Driving in the EU post-Brexit? You could need an insurance Green Card

Published 01 March 2019

If you're planning to take your car to the EU following Brexit, you might need to contact your insurance provider for a Green Card.

The Green Card is proof of insurance which will be required under EU regulations as proof of insurance in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Drivers are warned that they should contact their insurance company for a Green Card a month ahead of their planned trip.

These insurance documents must be printed on green paper and be kept in the vehicle when travelling within the EU from another country. They cover the vehicle, rather than the driver - meaning you'll need just one Green Card per car. Motorists in Ireland will also be affected - those in Northern Ireland planning to cross the border into the Republic will need a Green Card too.

You may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). This is because a UK driving licence isn't likely to be valid in the EU following a no-deal Brexit...

Most insurance companies will charge a small administration fee to cover the Green Card. Driving in the EU without one could, in the case of a no-deal Brexit, result in you being accused of driving without insurance. This could land you with a hefty fine or even your vehicle being seized.

All UK motor insurance providers will continue to provide the legal minimum third party insurance cover for travel in the European Economic Area - so you won't need to pay for extra insurance when driving in Europe.

You may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). This is because a UK driving licence isn't likely to be valid in the EU following a no-deal Brexit. There are three IDP available: a 1949 IDP, covering Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus; a 1968 IDP covering all other EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland; and a 1926 IDP covering Liechtenstein.

It's worth noting that some trips will require more than one IDP - if, for example, you're driving through France and into Spain, you'll need both a 1949 IDP and a 1968 IDP.

These can be bought from selected Post Office branches at a cost of £5.50 each. You'll need to take a passport photo and your current, valid photo card driving licence. Although IDPs used to be available via mail order, this service was stopped earlier in the year.

Data from the National Audit Office reveals that there could be up to seven million IDP requests during the first year of Brexit - putting a huge amount of pressure on the Post Office.


JOHN DALEY    on 4 March 2019

I am on holiday in Spain until 17th April, Drove here , as a lot of us Brits have, there’s no way we can get a IDP, so what then.?

Christopher Wylie    on 4 March 2019

Esure charge Admin Fee of £35.

We go 22th March Esure say we need a Green Card and will not extend it beyoud Brexit Day,, we are due to return on or about the 3rd April. We have our IDPs with no problem.

Edited by Christopher Wylie on 04/03/2019 at 14:01

Caroline Yeo    on 4 March 2019

So IPDs can be bought from selected Post Office branches, can they? Why have they suspended the mail order service? What happens to people living and working in rural areas whose post offices have been closed? Yet again we're forced to drive miles into towns, incurring fuel and parking costs in excess of the price of the IDP. Maybe government ministers with access to numerous post offices and public transport just don't want us to have the choice of driving in Europe, in case we see how good the roads are?

Italian Tony    on 4 March 2019

You voted out over two years ago. You should have thought about it then

Tony Francis

Gers SW France

Deejaytee    on 4 March 2019

I took my car across to France last year and needed a Green Card then. Provided simply by my insurers Privelege. What’s the problem?

Berisford    on 4 March 2019

I assume the thousands of EU mainland registered motors, such as the ones running around here (Notts & Lincs) will be required to obtain IDP's?

Sir Kevin Parr, Baronet    on 4 March 2019

For expats this will not happen as we are insured in the nations we reside within. Also the driving license are changed by law to European rules. Those with permanent residency will feel nothing what ever cursed evil Brexit and FARAGE instruct it should never have been allowed to happen. Churchill will roll over in his grave

Bryan Pope    on 4 March 2019

Why do people think we need an IDP when we exit the EU?
I worked and drove in Europe extensively before we joined the EU and it was only in 1998 that I was required to obtain a IDP because I was planning to work in Kazakhstan.
Likewise, I have hired many cars in South Africa, America and Canada and I have never been asked to produce an IDP. America require both sections of the British driving licence but not an IDP.
Having to obtain a Green Card may be necessary but the insurance companies will use this as an excuse, not a reason, to charge admin fees and to hike the cost of the premiums.

GoonerGeo    on 4 March 2019

It will be interesting to see how many of the EU registered vehicles that have overstayed their 6 months will have a Green Card or even insurance, likewise how many banned drivers in their own country a driving around the UK will have an IDP

dadbif    on 4 March 2019

When I lived in Spain, my insurer, Linea Directa, provided a green card every year as a matter of course..

aethelwulf    on 5 March 2019

Just do not go to Europe any more. Fly off to somewhere nice like the West Cost of the US . Rent a car with no hassle ( unlike in Europe) and get nice cheap gas.Stuff the EU and its bureaucrats.

Christopher Wylie    on 5 March 2019

Update..to message 2 in this string. Esure now issuing Green Card no problem over the possible change. They have a £22.52 Foreign Use Extention and a £26 admin charge.

Michael Read    on 12 March 2019

I am insured with LV and their service is superb.
I e-mailed my policy number and a list of countries I whished to visit to their dedicated green card address. Two days later I got my green card in the post
totally free of charge.

   on 9 April 2019

My insurer is charging me for a green card. Can they so that? Isn’t it per car or for each driver?

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