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Ivana Vardon

Post Brexit driving in Europe

The UK officially left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered an 11-month transition period, due to end on 31 December 2020.
From 1 January 2021 there will be new rules for businesses and citizens once the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union.

A Trade Deal has been announced by the Prime Minister on the 24th of December and the requirements for UK vehicles travelling in the EU are now known.

brexit-vehicles

UK Motorists are required to carry the following:
-    Your annual Certificate of Motor Insurance
-    European Certificate/Green Card
-    GB Sticker (visible on registration plate or vehicle body)
-    V5C Logbook
-    International Driving Permit (unless travelling to the Republic of Ireland only)
You might also need one to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:
*a paper driving licence
**a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
We recommend obtaining the International Driving Permit from the Post Office.
-    A separate Green Card for any trailer you may be towing

 

What is a European Certificate/Green Card?
European Certificate, commonly referred to as a “Green Card” is an international certificate of insurance proving visiting motorists have the minimum compulsory insurance cover required by the law of the country visited.
All EEA countries are part of a Green Card free circulation area, meaning that motorists based there do not have to carry Green Cards when visiting other countries in the area. This is what UK-based motorists have been used to as a result of the UK’s EU membership, but when the transition period ends, with or without a trade deal, UK motorists may be required to carry Green Cards for the entire system, including EEA countries. As it stands, UK is no longer a part of a Green Card free circulation area therefore Green Cards are required from the 01st of January 2021.
*Full details of the scope of the Green Card system can be found on the Council of Bureaux website, which includes  an interactive map of the countries in the system https://www.cobx.org/highcharts-maps

When do I need a Green Card?
 If you’re travelling to the EU after 31st December 2020, or your trip will extend into 2021, then you’ll need to request a Green Card. 

How do I get a Green Card?
In simple terms, you will need to request one from your insurer. The timescales on issuing one varies from insurer to insurer however be prepared this process can take up to 4 weeks and contact your insurance broker as long as possible in advance of your trip. 
InEvexco have systems internally and externally with clients and insurers that promote the expedient issue of Green Cards. Contact us for more information.

Do I need a physical copy of the Green Card?
Yes. The electronic copy/email of your green card is not acceptable evidence of insurance. As such, it won’t be recognised by authorities abroad, so you need the physical version.

Information required to issue a Green Card
-    Policyholder name and number
-    Dates of travel
-    Name/s of the driver/s
-    Name/s of the countries visited
-    Vehicle registration number, make and model
-    Trailer or caravan make and model

What happens if I don’t have a Green Card?
Without a Green Card, you may be refused entry to the country you’re travelling to or you may need to purchase insurance at the borders of each country you visit. If you are stopped by the police or involved in an accident, you could also be accused of driving without insurance. This could result in prosecution, a fine or your vehicle being seized or even all three. 
So, whether you are an Exhibition or Event Contractor, a Haulage Company or indeed any firm sending staff to the EU to prospect for work or support a client in any UK registered and insured vehicle, you will need to apply and obtain a Green Card for that vehicle and journey in good time BEFORE the vehicle leaves UK shores.