Back in October 2019, we reported that motorists may need an insurance Green Card if we had a no deal Brexit. Now, a year on and very close to the end of the Brexit transition period, the EU Commission has still not confirmed whether the UK will be able to stay in the Green Card free zone.
From 1st January 2021, all UK motorists will need an insurance Green Card when driving in the European Union (EU). This will remain the case unless the EU Commission agrees for the UK to remain part of the Green Card free circulation area.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has urged the government to press the EU for a decision around whether the UK will in fact be permitted to be part of the free circulation area, as this has not yet been confirmed.
CarDealerMagazine has stated that ‘regardless of whether a trade deal is agreed, drivers taking their vehicles to the EU after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31 will need to carry an insurance green card’. The only exception is if ‘the Commission agrees that the UK will remain part of the free circulation zone. Motorists who fail to comply risk having their vehicle seized and being prosecuted’.¹
If you’re taking your own vehicle on the trip, government guidance states that you’ll need to ensure that you have your Green Card and display a GB sticker on the vehicle.²
WHAT IS A GREEN CARD?
An International Motor Insurance Card, otherwise known as a Green Card, is a document that proves that you have the minimum insurance cover legally required in the country you’re visiting. They used to be printed on green paper, and often still are, which is where the name comes from. Contrary to popular opinion though, they don’t necessarily have to be printed on green paper to be legal – some Green Cards may be issued now as PDFs for you to print at home, and a Green Card on white paper is perfectly acceptable.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW
- 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 needs its own Green Card
- A Green Card only confirms that your vehicle has the minimum level of cover legally required in the countries within which you’re travelling. This might not be the same level of cover that you have while driving at home – so it’s worth checking with your insurer that you have European Driving Cover in place.
- 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.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR A GREEN CARD?
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, regardless of whether a Brexit deal has been reached for 2021 onwards.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you feel about the introduction of a Green Card to drive in Europe?
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!
² Gov Uk