13 January 2021

Foreign travel information (post-Brexit)

The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) on 31st December 2020 has resulted in significant changes to foreign travel procedures.

Do I need an International Drivers Permit to drive in Europe?

No. HM Government has confirmed that they have reached an agreement with 27 member states and that you do not need an International Drivers Permit to drive in Europe (once COVID restrictions are lifted).

Do I need a Green Card to drive in Europe?

Yes. You must obtain a printed Green Card before travelling to Europe.

What is a Green Card?

The Green Card is an international certificate of insurance produced by insurers to prove that you have adequate insurance cover for driving abroad.

Following Brexit, you will need to carry a Green Card with your motor insurance certificate when travelling through Europe. You must print both the Green Card and the motor insurance certificate. Digital copies are not sufficient.

What will happen if I travel abroad without a Green Card?

It is illegal to drive abroad without a valid Green Card. You may be denied entry, be prosecuted or face penalties. In extreme situations, your vehicle could be seized.

If your vehicle is seized, we will pass on all costs to retrieve the vehicle to you. Our recommendation is not to travel without the appropriate printed paperwork.

Can I show a digital copy of my Green Card at the border?

No. A physical copy of a Green Card on plain A4 white or green paper is needed when travelling. If you arrive at the border without a physical Green Card, you may not be allowed entry.

Please note that an insurer might issue a Green Card to you in PDF format. It’s your responsibility to print it out before travelling.

Will insurers charge for issuing a Green Card?

Yes. Please check with your insurers, as charges will vary.

What is the process for issuing a Green Card?

Only insurers can issue Green Cards. We cannot issue them. You are advised to contact your insurers at least three weeks in advance to request a Green Card if you are travelling to Europe.

Please note that the maximum journey duration has been reduced to 45 days.

Does the Green Card need to be on Green Paper?

No. Since 01 July 2020, the Green Card can be printed on either green or white paper with black ink.

Do I need separate Green Cards for caravans?

In some EU countries, a different Green Card is needed for trailers and caravans. Therefore, you will need a printed Green Card for your vehicle and a separate printed Green Card for your trailer or caravan.

We urge you to check with your insurers before travelling.

Will I need two Green Cards if my current policy expires during travel?

Yes. If a policy is due for renewal while you are abroad, you will need to obtain two Green Cards in advance - one for each policy period. The Green Cards must align to the dates shown on each Certificate of Insurance.

Do I need a Green Card to drive my vehicle in Gibraltar?

From the 31 December 2020, Gibraltar will no longer be considered part of the United Kingdom in most EU policy wordings. Therefore, you will need to check with your insurers and get them to endorse the policy with an extension of the United Kingdom definition and then support this with a Green Card.

Do I still need your permission to take my vehicle abroad?

Yes. Please contact us 3 weeks in advance of your planned travel dates and let us know your date of departure and return, countries you will be visiting and names of up to 2 additional drivers.

We will provide a VE103b form and a letter giving you our express permission to take our asset to Europe.

Call us on 01908 288400 or email us on facilities@activacontracts.co.uk