The Post Office has announced that from today (1st February 2019) around 2,500 Post Office branches across the UK can provide International Driving Permits to UK travellers intending to drive abroad.
There are three versions of International Driving Permits, each supported by a different convention, which cover over 100 countries around the world, with the documents costing £5.50 each.
Previously, 89 Post Office branches offered International Driving Permits for countries which are parties to the 1926 and 1949 conventions; but from today, the service will be extended to offer all three permits, which includes countries now under the 1968 Vienna Convention.
In addition to the 89 Post Office branches, the 1926 and 1949 permits were previously also provided by the AA and the RAC through the post or at the AA shop in Folkestone. From 1st February these organisations will no longer provide International Driving Permits. Instead the Post Office will issue all driving permits on DVLA’s behalf, from 2,500 branches.
Customers can check which permit they require for the country they wish to drive in by checking our website: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit.
The expansion means that these 2,500 branches can offer a one stop shop for customers intending to travel abroad; they are able to pick up their Driving Permit for countries ranging from A – Z (Albania all the way to Zimbabwe), collect their travel money, and also find out more about travel insurance too.
Martin Edwards, Managing Director of Identity Services at the Post Office, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to extend the number of Post Office branches offering international driving permits to 2,500. Millions of travellers already visit our branches each year to access our range of travel services, including travel money, travel insurance and digital passport applications. It means we’re well placed and resourced to extend the availability of these documents, offering even greater convenience to our customers, who will now be able to pop into a branch to also pick up their International Driving Permit.”
The 2,500 Post Office branches now offering all three driving permits are spread across the UK, with some located in or near UK travel hubs – this includes the Post Offices located near to airports, such as London Gatwick, Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow International, along with branches near to St Pancras International and ferry ports around the country.
London’s Canary Wharf branch is one of those now offering the service. Postmaster Subash Patel said:
“We are really pleased to be able to now offer all three International Driving Permits to our customers. Our branch serves lots of people who are making preparations to travel, both for work and pleasure, and it’s great that we can be their one stop travel shop, where they can come in and get all the important things they need for their trip, including travel money, travel insurance, and of course their all-important driving permit.”
Roads Minister Jesse Norman said:
“International Driving Permits will be on sale for drivers across the country at Post Office branches.
“The Government’s priority remains to secure an agreement with the EU that means UK driving licences continue to be recognised.
“But the wide availability of IDPs now through Post Offices should give reassurance to UK motorists that they can continue to drive in the EU, whatever the outcome of Brexit.”
The 1968 International Driving Permit covers countries such as South Africa, Vietnam and Kenya, all of which feature in the Post Office Travel Money’s 10th annual Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer 2018. The countries are highlighted as three of the top 12 best value for money long-haul holiday destinations in the report, which monitors the price of eight tourist items – comprising dinner for two with wine, a range of drinks, suncream and insect repellent.
International Driving Permits are not currently required for UK drivers who decide to drive within the EU. This could change dependent on developments around Brexit negotiations, and if so, the relevant permits would be available at the same 2,500 Post Office branches.
Recording-breaking start to 2019 for Gatwick
London Gatwick has achieved its busiest-ever start to a year, as passenger numbers grew by +4.0% in Q4, compared to 2018, as 9.7 million passengers travelled through in the first three months of 2019.
Long-haul growth was also strong in Q4, up +7.5%. This contributed to another month of healthy cargo growth, +7.2% quarter on quarter.
North Atlantic routes drove this busiest-ever start to a calendar year +15.3% on Q4 2018. Responding to this transatlantic demand, Virgin Atlantic and Delta have announced plans to grow at Gatwick – with new routes to Boston Logan and New York JFK from summer 2020 – adding to Gatwick’s over 250 flights each week to the USA.
It comes as Gatwick welcomed more passengers than ever during February half-term. 1.2 million passengers travelled through the airport between 15th and 24th February and an increase of +7% on the equivalent week last year.
Gatwick passengers are increasingly looking to go further afield at half-term with long-haul destinations up nearly 20% for the holiday period, as 1 in 6 Gatwick passengers are currently travelling to long-haul destinations. Popular long-haul half-term destinations include Dubai and Bridgetown joining short haul favourites Dublin, Barcelona and Geneva.
February also saw the start of easyJet’s new Dusseldorf service, which operates 11 times per week to the business and leisure destination, and is the fifth new route from the airline at Gatwick in recent months, joining Aqaba, Rovaniemi, Warsaw and Aarhus. This follows the addition of a new service to the Turkish capital, Ankara, from Turkish Airlines in January as the number of capital cities served by Gatwick now stands at 50.
In the three month period, domestic routes to Isle of Man and Glasgow saw growth of +9.0% and +5.0%, respectively. Meanwhile passengers using GatwickConnects, the airport’s service which enables passengers to book connecting flights via Gatwick, increased +80% from Edinburgh, +58% from Jersey and +50% from Belfast in Q4.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said:
“Gatwick’s year has started as we mean the rest of 2019 to go on. Our pioneering spirit at the airport is driving for success in both the short and long term.
“In the immediate period, we continue to innovate, enabling new and established airlines to grow to all parts of the world – including most recently a new service to Rio de Janeiro.
“Looking ahead to further opportunities, we will publish the final version of Gatwick’s masterplan later this year, outlining potential options for future growth.’