Brexit Green Cards – what you need to know if driving abroad from 1 January 2021

We are less than a month from the end of the Brexit transition period and are mindful that some clients have concerns around Brexit and the implications for insurance cover.

If you are planning to drive a vehicle into the EEA, Andorra, Serbia, Switzerland and Republic of Ireland for business or pleasure after 31 December 2020 you will need a Green Card to demonstrate that you have the correct, legally required motor insurance.

What is a ‘Green Card’?

A Green Card is a physical document provided by your insurance company upon request which acts as evidence that you have the minimum legal cover necessary in force to drive in the countries that you visit whilst outside the UK.

What information is required to obtain a Green Card?

Your insurer will already have much of the information required to issue a Green Card. What they will need is the Country or Countries that the vehicle will be driven in, travel dates, driver details, and vehicle and trailer details.

What if I am a Motor Trader or a Fleet operator – will I still have the same requirements?

Motor Trader Green Cards or Fleet Vehicle Green Cards are no different, the requirements will be just the same and where trailers are involved.

Green Cards will need to be applied for in advance and one Green Card will be needed for each vehicle registration, regardless of whether it is part of a fleet.

Also don’t forget that The Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act 2018 came into force from 28 March 2019. This means that commercial vehicles travelling with any trailer must register any trailer weighing over 3500kg and any commercial trailer weighing over 750kg before towing them abroad.

Is there anything else to be aware of?

Special attention will also need to be paid to the differences between countries’ rules. If you’re travelling with a trailer or a caravan you must have two green cards issued – one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer or caravan.

Click here for further Government advice on how to prepare if you’re planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021.

We recommend that motorists are prepared to comply with new requirements.

It is important to stress that motorists must carry the Green Card as a hard-copy document.

If an insurer issues an electronic version at short notice, in Adobe PDF format for example, you will still need to print the Green Card document and take a paper copy with you on your journey.

If you have haven’t already spoken to us as a Real Insurance client, and require a Green Card imminently, please contact us as soon as possible to allow time to obtain the required documentation from insurers. If you have any questions please contact your account executive on 0330 058 0260

The outcome of Brexit is still undecided, and therefore it remains to be seen whether these new requirements will be put into place. We are however recommending that clients are best prepared for either eventuality.