Depending on the country, the international driving licence may be free or for a small fee. In all cases, allow a reasonable period of at least 1 month to obtain it.
The international driving licence, valid for 3 years, is a translation of your English driving licence and is recommended but not compulsory.
It is in no way a substitute for your national driving licence, which you will still need to show on the day you pick up your car, and to the local authorities if you have to deal with them.
In Europe, the driving licence required to drive a motorhome depends on the weight of the vehicle.
- If the motorhome weighs less than 3.5 tonnes, a B licence (standard driving licence) is sufficient.
- If the motorhome weighs more than 3.5 tonnes, you will need a C1 licence. This licence allows you to drive vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.
Outside Europe, the rules may differ. Generally, an international driving licence is recommended if you are driving in a non-European country, but the specific requirements depend on the country in question.
Driving a motorhome in the United States?
In the United States, the rules on the driving licence required to drive a motorhome can vary slightly from state to state. However, in most States, a standard driving licence (the equivalent of a B licence) is sufficient to drive most motorhomes.
If the motorhome has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds (around 11,800 kg), some states may require a higher category driving licence, similar to a C1 licence.
Foreign drivers are generally advised to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in their home country before leaving. The International Driving Permit is not a driving licence in its own right, but a translation of the user’s national driving licence. It must be used in conjunction with the original driving licence.
It is always advisable to check the specific rules of the States you plan to visit before you leave.
In general, and with a few exceptions, there is no maximum age for driving a motorhome.
However, over the age of 80, hire companies do require a medical certificate.
Note that in some countries, such as the UK, Ireland and Italy, some hire companies do not hire motorhomes over the age of 75.
The minimum age for hiring and driving a motorhome may vary depending on the country and the rental policies of each agency, but in general you need to be at least 21 or 25 years old to hire and drive a motorhome.
Some countries may also require the driver to have a certain number of years’ driving experience, usually between 1 and 3 years. It is advisable to check the specific requirements of the rental agency before booking a motorhome. You will find this information on the online offers and in PDF format.
Note that some vehicles, particularly in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, can be driven by people aged 18 and over, with or without supplements.
As a general rule and with certain exceptions, additional drivers are included in motorhome rentals.
The rental contract is therefore drawn up in the name of the main driver, and additional drivers must register on the day of departure and present their driving licences.
Additional drivers must meet the same age and driving licence requirements as the main driver.