Drivers urged to check rules after updated guidance on Blue Badge parking in Europe

A disabled parking space

Most European Union countries accept the UK's Blue Badge

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 31/08/2023

- 10:39

Updated: 31/08/2023

- 17:13

Britons may face difficulties when parking with a Blue Badge in popular European countries

The Department for Transport has issued updated guidance for British drivers who want to use their Blue Badges when travelling in Europe.

Blue Badges allow motorists with disabilities to have greater parking provisions, such as parking closer to their required destination.

For motorists in England, they will cost up to £10, Scottish drivers will pay £20 and Welsh drivers can get a Blue Badge for free.

Drivers must reapply for a Blue Badge before their current one expires and they usually last up to three years.

An old Blue Badge parking notice

Blue Badges help disabled motorists park closer to their required destinations


Once the UK left the European Union on January 31, 2020, it was no longer part of the EU Disabled Parking Card Scheme.

According to the GOV.UK website, drivers can still use their UK Blue Badge when travelling in some EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It added: “The UK has informally agreed to continue the mutual recognition of the EU disabled parking card for visitors to the UK.

“Some EU and EEA countries have committed to reciprocate this gesture, but these agreements are not mandatory.

“Recognition of foreign issued parking cards remains at the discretion of the administering authority in the host country.”

The Blue Badge is recognised in a number of European countries, with others advising drivers to display local language notices next to their UK Blue Badge.

Many countries will not have any issues with a driver using a UK-registered Blue Badge, with some also not having a requirement for a local notice.

This includes Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.

Denmark and Switzerland both recognise and accept the UK Blue Badge, but motorists must use a parking disc or clock if they are using parking time concessions.

Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg and Romania all accept non-EU parking cards, with Italy and Lithuania only accepting non-EU parking cards in some regions, with drivers urged to check in advance.

Drivers may encounter some issues in Spain as UK Blue Badge recognition is decided by local administrations.

While the Blue Badge is compliant with the EU parking card model, Spain, the Balearic and the Canary Isles may have different rules with drivers told to check before parking.


A disabled parking sign

Blue Badges cost around £10 in England, £20 in Scotland and are free in Wales


France and Slovenia may not recognise any non-EU-issued parking cards, including the Blue Badge, requiring Britons to make sure of their own rights.

The GOV.UK website does not have any information on whether the Blue badge is recognised in Bulgaria, with motorists advised to check locally before parking.

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