With the uncertainty about a deal with the European Union (EU), it is hard for people to know whether they’ll be able to do certain things in the future. This article should help separate what’s certain from what’s unknown.
At present, as you have a motor insurance policy that allows you to drive within the EU, this will remain unchanged until the date we leave the EU. So, if you’re planning a trip that is completed before that date, nothing changes for you.
For those who are planning to drive in the EU after that date, including those whose trip begins before Brexit, but will still be abroad after it, you do need to plan ahead in the event there is no deal. You will need to take a Green Card and your vehicle's log book (V5C), and also potentially obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Take a Green Card with you
Currently, without a Brexit deal, if you live in the UK and plan to drive your vehicle in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA), Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland, you’ll need to ask us to provide you with a Green Card as evidence you have valid insurance cover.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is an international certificate of motor insurance, issued by insurance providers in the UK to prove that you have the minimum compulsory third-party motor insurance cover required by law for the country you’re visiting. This must be a paper document and not a digital version.
In addition to the basic cover the Green Card gives you, your insurance policy provides you with insurance cover for up to 90 days, as specified in your policy documents.
We will be able to provide you with a Green Card at no extra cost, but you will need to contact us four weeks before you travel to request one.
How to get hold of a Green Card
To request a Green Card please call us on 0345 165 0914.
To make the call as easy as possible, please have the following information to hand:
- Your policy number
- The make, model and registration number of the vehicle you’re driving under your policy
- The dates of when you plan to drive your vehicle outside of the UK
- The countries you intend to drive in
- Registration and/or chassis number of anything you intend to tow (e.g. a trailer or Caravan)
Once you have your Green Card, you will be covered for driving in the following countries after we leave the EU:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greek Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (incorporating Liechtenstein), Slovakia and Slovenia.
What is a log book (V5C)?
A log book (V5C) is a document issued by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to the registered keeper of a vehicle and is used to confirm proof of ownership and the vehicle's details. It’s also used to inform the DVLA about a change of ownership, name or address, or if a vehicle has been modified, scrapped or written-off.
When driving within the EU and EEA, you should carry your vehicle's log book with you. Please check the Government’s website for the latest requirements.
What is an International Driving Permit (IDP)?
An International Driving Permit is a permit that allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence alone is not sufficient.
There are two types of IDP required by EU countries, each governed by a separate United Nations convention. More information about the requirements can be found here on the Government’s website.
An IDP costs around £5.50 and is available from the Post Office, which also has a useful tool to help you look up requirements for individual countries.
Please remember to take your UK driving licence with you when driving in the EU, as you will need this as well as the relevant IDP.
Please note that this is not an insurance requirement and therefore not a document provided by your insurance provider.
The information on this page was last updated on 14 October 2019. We will regularly update the information provided.