Brexit & Green Cards I Driving in Europe

11 Nov

After leaving the European Union (EU), the UK entered a transition period which ends on 31 December 2020. In the event there is no withdrawal agreement (‘no-deal Brexit’) between the UK and EU, it is likely there will be a legal requirement to carry a document known as a Green Card when driving in Europe.

In the event it becomes a legal requirement, you must carry a physical Green Card if you are driving in an EU or specified EEA country outside the UK.

What Is a Green Card?

A Green Card is a physical document that acts as evidence that you are insured to the minimum legal cover required while driving outside of the UK.

Do I Need a Green Card?

You will need a Green Card if:

  • there is no withdrawal agreement and you are travelling in the EU after the 31 December 2020. This will be the case even if you have a foreign use extension on your motor policy
  • you are driving from Northern Ireland to Ireland

What if I Plan to Travel Before the Exit Date?

If you are travelling to the EU before 31 December 2020 and intend to return to the UK after the exit date, we would still recommend obtaining a Green Card in case your visit is prolonged unexpectedly.

What if I Have a Trailer or Caravan?

If you are travelling with a trailer or caravan, you will need two Green Cards – one for the towing vehicle, and one for the trailer/caravan.

Any trailer weighing over 3,500kg and any commercial trailer weighing over 750kg needs to be registered before you can tow it through some European countries.

Will My Driving Licence Still Be Valid?

The Department for Transport has indicated that drivers may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU, depending on the country you are going to or through. This would need to be shown in conjunction with your UK driving licence.

You can get a driving permit over the counter at the Post Office. The cost is £5.50, drivers must be over 18 and have a full UK driving license.

You must display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier.

How Do I Apply for a Green Card?

If you think you may need a Green Card, please contact your Thomas Carroll Account Executive/Manager or call 02920 887733. We recommend allowing at least 14 days for Green Card applications. We would be happy to assist or apply on your behalf.