French A1 Main Motorway showing traffic moving

Top Tips for Freight Operators Driving Abroad

These are top tips applicable for freight operators in general, including couriers, haulage companies, truck, van, & lorry drivers, when driving abroad:

In addition to ensuring the road worthiness of a vehicle before embarking on a journey the following points are worthy of consideration to ensure trips are trouble free.

Freight Paperwork

Depending on the journey and the type of freight being carried, this paperwork may include dangerous goods paperwork and customs documentation.

The following original paperwork should accompany the vehicle at all times – tax disc, operator licence disc, MoT certificate, vehicle registration and insurance documents (green card insurance also advisable) and authority to drive letter. Drivers should also carry their passport, national identity cards (if applicable, for example we don't have ID cards in the UK), photographic and paper driving licences.

It is advisable that a copy set of all of the above is held on file at the drivers operating base in case the originals are lost or stolen.


Tachographs should be set, and drivers need to carry the necessary charts along with attestation letters covering any inactive periods. Letters of attestation should be in the language of all countries to be visited during the trip.

Funds for the journey

Cash or the means to cover road tolls, fuel bills, tolls, fines, and expenses. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So you should consider that cash is available for any issues that may arise during a journey.

Emergency Kit

Drivers should have in the vehicle a high-visibility jacket, warning triangle, fire extinguisher and first aid kit. Some countries insist on the carrying of other items such as spare bulbs and breathalyser kits (Germany for example) so it is advisable to check each individual country specific requirements before travelling. Check out our Country Guides section if you're unsure about the country you aim to travel to.


Speed restrictions, vehicle dimensions and weight restrictions and permitted driving times also vary across Europe so again check each country you are travelling through before embarking on your journey.

The following individual country guides might assist you in any enquiry you may have:

Channel Islands |Finland | France | Ireland | Isle of Man | Malta | Netherlands | Norway | Spain

More Country Guides to follow shortly...

Read More About Freight Drivers:

1. Flexibility the Key Word in the New Logistics Landscape

2. What's Good about being a Freight Driver?

3. Being a Freight Driver: Self-Employed versus a Direct Contract

4. Should you lease or buy your truck?

5. Setting up as an Owner-Driver – and where to go from there

6. Top Tips for Freight Operators Abroad

7. Freight Driving Licence Requirements

8. Freight Drivers Working Internationally

16 September 2014

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