If the UK leaves the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement (a ‘no-deal Brexit’), UK motor insurance customers driving in the European Economic Area, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland will need physical proof of motor insurance when they travel, commonly referred to as a Green Card. This is in addition to a certificate of motor insurance.
If you are planning on travelling in Europe after the UK leaves the EU, make sure you have the right driving documents in place before you go. GOV.UK is recommending that ALL drivers who need to drive abroad after this date will need a Green Card and GB sticker.
What is the Green Card and why do I need it?
The Green Card is an internationally accepted document which proves that you have valid insurance to drive your car abroad. If it is determined that a Green Card is required for European travel following Brexit, it will be illegal for UK motorists to drive in Europe without it; whether travelling for business or pleasure.
Where can I drive with it?
The Green Card system currently comprises 47 countries. This includes all European (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Switzerland, Russia and other members in the Middle East and surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
How do I apply for a Green Card?
Responsibility of issuing Green Cards lies with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), who have given delegated permission to insurers. This means that, if you are planning to drive in the EU after Brexit, you will need to contact your insurer directly.
Are Green Cards free?
The Department of Transport issued a statement in September that Green Card issuance would be free. However, individual insurers may charge a small administration fee. Check with your insurer about this.
How quickly will the process take?
No matter which Brexit deal goes ahead, the MIB and all insurers will no doubt be very busy. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggested motorists should ideally apply one month prior to travelling, so it’s worth planning ahead to avoid disappointment or disruption.
What if I have an accident whilst driving in the EU?
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK motorists suffering a road traffic accident may have to make a claim with the foreign insurer directly. In uninsured and ‘hit and run’ cases, the MIB or equivalent would ordinarily pay compensation costs. However, this may not be the case and so access to compensation claims could vary from country to country.
Can I drive a trailer?
Yes, you can drive a trailer. Though nothing is concrete, it’s predicted that after Brexit you will need to register commercial trailers over 750kg and all trailers over 3,500kg before they can travel in Europe.
If I have more than one vehicle, do I need more than one Green Card?
For individuals with several trailers and vehicles, you will require more than one Green Card. For example, if you drive a caravan and tow car, these will each need separate Green Cards. To find out more, speak with your insurer who will explain how many you require.
Will I definitely need a Green Card to drive in Europe?
It is recommended that you arrange a Green Card to ensure you can legally drive in Europe after the UK exits the EU. While nothing is certain at this point, it certainly helps to be prepared.
In the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, drivers will also need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU. The IDP is issued by the Government via Post Offices.
Whether you are a haulage or courier business operating in and out of Europe, or planning on a small trip to France with your family, motor insurance is likely to change. Stay on top of the game by calling our trusted team. Simply call us on 01303 221188 to find out more.