Do I need a VE103 form to take a hire or lease car abroad?


If you are driving a leased or hired car – or other vehicle  –  and planning to take it abroad to countries in mainland Europe such as France or Spain, it’s likely that you will need a VE103 certificate before you travel.

If you don’t take this documentation with you when driving a hire or lease car in Europe you could face big fines, delays and even risk have the vehicle seized by foreign police.

Motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden explains the rules around who does and doesn't need a VE103 certificate.

What is the VE103?

When driving in mainland Europe, drivers are expected to carry the vehicle’s logbook – or V5C. This is easy if it is your own car, but the owners of a leased or hired vehicle are unlikely to give out such an important document – which is where the VE103 comes in. This document – a Vehicle on Hire Certificate – is taken as proof that the driver has permission from the owner to take the vehicle abroad. It works as a legal alternative to the V5C logbook.

What countries require a VE103 certificate?

All EU/EEA member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Additionally, the following also require the VE103: Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

Will I need permission from the vehicle owner?

Yes. You must obtain written permission from the owner of the car confirming that they are prepared to let you take the vehicle out of the UK. You will need to carry this written permission with you when travelling in Europe and the other countries mentioned above.

How to get a VE103 Vehicle on Hire Certificate

Now that you have permission to take the hired or leased vehicle abroad, you will need to obtain a VE103 Vehicle on Hire Certificate, which is a legal alternative to the V5C logbook – and must be carried at all times while driving abroad.

You can download a VE103 application form from the RAC here and send the completed document to If you have problems downloading the form, you can contact RAC Travel Sales on 0330 159 0808, Option 4 followed by Option 1, for help.

The certificates are also available from other organisations.

What documents do I need to obtain a VE103 certificate?

To obtain a VE103, you will need to supply the following documents and information:

Firstly, you will need a copy of the written permission from the hire or lease company agreeing to allow the vehicle to be taken out of the UK. You will need to contact the lease or hire firm to obtain this.

Secondly, you may need to provide a telephone number to allow the fee to be collected if you are not making payment by cheque.

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How much is the VE103 Vehicle on Hire Certificate going to cost me?

The VE103 will cost £8.00, but the RAC can also provide special delivery – within two days – for an additional fee of £6.95. The charges can be paid over the phone, or by sending a cheque.

How long is the VE103 valid?

The VE103 remains valid for a period of 12 months.

What other documents might I need to drive my hire car in the likes of France or Spain?

Along with the VE103, it is possible that drivers heading to the likes of France and Spain will need an International Driving Permit and Insurance Green Card. Find out if this affects you with our guide to documents required to drive abroad here.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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