Plan Insurance Blog

Green Cards – Driving Through Brexit!

With the UK planned to exit the European Union (EU) lots of things that we currently take for granted, might soon change. One such thing is the ease in which you can take your vehicle from the UK into the EU, and back again.

Will I Need a Green Card?

No one knows for sure at the time of writing this, but the UK and EU might not strike a trade deal and if this is the case, it’s likely that it will be compulsory to travel with a green card when entering into the EU from 1st January 2021 with your vehicle.

Additionally, it would also mean any vehicle, which leaves the UK before 1st January 2021; drivers will need a green card for when they return.

At the moment, most insurers provide an EU wording and coverage on their Motor Certificates as part of the 4th EU Motoring Directive. This means people can currently travel just with this document. The potential reintroduction of compulsory green cards will mean businesses and holiday makers looking to take vehicles into the EU will need to factor obtaining this additional document in to their operational processes.

What is a Green Card?

In simple terms, it is a document produced by insurers to prove that a vehicle and driver has the adequate insurance cover for driving in a particular country or set of countries. It used to have to be printed on green paper (hence the name) but this is no longer the case.

To read about Green Cards and purpose they serve visit the Motor Insurance Bureau’s website to learn more.

Why is this important information?

Its very likely that you will need to take this document with you on your travels, and it cannot be an electronic copy. It is import to plan and to request one from your insurers as early as possible to avoid complications with your travel plans.

We would recommend that you try to allow where possible 14 days. This should allow enough time for the insurers to receive and action any request and then issue and send in the post.

Brexit Green Card F.A.Q’s

From 1st January 2021, what happens if a driver arrives at a port without a Green Card?

If there is no deal the driver will potentially be refused onward travel until they can produce a Green Card. If there is a deal it may mean that you can travel using your existing motor certificate. However we recommend taking precautionary measures in advance of travel to ensure as smooth a passage as possible on your journey.

What happens if a vehicle departs before 1st January and is still abroad after this date?

As per above we recommend that the driver has a Green Card in their possession, in some cases we can look to email this, but you will still be required to find somewhere to print this.

Will the ‘EU Wording’ on the Certificate of Motor Insurance still be valid?

This still depends on what kind of deal, if any the UK have with the EU after January 1st 2021. Should the UK leave without a deal then the EU wording will no longer be valid and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) have confirmed that there are currently no agreements in place at the moment to continue to accept the wording, even for a short time whilst everyone gets used to requiring a Green Card.

Are digital versions of a Green Card acceptable?

No, the Green Card MUST be printed either us or by the intended recipient.

Can we email the Green Card directly?

Yes, in some cases we will get a PDF from the insurers, which we will be happy to forward should it be necessary. However, remember you will still need to print it to travel.

If I am travelling to the EU with my vehicle what do I need to do differently as a result of a no deal Brexit?

You will need to contact your brokers to request that a Green Card is obtained from your insurer. Your broker will need you to supply the following information:

  • Date or departure and date of return (both dates inclusive)
  • Details of each country you are visiting (this includes any country travelling through to reach the destination)
  • The registration number of the vehicle
  • The Full name of the driver(s) (this is necessary as they will be shown on the Green Card)
  • Purpose of the trip
  • Level of Cover needed ie comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only

Also note – should you be towing anything, you will need to supply the chassis/serial number of the trailer or caravan etc as a separate Green Card will be issued for them.

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