Green card rule change: What you need to know

The rules surrounding insurance abroad have changed – here are the details.

Cross-Channel ferry French security checks
Cross-Channel ferry French security checks

The rules surrounding the need for an insurance green card for UK motorists heading into Europe have changed, following a period of uncertainty.

Since leaving the European Union, drivers of UK-registered vehicles have been required to carry an insurance green card to prove their coverage in Europe. However, a decision last month by the European Commission has made it so that motorists no longer need to show a green card when driving on the continent.

What does this mean for UK drivers?

Well, it makes things a little easier for starters. After January 1, drivers had to notify their insurers a month in advance in order to obtain a ‘green card’ to prove their cover. These documents had to be prepared in advance, meaning that last-minute trips abroad were often unlikely.

So what do I need to carry now?

Drivers need to ensure that they have their insurance prepared before heading abroad

Thankfully, from August 2, there’s no need to carry a green card when driving in Europe anymore. Now, your UK insurance cover should apply to driving abroad too.

But should I check with my insurer beforehand?

Absolutely. Just as it was before, it’s always a good idea to check what type of coverage you have before setting off abroad. Some policies allow you to drive with coverage abroad for up to 90 days within a 12-month period – so if you’re thinking of travelling for longer, it’s definitely worth finding out what the deal is beforehand.

Do I need to take proof of my insurance cover?

It’s always a good idea to keep a physical copy of your insurance policy just in case the worst happens. As with most things, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution, so take the time to put your main documents together ahead of any big trip.

Will my UK insurance provide comprehensive cover abroad?

Again, this is something well worth checking before you travel. Most companies provide a basic level of cover – akin to third-party – but you’ll need to check beforehand if they’re willing to cover other aspects such as theft and damage.

Does my insurance cover breakdown?

More often than not your insurance policy doesn’t include breakdown cover, unless you specified it as an extra when you took it out. You don’t want to be left stranded at the roadside in a foreign country, so double-check whether or not you have breakdown cover before you hit the road. A small bit of planning can go a long way here.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

Of course, the wider issue here is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Because of this, you need to check to see what your destination country’s rules are regarding entry and quarantine before arriving.

You’ll also need to see what colour it has been given on the Government’s travel list. If you have any queries, it’s always worth consulting the Government website.

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