Travelling to Europe in your own vehicle? You’ll need a Green Card

According to new law, UK drivers will now need to carry a green card when driving in a European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Unlike the US visa of the same name, a Green Card for the purposes of European travel is a proof-of-insurance document that enables you to legally drive your own vehicle in most European countries.

Specifically, an insurance Green Card gives proof that you have the minimum legally required level of insurance to drive in that country. These levels vary from state to state, and for the most part you will probably want a higher level of cover than the minimum.

In this case, it’s worth checking with your insurer that you have European Driving Cover in place – it’s important to also inform your insurer that you intend to travel, including where to and when.


  • A Green Card applies to the vehicle registration, not to the driver. So, if you’re taking one vehicle on one trip, and another vehicle on another trip, each vehicle will need its own Green Card. This also applies if you’re towing extra vehicles such as a trailer or caravan.
  • Although Green cards used to be printed on green paper, and often still are, they don’t necessarily have to be printed on green paper to be legal. Some Green Cards may be issued as PDFs for you to print at home, and a Green Card on white paper is perfectly acceptable.
  • Digital copies of your Green Card (e.g., on your phone, laptop or tablet) won’t be accepted. If you drive abroad without physically holding a printed Green Card, you may be prosecuted for driving without insurance, fined and have your vehicle impounded.


Your insurer will be able to provide you with a Green Card, which is usually free of charge, if you notify them that you’re planning to drive in Europe. It’s advisable to apply for a Green Card at least a month before you plan to travel, to allow for enough time for it to come through.

If you’re insured with us, we can apply to your insurer on your behalf. We’ll need the following information:

  • your vehicle registration
  • the dates you’re travelling
  • the countries you’re travelling to / through
  • who will be driving the vehicle – just you, or a partner / family member / friend as well?
  • whether you’re taking a trailer or caravan – in some cases, a towed vehicle may need its own Green Card.

Contact our Customer Service team by calling us on 0121 246 5050, or email us at service@heritagecarinsurance.co.uk


Do you need to apply for a Green Card, or need to get in touch with us for a quote? Simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!