Welcome to our Travel Blog

Motorists Now Need a Code To Hire a Car Abroad

The DVLA have scrapped the paper counterpart of driving licences

With the DVLA having scrapped the paper counterpart of driving licences on the 8th June 2015, holidaymakers could find themselves stuck when it comes to hiring a car abroad if they do not obtain a valid code to provide to the car hire company upon arrival.

On it’s website, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) tells motorists to ‘destroy’ the papers as they are no longer valid. However, many overseas hire companies are still unaware of the changes and may still ask to see a copy of the counterpart. So, holidaymakers may not want to tear up their counterparts just yet but take it abroad as a precautionary measure.

As all drivers records and any offences are now held electronically on the DVLA database, those wishing to hire a car, whether it is in the UK or abroad, are now required to present the plastic photocard licence along with a code to rental car companies, allowing them to access records online and check for fines and penalties.

Here’s what motorists need to know about hiring a car:

  • Log on to the DVLA web site and provide a national insurance number to get the special code.
  • The code is only valid for 72 hours, so a code needs to be obtained close to the first day of rental.
  • Take additional identification to present to the rental company such as proof of address, if required.
  • A printable PDF version of the paper counterpart of your licence is available on the DVLA website.
  • Paper licences issued before 1998 are still valid.


For further information, visit the DVLA web site: 

www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

Compare Quotes Now Arrow icon

Search our Blog