At present, if you have a motor insurance policy that allows you to drive within the EU, this will remain unchanged until midnight on 29 March 2019. For those who are planning to drive in the EU after that date, including those whose trip begins before 29 March 2019, but will still be abroad after it, the picture is less certain.
On the basis that there is still not a deal agreed, guidance from the Association of British Insurers and other organisations is that drivers should be prepared to have a Green Card when driving aboard after 29 March 2019. These are certificates that prove you are suitably insured and it is important that you take a physical copy with you when you travel as digital copies are not currently acceptable. If you’ve driven to places like Switzerland or Russia, you’ll have received one of these certificates before.
The document is called a green card for a reason – it is regulated by the United Nations, which requires that the printed green card must be green and therefore cannot be printed in black and white. However, In some countries it has become common practice for insurers to send green cards to policyholders electronically in PDF form allowing policyholders to print out the green card themselves. As with everything Brexit this complex issue involving the UK, EU and UN exploring whether the requirement for the green card to be green in colour can be changed but they stress that this is a work in progress.
The issuing of Green Cards does not usually affect your premium unless, in having the card issued, you change your type or level of cover, however, a reasonable administration fee may be charged.
You can learn more about the Green Card system on the Motor Insurers Bureau website.
Do I need to apply for a Green Card now?
The process of issuing Green Cards for driving in the EU is currently being developed – in our conversations with Insurers they tell us that Green Paper has once again been seen so we expect them to be prepared. However, we recommend that you should notify your insurer if you intend to drive abroad at least one month before travel.
Can I drive using my UK driving license?
No. After 29 March 2019 when driving in the EU, you may need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) in some countries if an alternative agreement is not reached between the UK Government and the European Union. There are two types of IDP required by EU countries, each governed by a separate United Nations convention. IDPs cost £5.50 and are available from the Post Office. Click here for information.
But remember to take your UK driving license with you when driving in the EU as you will need this as well as the relevant IDP.