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Prepare to drive in the EEA after Brexit

Driving In Europe and Green cards

If you are planning to drive in an EU state with your own vehicle after Brexit, you will require a physical copy of your certificate of motor insurance and also Green Card. Certain countries will also require an International Driving Permit (IDP).

What is a Green Card?

The Green Card is an international insurance certificate that proves your policy provides the minimum legal cover required for driving in the country being travelled to.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned that you may be breaking the law if you drive in the EEA without one.

How do I obtain a Green Card?

You can request one directly from us, please ensure you leave enough time us to process the card and post it out to you. This should be a minimum of 15 days. Please note there may be an administrative charge associated with the provision of Green Card documents - this will depend on your insurer.

Before requesting a Green Card, please ensure you have the following information:

  • Dates of travel
  • Destination
  • Registration of any vehicle (including any towed vehicle)

If your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan, you will need two Green Cards. One for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer, or caravan

Please note you won’t need a green card if you’re just hiring a car. If you rent a vehicle abroad then the insurance that comes with it from the rental company should cover you.

For further advice or to request a Green Card, please call 0345 017 9795.

Further advice for driving in the EEA after Brexit

What countries will a Green Card provide cover for?

A Green Card will cover you in the following countries:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greek Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (incorporating Liechtenstein), Slovakia and Slovenia.

What happens if I have not been sent a Green Card?

You will not be able to drive legally in any EU member state without a Green Card. Otherwise you would run the risk of a fine, prosecution, or even having your vehicle seized.

There could be an option to purchase insurance locally, known as frontier insurance. However, there is no guarantee this will be available and it is likely to be more expensive than UK-issued policies.

Please contact us as far in advance of your trip as possible to ensure you receive the Green Card in time for your trip.

Will I still be able to use my insurance to drive in other EU member states after Brexit?

If a deal is stuck and the agreements continue, then your insurance will continue as it does now. Addition cover would therefore not be required to drive in other EU member states using your vehicle. However we still recommend checking your policy for the exact requirements of your insurer which may vary.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you would require a Green Card.

Does this apply for driving across the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland border?

Northern Ireland residents travelling to the Republic of Ireland:

Yes, please contact us to arrange for the appropriate Green Card documents.

Republic of Ireland residents travelling to Northern Ireland:

No, valid Irish insurance discs will be accepted as proof of insurance for Irish vehicles.

If I have a multi-car policy will I need a Green Card for each vehicle insured?

A Green Card would be required to cover the registration number of each individual vehicle that will be driven in the EU. You must therefore arrange a Green Card for each vehicle.

What happens if I am involved in an accident abroad – do I need to contact my insurer?

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident abroad, please contact us as soon as possible. We will be here to help and you can contact us using our dedicated motor claims number 0345 017 9962.

To assist your claim, please remember to ask for the insurance details of the other driver and gather as much evidence as you can about what happened in the accident. Take photos if at all possible, these could be very helpful to us.

What help will I receive if I am involved in an accident that was not my fault while driving in the EU?

Through the Green Card scheme, the UK has well-established relationships with motor insurers in each member state. This will help in facilitating the settlement of claims for any incidents involving cross-border drivers.

However, it should be noted that if you need to make an insurance claim against an EU-registered insurer, you will be subject to the local legal system. It is then possible that your claim may be treated differently to how it would be in the UK.

Rest assured, we will be here on the other end of the phone to offer you further advice. Please make note of our motor claims number - 0345 017 9962.

I drive in the EU regularly in my own private car. Will I need to tell you every time I travel?

A Green Card will automatically provide you with a guarantee of insurance for a minimum of 15 days. However, we can also specify that it covers a longer period if this is required, so please request this if you need it.

What if my policy is due for renewal when I am abroad?

At the point at which you renew your motor insurance policy, you will also need to ensure you have a new Green Card for your new policy.

So effectively you will need two Green Cards - one for each policy. If you change to a different insurer, you will also need to ask your new insurer to provide you with a Green Card.

Do I require a GB sticker on their vehicle when travelling in the EU?

We recommend you should display a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle. Even if the vehicle currently has a number plate that includes the GB logo, it’s recommended to have the sticker as well. Please note that an insurance policy will not be invalid if you do not have a sticker, but it will have the benefit of preventing any trouble with the legal authorities outside the UK.

Do I require an International Driving Permit (IPD)?

An IPD is issued by the Post Office and unlike the Green Card, not directly through us. To find out if you need one for the country you are planning to drive in please check the Government website for an up to date list. If you do require an IPD then you can apply for one on the Post Office website. Similar to the Green Car, please allow enough time for your request to be processed.

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City Insurance Group is a trading style of City Broking Ltd (No 7184645) Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office: 88/89 High Street, Winchester. SO23 9AP England. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No 520574)