Advice on the documents you may need to travel in the EU
UPDATE 31 December 2020: Following the agreement between the EU and UK, the rules have changed. Please see here for details. The information below is no longer relevant.
The UK parliament has voted to withdraw the UK from the European Union on January 31st 2020. The Government has agreed with the EU that the UK will then enter a transition period during which the UK and EU will negotiate the terms of their future relationship. That transition period is currently timetabled to end on December 31st 2020.
During the transition period the UK will remain aligned to EU regulations. This includes the rules on driving or riding in the European Economic Area (EEA).
The EEA comprises EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
What happens after the end of the transition period will depend upon the outcome of negotiations between the EU and UK government. Whilst the UK Government has expressed confidence in reaching a negotiated agreement by December 31st, a “no deal” exit after the transition period remains a possibility.
The Association of British Insurers has highlighted the the UK Government and motor insurance bodies in Europe have “already agreed a plan to keep the UK in the EU’s car insurance zone”. However this has not been agreed with the EU.
If an agreement is not reached then it is likely that the rules will change for UK drivers and riders travelling in the EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.
In the case of a “No Deal” exit, unless alternative arrangements are agreed between the UK and EU, then you will be required to carry a ‘Green Card’ whilst travelling in or on your vehicle within the EU.
This is an international certificate of insurance issued by your insurer. It is a physical document that will need to be posted to you.
Holding a Green Card will mean you will have Third Party motor insurance valid in EU and EEA countries, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.
How can you get a Green Card?
We will be pleased to secure you a Green Card from your insurer. As different insurers will have different policies and procedures, this should make things easier for you.
There is no charge for this service – it is free to you.
1. Emailing us by clicking here. Please make sure you include your full name (as it appears on your insurance documents) and policy number/broker reference. Please also include a number we can contact you on to confirm cover.
2. Calling us:
YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR YOUR GREEN CARD AT LEAST 21 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO TRAVELLING.
You can read the Association of British Insurers’ guidance on Travelling to the EU in the case of a No-Deal Brexit here.
The rules regarding International Driving Permits (IDPs) are quite complicated.
If the UK Government negotiates an exit deal with the EU, then it is likely you will still be able to use your UK driving licence to drive or ride in EU and EEA countries after the end of the transition period.
If there is no negotiated agreement, then the rules will change. The UK government has previously stated that in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, it would seek an agreement with the EU so that UK drivers can continue to use their UK driving licence when travelling in EU and EEA countries.
But if such an agreement cannot be reached, UK drivers will need get one or more IDPs to drive in EU and EEA countries. The reason why you may need more than one IDP is that there are three types (1926, 1949 and 1968) and the rules vary between country.
For example, if you are planning to drive across France and Spain, in addition to taking your UK driving licence you will need both 1949 and 1968 IDPs.
For official UK Government information on the different types of IDP and where they are valid, click here.
How to get an International Driving Permit
You can only get International Driving Permits over the counter at the Post Office.
You will need to take a photo-id driving licence and a passport-sized photo with you. If you have an old-style paper driving licence, then you will need to take your passport as proof of identification.
Each IDP costs £5.50.
You can read official UK Government guidance and information on International Driving Permits here.