Driving in Europe? Relax – you’ll no longer need to take a green card!

16 July 2021 - Elizabeth O'Hanlon

Motorists travelling to Europe this summer will be relieved to hear that the post-Brexit requirements for needing to carry a ‘green card’ in the EU have now been overturned.

The green card is not a card at all, but an internationally recognised legal document which is valid for 90 days and proves to law enforcement agencies that the driver has third party insurance. Since leaving the EU in early 2021, UK drivers have been required to carry a green card when visiting another EU country.
The European Commission announced at the end of June that UK motorists would not have to show a green card when entering the EU. The change is expected to take effect at the end of July, and after that you should be able to drive in the EU with your normal insurance documents.   

Until the EU has fully implemented the change, anyone taking their vehicle to Europe will still need to get a green card from their insurer before they travel to EEA countries that require one. The EEA includes all EU countries as well as non-EU European countries such as Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.  

Jason Harden, insurance executive commented on the news that UK motorists will soon no longer need to acquire a green card: “The scrapping of the need for a green card is great news for motorists who want to drive their car in Europe. It will also help to reduce the bureaucracy for lorry drivers and hauliers driving between the EU and the UK.

However, it’s important to note that not all motor insurance policies will give the same level of cover when driving overseas as you may have at home. Drivers still need to check their insurance policy to make sure they have adequate cover. If a UK driver is involved in a road traffic accident in an EEA country they may need to make a claim against the driver (or their insurer) in the country where the accident happened, which could be difficult, especially if the claim needs to be made in the language of the country where the accident happened. It’s always worth talking to your broker to make sure you are adequately protected so you can relax and enjoy your trip!”


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