Driving in The EU After Brexit: Will I need a Green Card? Yes, Says ABI

Drivers planning to take their vehicles to the EU, including the Republic of Ireland, should continue to plan for a no-deal Brexit and make arrangements to have a Green Card in time for when they travel the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said today. The recent parliamentary voting against a no deal, and to extend the withdrawal date from 29 March to 30 June, can only come into effect if and when agreed to by the EU, and when the UK law is changed.

Insurers will continue issuing Green Cards to customers. This includes some insurers automatically issuing them to all their customers in Northern Ireland, so that motorists do not have to obtain one every time they cross the Irish border. However, motorists crossing into mainland EU from UK ports will need to contact their insurer to get one.

A Green Card is an internationally recognised proof of motor insurance that would be required under EU regulations if there is no deal. This includes drivers crossing the Irish border, as well as any freight company planning to transport goods into the EU after 29 March.

In some EU member states, a separate Green Card is needed for each trailer. If you are travelling with a trailer, contact your insurance provider to obtain two Green Cards – one for the towing vehicle, and one for the trailer.

Hugh Savill, Director of Regulation at the ABI, said:

“Despite the parliamentary votes, nothing has changed, and will not do so unless the EU agrees. As things currently stand, all drivers planning to take their vehicle to the EU after 29 March should, if they have not already done so, contact their motor insurer to arrange for a Green Card in good time for their trip.”

Consumer information about Green Cards is on our website: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/motor-insurance/travelling-to-the-eu-if-a-no-deal-brexit/

Key facts on the number people driving from UK to Europe:

  • The NI Department for the Economy suggests that there are approximately 110 million crossings between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland each year. This includes cars, HGVs and buses/coaches.
  • Eurotunnel Shuttle Services carried 1.6m trucks and 2.6m cars in 2017 (total number; both directions).
  • According to official statistics, in 2017 there were 2.4m HGVs travelling from Great Britain to Europe (excl. NI) and 370,000 HGVs travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

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