Are you in the know about how a green card might become your best friend when taking your car into Europe?

With the details on the UK leaving the EU still being finalised, us Brits are in limbo.

We wanted to let you know that we’ve got you covered for all your driving needs whatever the outcome.

Not sure what a Green Card is or what it might mean to you if we crash out of the European Union with no deal?

Don’t worry, we’ve pulled together a little Green Card guide that will hopefully demystify at least one thing to do with Brexit.

What is a Green Card?

It’s not actually a card at all, but it is green!

Essentially it’s an international certificate of insurance that provides you with the required level of insurance cover required by the law of the country being visited.

Not only does it allow cars to cross international borders, but it also ensures that victims of accidents involving foreign-registered vehicles aren’t disadvantaged.

How will it affect me driving to Europe?

Each year millions of Brits head over to the continent. But now, depending on the outcome of Brexit, to cross the borders by road you’ll need a Green Card, the Association of British Insurers has warned.

Don’t worry, we can provide you with one of these to pack along with your suncream and teabags.

Just let us know at least three weeks before you head off on your travels, so we can make sure yours arrives in time.

Who do I need to contact to get my Green Card?

To get your hands on a Green Card all you need to do is get in contact with your car insurance provider and they’ll be able to arrange it for you.

For all our customers, our Customer Service team , simply call 0333 043 2066 and they’ll arrange for yours to be sent out.

Or if time is of the essence for you, you can just fill out this short form and we’ll get your card out to you before you head off on your travels.

When should I tell my insurance company that I need a Green Card?

We ask our customers to give us at least three weeks’ notice before you travel so we can get your Green Card sent out to you.

If you’re planning to head off on your travels before 31st January and expect to be back after 31st January, you’ll still need a Green Card. So, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get that sorted.

Do I need to pay for the Green Card?

We won’t ask you to pay anything for your Green Card.

Your policy gives you 90 days of cover as standard, so we just ask that you enjoy your trip.

How long is my Green Card valid for?

Unfortunately, we can’t issue Green Cards for individual days, and so a 15-day minimum has been introduced, with a maximum duration of 90 days in total.

You can use those 90 days however you’d like, as long as you’re not going over your 90-day allowance.

I live in Northern Ireland. How will this impact me crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland?

In terms of crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland, you’ll need to have a Green Card.

As a company, we’ve decided to issue all our Northern Ireland customers with annual Green Cards.

To get your Green Card please fill in this short form.

What if I make changes to my policy?

If you need to make a change to your policy, you might need to apply for a new Green Card if these changes are made before or within the period you’re travelling in.

You only need to apply for a new Green Card if you make any of the following changes:

  • Car registration number
  • Car make and model
  • Name
  • Address
  • Addition/ removal of drivers

Don’t worry, applying for a new Green Card due to having made a change to your policy won’t take up more of your 90-day allowance.

Do I need a separate Green Card if I’m towing a caravan or a trailer?

For countries that require separate trailer insurance, a separate Green Card may be required for the trailer as well.

What happens if I don’t have a Green Card?

Travelling without one is completely at your own risk, and we’d advise against it.

Worst case scenario? You could end up having your car seized, face prosecution or receive a hefty fine. Any of these options aren’t a great way to start your holiday.

Is there any way I could drive in the EU without a Green Card?

There’s the possibility that motorists would still be allowed to drive if they arrange third-party insurance bought in the country they’re driving in, which is called ‘frontier insurance’.

However, this will come at an extra cost, whereas the Green Card is free. Not only that, but this type of insurance is likely to offer a reduced level of cover compared to what you already have.

We hope this all makes sense and you’re now in the know, but if you still need a bit more info, the Association of British Insurers website has some great stuff about what impact leaving the EU may have on driving abroad.

Want to know more about driving in a foreign country? Check out our guide to driving abroad, and whilst you’re at it, it might be worth topping up your knowledge of the local driving laws too.

4 Comments

  1. Piotr says:

    please send me a green card, what data should I give?

  2. Faolan McNicholl says:

    Hi the ‘if you live in N.Ireland’ section has a link to fill out a form for an annual green card. When I click into it, it is gives me the same generic info for the whole of the UK and the form asks me to fill in dates that I am travelling to and from Europe. Is there a direct link to the N. Ireland from for the annual green card? Thanks

    • 1st Central says:

      Hi Faolan, sorry for any confusion. We’re currently allocating all people with a NI postcode with a green card until the end of their policy who’ve requested the need for one and will be looking into creating a new form once more we have more clarity surrounding Brexit. All the best, 1st Central

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