Green Card Insurance Q&A’s – The Rules For Driving In Europe Post Transition

It was suggested that 'Green Cards' might not be necessary for British motorists to carry when driving in Europe post-Brexit. However, with Brexit plans making an advancement this has now become a new regulation. From 01 January 2021, you will need Green Card insurance if you wish to take your vehicle on a ferry and hit the tarmac on the other side of the Channel. A recent survey by The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) showed that 55% of British people didn't know about the need for a 'Green Card'. As motor trade insurance brokers, we have pulled together a list of the common questions surrounding the topic and what you need to know.  

Green Cards - Questions and Answers

What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is an internationally recognised physical document which provides proof of insurance in Europe.

How long is a Green Card Valid for?

Green Card insurance is valid for the period specified on the document and can only be provided up until your renewal date. 

What if my policy is due for renewal when driving abroad?
If your motor trade car insurance is due for renewal during your trip abroad, you will be required to have two Green Cards. This should mean one for each policy. If you plan to change insurers at renewal, you can ask us to get a Green card from both your current and new insurer.

Will I have to buy additional motor trade car insurance policy cover to travel to the EU or EEA from 1 January 2021?
No, you won't have to buy third-party motor insurance cover from 1 January 2021 for driving in EU or EEA countries. This will continue to be a mandatory requirement for all policies sold by UK Green Card insurance providers.

Will I need to carry a Green Card as proof of third party motor insurance cover when travelling to the EU or EEA? If so, where can I get one and how much will it cost?
The Government intends for the UK to remain part of the Green Card-free circulation area but there has been no confirmation yet. Because of this we must assume that you will need to carry a green card from 01 January 2021. 

If you need green card insurance, get in touch with us and we will request an electronic document from your insurer. In spite of the name ‘Green Card’ this can now be printed out on white paper. Please note that insurers may charge an administrative fee for issuing a Green Card.  

Do Northern Irish motorists need a Green Card to drive in Ireland?
Yes, you should prepare to carry a Green Card to drive in Ireland from 01 January 2021.

Will they check Green Cards at borders when driving in the EU?
You may be required to show your Green Card at the border when entering the EU/EEA or moving between EU/EEA Member States. This will vary depending on the border authorities for each country you are visiting. You may also face police checks while driving abroad and will need to prove your Green Card insurance if you are involved in an accident.

Do I need a Green Card for each vehicle insured under a multi-car policy?
Yes, you will need a Green Card to cover each vehicle insured under your policy. With multi-car or commercial fleet policies, you must ask for a Green Card for each individual vehicle that you intend to take abroad. 

What is the price of a Green Card?
A Green Card should be free, but Green Card insurance price can vary depending on your insurer. Some insurers will charge further administration fees for issuing the document. If you would like to discover motor insurance covers available to you, speak to Alan & Thomas. We are motor trade insurance brokers and can recommend and find the most suitable solutions.

Do I need to request a Green Card or will they send one automatically?The process for obtaining a Green Card varies depending on the insurer. Some insurers will require motorists to request a Green Card, whereas others will send Green Cards to policyholders automatically. Contact us if you are unsure how to obtain a Green Card or whether you already have one.

Will I be provided with a physical copy of a Green Card?
Whether insurers provide Green Cards electronically via email or post physical copies to policyholders, or both, will depend on the insurer. If you don't have access to a printer and need a physical copy of your Green Card, please get in touch with us and we can arrange to send you one in the post.

Will Green Cards be accepted electronically or is a physical copy required?
You must carry a physical copy of your Green Card insurance when driving abroad. It’s important to note that Green Cards are not accepted in an electronic format. So, you'll need to print out your Green Cards or request a physical copy from us before travelling.

Do I have to pay for a Green Card?
Insurers may charge an administrative fee for issuing Green Card insurance.

What if the UK does not secure access to the Green Card-free area?
If we aren't able to secure continued access to the Green Card-free circulation area, UK motorists driving to EU or EEA countries will need to carry a Green Card as proof of third party motor trade car insurance. 

What if I drive abroad without a Green Card?
It will be illegal to drive abroad without any Green Card from 1 January 2021. You could face prosecution, penalties, fines, or have your vehicle impounded.

Do I need a separate Green Card for a trailer or caravan?
Yes, you'll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer/caravan. In some countries, you'll even need separate trailer insurance.

Do EU/EEA motorists need a Green Card to drive in the UK?
EU/EEA motorists should prepare to carry a Green Card or other valid proof of motor insurance cover when driving in the UK from 1 January 2021.  

GB Stickers Questions and Answers

Do UK motorists need a GB sticker when driving in the EU/EEA?
Yes, motorists should display a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle and trailer. This even applies if they currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier under the EU logo.

Do UK motorists need a GB sticker when driving in Ireland?
No, it is not an offence under Irish law for GB or Northern Ireland registered vehicles to drive in Ireland without a GB sticker attached to the vehicle. 

Do UK motorists need a GB sticker if their number plate has the EU logo on it?
Yes, motorists should display a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle and trailer, even if they currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier under the EU logo.

Need a Green Card?

If you are planning on driving your vehicle abroad and don't already have a Green Card, please complete the form below. As chartered motor trade insurance brokers, we can request one from your insurers. We have helped thousands find better deals for their motor trade car insurance and can assist in finding you the best Green Card insurance price. We offer various motor insurance covers such as road risk motor trade insurance or combined motor trade insurance. Get in touch with us today to discuss your motor trade car insurance plan and see how we can help. Call us on 01202 754 900 or email info@alan-thomas.co.uk.

Please note that we are only able to obtain a Green Card for you if we are your insurance broker for your vehicle. 

Require a Green Card

If you are planning on driving your vehicle abroad and don't already have a Green Card, please complete the form below and we can request one from your insurers. 

Please note that we are only able to obtain a Green Card for you if we are your insurance broker for your vehicle. 

Need a Green Card

If you have a question or would like to request a Green Card, please speak to your usual A&T contact or give us a call. 

01202 754900