Taking your vehicle abroad - frequently asked questions

The UK's now left the EU and the transition period ends 31st December 2020. Because of this, it's important you know which documents you'll need to take with you if you're planning to drive abroad.

Up to the 31st December 2020

You'll need your Certificate of Motor Insurance and your policy document to prove you're insured to be able to drive in the EU. You can find both in MyAccount.

You also need to take your vehicle registration document (V5) to prove you own the vehicle and you must have a GB sticker on your vehicle and any trailer.

In some countries you'll need an international driving permit (IDP) Check if you need an IDP.

From 1st January 2021

You'll need all of the above, plus you must also have a Green Card. You can find out more about this, and how to get one, in these FAQs.

What's a Green Card?

  • A Green Card is an international certificate of insurance that proves you're insured to drive in the EU. They're issued and signed by your vehicle insurer, and include your vehicle and registration details. You'll need to have one with you if you're driving in Europe and you'll need a second one if you're towing a trailer or caravan.
  • Once you've requested your Green Card, it will be uploaded to MyAccount for you to print it and take with you when you travel. Please make sure we've got the right email address for you.
  • If we don't have your email address, your Green Card will be posted. We're sorry, we can't guarantee postage so make sure to allow enough time for it to arrive. We suggest you request it at least five working days before you're due to travel.

Do I need a Green Card?

From 1st January 2021, you'll need to show your Green Card document at European borders to prove you're insured. This includes if you're leaving for your trip before this date but returning after 1st January.

In some countries you'll need an international driving permit (IDP) Check if you need an IDP.

Do I need to print it on green paper?

No. You must have a printed Green Card with you when travelling in the EU but it doesn't have to be on green paper. This means you can print it yourself in black and white. Once you've requested your Green Card, it will be uploaded to MyAccount for you to print and take with you when you travel. Please make sure we've got the right email address for you.

If we don't have your email address, your Green Card will be posted. We're sorry, we can't guarantee postage so make sure to allow enough time for it to arrive. We suggest you request it at least five working days before you're due to travel.

What countries do I need a Green Card for?

You'll need to take a Green Card with you if you travel to any country in 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. See the full list of countries.

How long do they last for?

A Green Card can last for up to 90 days (or until you're due to renew if your renewal date is less than 90 days away), but check your policy booklet for details on how long you're covered to drive in a single trip abroad.

What happens if my insurance renews whilst I'm driving abroad?

When you renew your insurance you'll need a new Green Card for your new policy, even if you keep your insurance with us. So, if you plan to be driving your vehicle abroad when you're due to renew, make sure you've got with you a Green Card to cover your current policy and one to cover your new policy. Please let us know when requesting your Green Card if this is the case.

If you decide to switch to a new insurer, you'll need to ask them for a new Green Card.

Will I still be insured to drive in the EU?

Yes. Like all UK motor insurance providers, we'll continue to provide you with the legal minimum motor insurance cover for you to drive your vehicle within EEA countries.

So, if you're a UK motorist, you won't need to buy additional third-party motor insurance policy cover. As many of our policies come with a similar level of cover abroad as in the UK, we recommend you check your level of cover which is also in your policy booklet.

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'll need to arrange insurance separately and your Green Card won't cover this.

Will I need a GB sticker on my vehicle?

  • You could get fined if you don't display a GB sticker on your vehicle or trailer.
  • You'll need a GB sticker even if your number plate already has a GB or the EU symbol on it.
  • They're available from a variety of high street and online retailers, as well as departure points in the UK, and only cost a couple of pounds.

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

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

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 the EU and EEA countries if the current agreement changes. IDPs are issued by the Government. Find out more.

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

  • You'll need to tell us when you ask for your Green Card as you 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, you must also register it with the Government before you can travel to, or through, most EU and EEA countries. Find out more about IDPs and how to get one.

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

You need a Green Card for each vehicle you're taking to the EU. So if you're taking two cars that are on the same multi car policy, you'll need a separate Green Card for each of them.

If I have a Hastings Direct YouDrive policy, do I still need to share my driving data?

You'll still need to share your driving data with us if you plan to drive in the EU. If you're concerned about your mobile data usage, you don't need to have your mobile data turned on while driving to record your trips and you can also set up your app so it only sends us data when you reach a WiFi location. To do this, simply go into the app's settings, select 'preferences' and turn on 'upload trip data using WiFi only'. Please make sure your location services and Bluetooth are still switched on in your phone settings. You can revert back to the original settings at any time, simply follow the above steps again and turn off 'upload trip data via WiFi only'.

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

Green Cards are normally valid between 15 and 90 days (see your policy booklet for details), 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 in the EU (or between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) you can request your Green Card by using the link below. If we have your email address, we'll upload your Green Card to MyAccount. You can then simply print it to take with you when you travel. If you've asked for it to be posted, it can take up to five working days to arrive.
  • If you're due to travel within five working days, please let us know so we can get one to you in time for your trip.
  • You also need to take your vehicle registration document (V5) to prove you own the vehicle and have a GB sticker on your vehicle and any trailer.
  • In some countries you'll need an international driving permit (IDP) Check if you need an IDP.
Request a Green Card

We're open:

Monday to Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 9am-1pm
Sunday: 9am-1pm

We'll be updating this FAQ page as the situation changes, so make sure to check back here if you're planning on traveling abroad.

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