Log book abroad - Spospe
I am advised by the Caravan Club that when touring abroad (they mean Western Europe) that I must carry the vehicle log-book at all times.

You would have to be stupid to leave the log-book in the car, yet what are you supposed to do with it? Leaving it in the caravan is non-too secure and if one were a motorcaravan user, leaving it in the 'van would be just like leaving it in a car. It is a somewhat bulky document and the thought of carrying it everywhere with me is not a pleasent one.

Can I ask what other board users do in these circumstances and also is it a requirement to carry the wretched thing in the first place?

Thanks for any advice ......... Michael
Log book abroad - bell boy
put it in your bolted to the floor safe thats in the boot with your family jewels?
Log book abroad - Spospe
Our motorcaravan does indeed have a built-in safe, but if the 'van is stolen, so is the log-book.

My original questions stand, how do you carry it safely and is it really required to carry it in the first place?
Log book abroad - Armitage Shanks {p}
Yes you are required to carry it SFAIK but I have never been asked for mine, but then I have not had any dealings with the law, luckily. I suppose you keep it with your passport and credit cards. You didn't read it here but surely you could do a nice colour copy on your scanner.? Continental Plod won't know what he is looking at so long as it looks offical and has your vehicle reg on it.!
Log book abroad - Armitage Shanks {p}
PS My 'Log Book' is not bulky - it is a single sheet of A4. That said you might not want to fold it but bulky it isn't!
Log book abroad - PhilW
"how do you carry it safely and is it really required to carry it in the first place?"
Yes it is required.
How about doing the same with it as you do with your other essential documents that you have to carry with you - driving licence, passport, insurance docs, green card and return ferry tickets, not to mention bank cards, credit cards, money etc - bumbag? small rucksac? money belt?
Log book abroad - Pugugly {P}
Never taken it.
Log book abroad - PhilW
"Never taken it"
Maybe not, but have you ever been stopped and asked for it - we have.
It is now a legal requirement - in fact I think that all French drivers have to have theirs with them.


says it is compulsory to carry it in most European countries
Log book abroad - Armitage Shanks {p}
PhilW beat me to posting the link

This states that it is compulsory to carry the Original V5 in every country listed. Interesting to note that, in Spain, if you need corrective glasses for driving you must have a spare pair with you. Not a lot of people know that!
Log book abroad - pmh
I was first asked for registration document when stopped in France in about 1993. At that time it was a company car and I explained in my rudimentary french to friendly french plod that because it was a company car I couldnt have the reg doc as it would allow me to sell it, and my boss wouldnt be very happy! That kept them amused.

Since then I have carried my docs in the car at all times, (it is now an automatic Euro 90 fine if you cannot produce on the spot). What is the problem about leaving the docs in the car (inc Ferry tickets). If it is going to be stolen it is going to go anyway it wont make it any more or lss attractive if the docs are with it. The french have no resale market for RHD cars (only for breaking),

I think that you also require spare glassses in France, altho I cannot immediately find a reference.


pmh (was peter)

Log book abroad - Bromptonaut
In reply to pmh:-

Company car drivers (and probably anyone else not the keeper) used to have to carry a letter from the owner authorising them to take the car abroad. Remember Dad having to arrange these back in the seventies - probably with a French translation.

IIRC the black market value of an open UK paper passport is in thousands, use of biometrics and smart chips etc might reduce this until the fraudsters find a workround. The risk of leaving everythng in the car is that the bad guys will break into it in search of passports and take the whole package. Nonetheless thats my preferred solution - car is more secure than the tent.

TBH getting a replacement V5 will probably be the least of your re-documentation problems.
Log book abroad - Pugugly {P}
if you need corrective glasses for driving you must have a spare pair with you. Not a lot of people know that!

Oh I do that - that's common sense though.
Log book abroad - artful dodger {P}
>>if you need corrective glasses for driving you must have a spare pair with you.

I wear contact lenses, so I keep a pair in the car at all times just in case. Everytime I have a new batch of disposable lenses, I change the pair in the car. Just common sense.

I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Log book abroad - Brit_in_Germany
Continental Plod won't know what he
is looking at so long as it looks offical and has
your vehicle reg on it.!

Errr...haven't they been standardised to have a uniform format?

Log book abroad - Collos25
Carry a photo copy
Log book abroad - pmh
" compulsory to carry the Original V5"

so why do you think you are exempt?

pmh (was peter)

Log book abroad - Pugugly {P}
It's a risk I take, I'm not exempted.
Log book abroad - No FM2R
>>Carry a photo copy

What on earth for ? Absolutely no good at all. Not even if it were certified.
Log book abroad - Peter S
>>Carry a photo copy
What on earth for ? Absolutely no good at all. Not
even if it were certified.

I always take the V5 (if I have it) or for leased company cars a Vehicle on Hire certificate, issued by the AA. I have on occasion only had photocpy V5s issued by my employer, for cars that had been bought not leased. The one and only time that I have been stopped by the Gendarmes (for speeding...) was when I was in possession of a faxed copy of the V5, and they seemed quite happy with it... Seemed to be more interersted in the ?60 fine...

Log book abroad - Armitage Shanks {p}
Errr...haven't they been standardised to have a uniform format?

Yes they have but my point is that a continental policeman is unlikely to know whether what you are carrying is the real thing or a copy, how often does he see one? Crooks can make passable banknotes on a home printer so a V5 shouldn't be difficult. My V5 is one sheet of A4 with no metallic strip or holgrams. It would easily copy in a printer, if one was bothered to do it. When I go abroad I fly and hire a car when I get there so carrying my V5 doesn't arise.
Log book abroad - mike hannon
Yes, it is a French legal requirement to have all your driving documents with you and I certainly seem to be pulled over every few months and asked for them.
Seems silly to me to have to have all the paperwork with the car whenever you are out, particularly as car crime is on the rise in France.
Maybe that's why so many French men carry big handbags?

Log book abroad - mfarrow
Could you not hire it from yourself and pay £6 to the RAC?


Mike Farrow
Log book abroad - Armitage Shanks {p}
Hi MF - useful link! I can hire a car abroad for a week for a lot less than the cost of getting mine across the channel, then the cost of continental breakdown cover on top; it is a no-brainer! In August I am going Luton to Shannon, 2 people £35 return, and 4 days hire car for £65. £100 wouldn't get me onto a ferry there and back, apart from driving Luton to Fishguard and Cork to Shannon, or whatever the ferry ports are!
Log book abroad - Dalglish
afaik - it is a legal requirement in the uk to produce documents on demand, but is over-ridden by a concession.

the police law website says:


"It is a matter of good practice to carry your driving documents with you. However for various reasons (i.e fear of theft of documents from your vehicle or loss of documents) not everyone does.

It is an offence not to produce your documents to a police officer upon request. However, you are allowed to,

produce the documents within seven days at a police station specified at the time the producer (HO/RT1) was given or
produce the documents at the specified station as soon as is reasonably practicable. The length of time this means will be taken on a case by case basis.
So in the above situation you should make every effort to produce the required documents as soon as possible, there is no guarantee however that your reasons for non-production will be accepted and you will then be reported for summons.

Log book abroad - Galaxy
Some years ago a friend of mine was stopped by the Police (in the UK) and asked whether he could produce his documents.

When he promptly opened the glove-box and instantly produced everything, including the registration document, he was prompty told off by them for keeping these items in his car!

Log book abroad - Gromit {P}
Yes, you must carry the V5 in France (can't say about other EU countries as I haven't driven in them). It must be the original, not a copy - expect les Gendarmes to be particular on the details of the law like this, and to get rather suspicious if presented with a copy.

And no, you shouldn't keep V5, passports or driving licence in the car. Mine was broken into the first night on French soil (after considerable effort from the thief to get in) and nothing was taken - the glovebox had been ransacked, but we'd removed the docs. I should add that the French police couldn't have been more polite to deal with under such less than pleasant circumstances.

If you have no alternative, I'd suggest you're better off leaving the documents in the caravan safe because they're harder to get at and you may well leave the caravan at the campsite while you're out and about in the car - and a car with GB plates is an obvious target to thieves.

Do make a photocopy of all your documents and keep them separate to the originals - at least if the worst does happen, you can still prove who you are and the car was yours.

With that said, here's hoping you have a good holiday and don't have to worry about any of this at all!
- Gromit
Log book abroad - martint123
Some years ago, our well planned, "Nine countries in a weekend" jaunt was thrown into chaos at the Swiss/Italian border when one of the vehicles was refused entry for not being able to produce the log book. It was a long detour and rapid re-planning to sneak through the next border at siesta time.

Log book abroad - Pugugly {P}
My contact with the Police has always been pretty good. Stopped for speeding a couple of times, stopped at a border crossing between Andorra and France once....where ear fluent French SWMBO helped me mitigate the fact that I was British (!) and also service beyond the call of duty during the notorious blockdes one year (before the advent of SatNav) helped me navigate my way around a bottleneck. Having read this thread I will probably carry my V5 in future, I may have been lucky in the past.
Log book abroad - malteser
Here in Spain it is an absolute requirement to carry all vehicle documents in the car or on your person if you are in the car. Photocopies are acceptable, but they MUST be certified by the "Trafico" department of your region - not an option for visitors. The police can and will often mpound a car on the spot if you cannot produce the correct paperwork.
They can & will, if inclined, impound YOU in the local nick if you do not carry recognised proof of identification (passport or residence card) at any time you are in a public place. Some police will accept a UK photo style driving licence as proof of identity, but this out of the goodness of their hearts or because they are off to lunch/siesta and don't want hassle!

Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Log book abroad - malteser
Oh and you MUST carry your car insurance certificate with you, preferably with proof that the premium has been paid!

Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
Log book abroad - Spospe
Thanks to all for the info so far.

I can add a liitle bit more regarding glasses and that is it only applies to Spain that you have to carry a spare pair and then only if you are Spanish (this law does not apply to visitors).

I suppose that my original question was a reaction to having to comply with yet another 'rule' which seems designed for someone else's benefit and which offers me no benefit at all.

It is a pain having to carry all these documents around and it is a worry lest they get lost / stolen.

Sorry to rant on ...... I feel a bit better now.
Log book abroad - Smileyman
'They can & will, if inclined, impound YOU in the local nick if you do not carry recognised proof of identification (passport or residence card) at any time you are in a public place'

Does this rule apply to non motoring tourists? Or if you left the car at the hotel and walked to the beach??

When overseas I usually keep a photocopy of passport with me and leave original in hotel safe ... but would always keep original V5 / MOT / driving licence & insurance certs with me, with copies in safe. Thankfully never been asked to produce proof of ID before, UK, Europe or Americas.


Ask Honest John

Value my car