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DRIVING IN THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA) – POST BREXIT

INTRODUCTION
If and when the UK leaves the European Union, it is likely that you will need a Green Card to drive a UK vehicle in the EU legally, unless the UK government do in fact agree a deal with the EU, that is passed by parliament, and includes a continuation of the current arrangement where a Green Card or driving licence requirements are not necessary. But, the time is almost up on that!

Typically the insurance cover you have won’t necessarily change, but you should check with your insurance company if you plan to drive a UK registered vehicle in the EEA, and some other countries such as Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.

So, some questions you may have, on the assumption that these issues are not included in any Brexit ‘deal’ arrangement:

WILL YOU NEED A GREEN CARD, AND WHAT IS IT?
A Green Card is simply an international insurance certificate, confirming that the motorist has the necessary minimum insurance cover for that country. It doesn’t change your level of cover, it is just evidence that you have the minimum cover required.

If you have or want cover beyond the minimum requirement, then you will probably need a foreign use extension to your insurance, which will automatically include a Green Card.

WHICH COUNTRIES WILL YOU NEED A GREEN CARD FOR?
A Green Card will be required if you are driving in any of the following countries:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A GREEN CARD, WILL IT MATTER?
If you do not have a Green Card you could be turned away at the border of a country, or could be subject to a fine, prosecution of even seizure of your vehicle if you are in the country driving without a Green Card. In this instance costs associated would not be covered by your insurance.

WILL A GREEN CARD BE REQUIRED FOR THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND?
The Republic of Ireland is in the EU, so yes you will need a Green Card to drive there, even if your insurance already provides cover for The Republic of Ireland.

IF YOU LIVE IN NORTHERN IRELAND, WILL YOU NEED A GREEN CARD TOO?
Yes you will. Depending on final border check agreements as a consequence of Britain leaving the EU, if there are no borders it is assumed that Northern Ireland residence may well cross into The Republic of Ireland on a regular basis, so this is likely to become a requirement, and you should be issued with a Green Card by your insurer, automatically.

DOES A GREEN CARD NEED TO BE CHANGED OR UPDATED?
Yes, any relevant changes to your policy, such as a change of car or named drivers, then a new Green Card will need to be issued.

This can be emailed to you by your insurer, but you must print it out double-sided, and trim all white borders to the certificate. The law requires a full edge-to edge green background.

HOW MUCH IS A GREEN CARD?
A Green Card would normally be issued by your insurer for free. This will only give proof that you have the minimum cover required for the country. If you want to show proof of extended cover you will need a foreign use extension document, which your insurer may charge for, and will automatically be issued with a Green Card as well.

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Posted on 22nd March 2019 at 1:55 PM

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