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Good news for Gatwick passengers who need an International Driving Permit

With the post offices near the airport now offering the service, passengers will not have to travel far from the airport.

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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.

Coronavirus

‘No demand to fly before August’ says Virgin Atlantic

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Ahead of a press conference this afternoon, Virgin Atlantic has said that a 14 day self-isolation for travellers entering the UK will prevent them from offering flights.

In their initial statement they say that these restrictions mean there won’t be sufficient deman to resumer passenger services before August at the earliest.

They add:

“The safety and security of our people and our customers is always our top priority and public health must come first. We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery.

Therefore, we are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses.”

More information is expected to be released in a press conference being held this afternoon (22nd May).

Only two weeks ago Virgin Atlantic announced job cuts of 3,000 staff and stopped it flights from Gatwick.

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