Truck driving on a highway

Do I need a Green Card to drive in the EU?

16 May 2019

In the event of a no-deal Brexit there will be changes for drivers who travel into European Union member countries. The change will affect both private car and commercial drivers.

Drivers will likely need to request a Green Card from their insurer, which will be an official document, proving that the holder has the basic minimum motor insurance cover to drive in European countries.  The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recommends that drivers who need to visit the EU apply for their Green Card as soon as possible, with the withdrawal date fast approaching.

A Green Card is documentation that acts as a proof of insurance when driving in countries outside of the EU. As a current member of the EU, drivers from the UK currently do not need to travel into European countries with a Green Card, however this is likely to change in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Green Card itself is an A4 document on green paper that outlines when the document is valid from and to, your country and insurance code, your licence plate, the category and model of your vehicle, the territories that you are allowed to visit and your insurer’s details.

You will be able to ask your insurance provider for a Green Card, who in most cases will provide one for you, free of charge.

Changes for UK drivers

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you will need to get in touch with your insurance provider to request your Green Card, and should not travel into the EU unless you have your documentation. You can be refused entry, fined, prosecuted or even have your vehicle seized if you do not have the necessary Green Card.  Not only will you need your Green Card, but it is also likely that you will be required to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP), which you will be able to purchase from a Post Office, and will cost £5.50.

You will also need to make sure that your licence plate doesn’t show any European imagery, such as the EU flag, and you will also need to travel with a GB or UK sticker.

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