No-deal 'will mean Green Card for UK drivers in EU'

Motorists warned to apply early for green card insurance certificates, which could take a month to process

25 February 2019
By Brian McCulloch

British motorists are warned to apply now for green card insurance certificates required if the UK leaves the EU with no-deal on March 29.

With delays of up to a month expected as UK insurance companies gear up to handle green card requests, drivers are being advised to plan ahead if they plan to visit France from April onwards.

The green card is among the compulsory papers (along with the carte grise, driving licence and contrôle technique) that French motorists are meant have with them while driving, but it is not required to be carried in the UK.

It gives proof the vehicle has at least the minimum insurance cover required for the countries where it is being driven.

Official UK government advice is: “From 29 March 2019, in the event that there is no EU exit deal, and the European Commission does not make a decision ensuring that UK registered vehicles will not be checked for proof of insurance, drivers of UK registered vehicles will need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA.”

The UK insurance trade body, the Association of British Insurers, warns on its website: “Please contact your insurer as far in advance of your trip as possible to ensure you receive your Green Card in time for your trip.”

And it added: “In order to allow sufficient time to process documents and to post your Green Card document, you will need to give your insurer sufficient notice of your intention to travel in advance. So, it is best to contact them about one month in advance.”

A spokeswoman told Connexion: “Our general advice remains to contact your insurer about a month before you are due to travel – and, of course, March 29 is now only just over a month away.

“However, we know a number of major insurers expect to be able to issue Green Cards in a much shorter timeframe, so customers being told not to worry and to call back nearer the time should not be overly concerned.”

Another factors drivers will have to consider is that Green Cards can only be issued to cover a minimum of 15 days, which means drivers will have to have at least 15 days left to run on their existing insurance contract if one is to be issued.

No-deal will also mean that people with UK driving licences will have to have an International Driving Permit (IDP), in addition to their driving licences, to drive in Europe.

An IDP valid for France, lasts three years and can be bought over the counter at post offices for £5.50.

An alternative is to carry a translation of the driving licence by a sworn translator (traducteur assermenté).

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