Hastings Direct — Car, Van, Bike & Home Insurance

Green Card – frequently asked questions

A potential change to the rules around driving in Europe could require all drivers to carry a Green Card (an international certificate of insurance). If you're not sure what they are or if you need one, take a look at our FAQs below

Do I need a Green Card?

That depends on the outcome of the Brexit vote. If no deal is reached, or a transitional period agreed, from the date the UK leaves the EU, drivers will need to provide a Green Card at European borders to prove they're insured.

Will I be insured to drive in the EU after Brexit?

Yes. We, like all UK motor insurance providers, will continue to provide you the legal minimum motor insurance cover for travel to EEA countries as part of your current policy.

So, if you're a UK motorist, you won't need to purchase additional third-party motor insurance policy cover. Many of our customers will actually have a similar level of cover abroad as they get in the UK. For details of your cover, check your policy booklet.

Will there be any changes to driving licences?

Potentially yes. You may need an international driving permit (IDP) in addition to your UK driving licence to drive in EU and EEA countries if there's a no deal Brexit. IDPs are issued by the Government. Find out more about IDPs and how to get one.

What's a Green Card?

  • They're an international certificate of insurance that's printed on green paper.
  • They're issued by your vehicle insurer to prove you're insured to drive in the EU.
  • They're personalised with your UK registration details and are signed by your insurer.
  • You'll need to carry yours with you if you're driving into Europe.
  • They can't be downloaded so they have to be posted to your home address.
  • You may need a second card if you plan to tow a trailer or caravan.

What will happen if I don't have a Green Card when I travel abroad?

You could be breaking the law, be refused entry to the European country, receive a fine and/or have your vehicle seized. Your policy doesn't cover loss or damage resulting from the legal confiscation of your vehicle by HM Revenue and Customs, the police, a local authority or any other government authority. For full policy terms and conditions, please refer to your policy booklet.

What countries do I need a Green Card for?

Any member of the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Serbia. You'll also need a Green Card if you plan to drive between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Find out more details on the countries included.

How long do they last for?

They're usually valid for 15 days but can be extended.

Check your policy booklet for details on the length of time covered by a single trip.

What happens if I plan to be driving abroad when I'm due to renew my insurance?

When you renew your motor insurance policy, you'll need to ensure you have a new Green Card for your new policy (even if you're still abroad on the date your original policy expires).

If you decide to switch to a new insurer, you'll need to request a new Green Card from that insurer as well.

What happens if I'm driving with a trailer or caravan?

You'll need to tell us when you request your Green Card as you may need a second Green Card for your caravan or trailer.

If you plan to take a commercial trailer weighing over 750kg or a non-commercial trailer weighing over 3,500kg, after the UK leaves the EU, you must also register it with the Government before they can travel to, or through, most EU and EEA countries. Find out more.

If I have a multi car policy will I need a Green Card for each insured car?

Yes. You'll need a separate Green Card for each vehicle if you're taking more than one to the EU.

Will my Green Card cover me to hire or borrow a vehicle while in the EU?

No. If you want to rent or borrow a vehicle, you will need to arrange insurance separately and your Green Card will not cover this.

I drive in the EU regularly. Will I need to tell my insurer every time I travel?

Green Cards are normally valid for 15 days, but if you travel frequently, let us know when you request your Green Card as we may be able to extend this.

How do I get one?

If you plan to drive your vehicle in the EU (or between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), request your Green Card here. Please allow up to 5 days for it to arrive at your home address.

If you're due to travel within 5 days, please chat to our customer services team who will try to get one to you more quickly.

We'll be updating this FAQ page with new information as the situation becomes clearer, so please visit us again if you're planning on travelling abroad.

For more information on Green Cards and the latest on driving abroad you can visit:

The association of British Insurers


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