booked a hire car with Europcar while I am there.

However, I'm worried that I will not be able to drive the car away when we get there as I do not have the paper part of my driving licence.

I know that the paper part is no longer needed in the UK, but a friend told me that it would be necessary to hire a car in Spain.

My wife does not drive and we will need a car to get to and from the villa we have booked on a daily basis, so it will really ruin the holiday if I am unable to hire a car. Can you help?

H Gordon, Chester

Dear Mr Gordon,

There is a lot of confusion at the moment over what no longer having a paper driving licence means for people hiring a car abroad.

However, the good news is that it actually seems simpler to hire a car overseas than it is in the UK.

Europcar only requires UK drivers hiring cars in countries such as France and Spain to "present their UK photocard driving licence or 'old style' paper-only driving licence plus a second form of ID such as their passport, when collecting their vehicle".

In the UK, on the other hand, you must obtain a code from the DVLA within 72 hours of hiring a car so that car hire firms can check information about restrictions and penalties on your licence.

You can generate a DVLA code by visiting the DVLA website and entering your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.

The Fixer

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