If you’re planning a post-pandemic road trip through Europe there’s an important rule change to take note of.

As of this week the GB sticker or magnet that’s placed on the back of your car will no longer be valid.

Instead, you’ll need a ‘UK’ sticker, while those with ‘GB’ on their number plate will now also need a sticker or order a new number plate with the UK designation.

The update was outlined by the United Nations, which said it had received “a notification stating that the United Kingdom is changing the distinguishing sign that it had previously selected for display in international traffic on vehicles registered in the United Kingdom, from ‘GB’ to ‘UK’”.

This is the second change to the number plate style this year, as Grant Shapps announced a new GB design with a Union flag on January 31.

A new green number plate was also introduced recently for electric vehicles.

On the Government website it says: "If your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack), you do not need a UK sticker.

"However, you will need to display a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following:

  • a GB identifier with the Union flag
  • a Euro symbol
  • a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales
  • numbers and letters only - no flag or identifier

"If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must display a UK sticker no matter what is on your number plate.

"If you have a GB sticker, cover or remove it before driving outside the UK."

No official reasons have been given, but it is believed to be a sign of solidarity with Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

GB refers to Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland and Wales, while UK refers to the United Kingdom, which is Great Britain and Northern Ireland.