Brexit - Green Cards and Driving Abroad

With negotiations continuing over the United Kingdom's exit of the European Union and uncertainty surrounding the terms of the Brexit deal, we want to provide an update on the potential impact to you as a client of Saffron Insurance should the UK leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement. It is important to note that nothing has been formally agreed at this point but we feel you should be aware of the potential implications on the motor insurance industry.

Guidance from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) is that drivers taking their motor vehicles into an EU country should be prepared and have a Green Card when driving abroad after midnight on the 31st October 2019. 

Why is a Green Card needed?

A Green Card is an international certificate of insurance which guarantees that the motorist has the necessary third party insurance cover. These certificates prove that drivers are suitably insured to drive in these countries. A physical copy of a Green Card on green paper is needed when traveling as digital copies are not currently accepted. If you arrive at the border without a physical Green Card, you may not be allowed to drive in that country. 

There is also the risk that if you cannot supply the adequate proof of cover your vehicle could get impounded. 

International Driving Permits

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31st October 2019, you might need and International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in all EU and EEA countries, apart from Ireland. 

You will need :- 

1926 permit to drive in Liechtenstein 
1949 permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus 
1968 permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland 

You can get an IDP over the counter at the Post Office. 

They cost £5.50 and you must be a GB or Northern Ireland resident, have a full UK driving licence and be 18 or over. 

What does it mean to you as a Saffron Client?

At present the majority of policies arranged by Saffron Insurance allow our policyholders to drive within the European Union for a certain amount of time with the cover being confirmed by the insurance certificate we issue, if you are planning a trip that is completed before the 31st October 2019 there is no change. However; if your trip into the European Union is after the 31st October 2019 we require you to contact us at least 3 weeks before your travel date (or as soon as possible if your trip is imminent bearing in mind the 31st October 2019 is only a few weeks away) and we will advise you of the specific process required by your insurer and issue a green card if required. 

We will keep you updated with further information when there is more clarity regarding the long term implications of Brexit. If you have any issues or concerns then please contact us on 01799 514144.