Driving in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit

21st March, 2019

With huge uncertainty on whether the UK will leave the European Union - with or without a Withdrawal Agreement - UK motor insurance clients driving in Europe need to be aware of the new legal requirements.

If you intend to drive in the EU after we exit from Europe, particularly in the event of a no-deal Brexit, you will need physical proof of motor insurance when you travel. This applies to UK nationals driving in the European Economic Area, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland, and comes in the form of a Green Card. This is in addition to the International Driving Permit (ISP), which is also required.

At present, insurers are busy reviewing their processes in order to fulfil delivery of the required Green Card, which provides evidence of motor insurance. To obtain your motor insurance Green Card, you should contact your vehicle insurance provider.

Some EU and EEA countries may require a separate Green Card as proof of insurance for a trailer. If you are travelling with a trailer, you’ll need to obtain two Green Cards from your insurer, one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer.

Here, we answer some Frequently Asked Questions about the Green Card:

What is a Green Card?
A physical document that provides evidence that the minimum legal cover is in force.

Which clients will require a Green Card?
In the event of a no-deal, all vehicles travelling in the EU will have to prove they have the required motor insurance, even if they have a foreign use extension on their policy.

What action do I need to take?
Contact your broker or motor insurance company well in advance of any planned EU travel.

How can I request a Green Card?
Ask your broker or motor insurance provider.

How long does it take to process a Green Card?
This may vary depending on your insurer but we would recommend applying for a green card one month before travel.

Is there a fee?
This may vary depending on your insurer.

What happens if you travel without a Green Card?
You may not be allowed to cross the border or gain access onto a ferry. If you are stopped, you could be fined and have your vehicle impounded. You are not covered for fines or release fees under your motor policy.

Will my driving licence be valid to drive in the EU post-Brexit?
You may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (DIP) to drive in the EU. This would need to be shown in conjunction with your UK driving licence. However, an additional driving permit will need to be obtained if you are travelling in Spain.

What about clients based in Northern Ireland?
They will be issued with a proactive Green Card until their current policy expires.

UK nationals living in the EU should exchange their UK driving licence for a local EU driving licence before Brexit and, in the event of a no-deal, may have to pass a driving test in the EU country where they live in order to be able to carry on driving there. You can drive on your EU licence when visiting the UK.

Whatever the Brexit outcome, Routen Chaplin will continue to update you with further information, advising on the actions you need to take that are relevant to your policy or policies. In the mean time, if you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.



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