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Will I be able to drive in Europe after Brexit?

Insurance Revolution

The UK shook the whole world when it voted (51.9%) to leave the EU in June, 2016, paving the way for the historical “Brexit”. The reigning Prime Minister Theresa May officially initiated the process of Brexit on March 29, 2017. It implied that the UK is supposed to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. This date was delayed until the 31st October 2019.  An event of such a high magnitude as Brexit, is scheduled to bring forth various changes in regulations in almost every aspect of transaction or communication or exchange between the UK & the EU countries.

One of the major areas to be impacted by the impending Brexit is the transportation sector. With Brexit around the corner, almost all the UK motorists are stuck to one particular question- “Will I be able to drive in Europe after Brexit?” Well, the answer is “Yes”. However, you will have to abide by certain requirements. The UK government has already published the technical notices in September 2018, covering the requirements for the UK motorists planning to drive in European countries post Brexit.

The two major requirements

As per the technical notices, if the UK goes for no-deal Brexit, UK motorists will need to have two major documents handy while driving in any EU country. One of them is International Driving Permit (IDP) while the other one is Green Card. You must carry the physical documents of both with you when take your car in any European country.

IDP for driving in Europe after Brexit

If are a UK motorist planning to take your vehicle to any European country, you must get an International Driving Permit - in addition to your UK motoring license. You can buy your IDP from Post Offices anywhere in the country. An IDP will cost your something around £5.50.

Now, there are three kinds of IDPs and of these 2 are applicable for European countries.

  • IDP 1949: You will need this IDP if you are planning to drive a car in Cyprus, Spain, Malta and Ireland. It’s valid for around 12 months.
  • IDP 1968: You will need this IDP if you are planning to drive a car in any other EU State. It’s valid for around 3 years.

The IDP is required when you drive your own car in a European country and also when you drive a rented vehicle in a foreign land.

Green Card for driving in Europe after Brexit

As mentioned previously, you will require a valid Green Card if you take and drive your car in any European country after Brexit. The Green Card will serve as the evidence of a UK motorist’s 3rd party insurance cover while driving across the EEA, EU, Serbia, Switzerland and Andorra. However, the Green Card is required only for driving your own car in a foreign country and not for driving a rented vehicle abroad.

  • What is Green Card for UK motorists?

Well, it’s not exactly a card. In fact, the Green Card serves as a legal international certificate for insurance which is printed on a green paper. And hence the name “Green Card”. The certificate extends the basic compulsory insurance for the visiting UK motorists when they plan to drive in a European country. The amount of coverage will be based on the minimum compulsory amount as stated by the regulations of the European nation being visited.

The Green Card serves two purposes for the UK motorists. On one hand, it allows them to take their vehicles in a European country with evidence of legally required insurance. On another hand, the certificate assures to cover the liabilities or damages caused by any accident encountered by the vehicle.

  • Where will you get Green Card?

For Green Card, UK motorists may apply to their insurance providers only. The same insurance provider who issued you’re your motor insurance will be able to issue your Green Card.

  • How long will it take?

Well, it will be a lengthy process. So, if you have plans to take your car across the border after Brexit, you should apply for Green Card now. On an average, insurers advise to apply for Green Card minimum 1 month in advance of your travel. With Brexit round the rounder, there will be rush in the application for Green Card. Thus, if you have to travel somewhere a no-deal Brexit, apply for the certificate as soon as possible. 

  • How much does it cost?

Now, you must be wondering how much you have to shell out to get the Green Card. Well, as per the declaration from the UK Department of Transport, insurers will issue Green Card completely free of cost. However, news has it, insurers may impose some basic administration fees for providing the certificate to their clients.

On the other hand, the Motor Insurance Bureau has reported that insurers may charge UK motorists if their cover enhances during the issuance of Green Card.

  • Green Card renewal

It’s not enough to just have the Green Card certificate while taking your UK registered car in a European country. Your Green Card should also boast minimum 15 days coverage. In case, 15 days are not left on your Green Card, you must renew it before setting out.

  • The Green Card is legally mandatory

Once again, it is legally compulsory for UK motorists to carry a Green Card if they take and drive their car in any European country after Brexit. In case, you don’t get a Green Card while traveling with your car abroad, you will have to face serious legal consequences. These include prosecution, hefty fines and also your car may be seized by the foreign authority.

Interestingly, an agreement was made between UK & EU insurance organizations in May 2018 in regards to the Green Card. They appealed to the European Commission for the waiver of the certificate. But the EC is yet to ratify the appeal. Brexit is almost knocking at the door. The EC has not ratified the appeal yet which means the Green Card regulation is yet to stay for UK motorists traveling to any European country after Brexit.


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