No-deal Brexit impact on driving in the EU

Oct 9, 2019

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you will need to contact Yutree to arrange for a Green Card to be issued for all vehicles, trailers and caravans being driven into the European Union (EU).


What will be required if there is a no deal Brexit on 31 October 2019?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, drivers will need to obtain and carry a physical copy of a Green Card with them when driving in the EU or EEA as well as Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland to prove that they have valid insurance cover for their vehicle.

Please note that regardless of the outcome of Brexit  the following countries still require a driver to carry a Green Card when travelling to or through that country: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.


Does this apply for driving across the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Border?
Yes. Drivers from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland will need to obtain and carry a physical copy of a Green Card with them. Please contact us at least 5 working days before the intended travel date so that we can process the request for a Green Card and ensure that it reaches you in good time.

Co-operation and agreement between the UK Government and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland means that drivers from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland will not require a Green Card.


Do we need to tell Yutree if we intend to drive in the EU before we officially leave the EU?
Yes. If you are taking a vehicle to the EU, EEA countries, Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland during or shortly after 31 October 2019 you should contact us at least 5 working days in advance of the date of travel to obtain a Green Card for their trip.


What if I travel without a Green Card?
You may be breaking the law and may be accused of driving without insurance. You could be subject to a fine, have your vehicle seized or face prosecution. The only other legal option available would be to purchase insurance locally when you arrive in the country (often known as ‘frontier insurance’). However, such insurance cover may not be widely available and may be more expensive than UK issued policies.


How do I obtain a Green Card?
Please contact Yutree at least 5 working days before the intended travel date so that we can process your request and ensure the Green Card reaches you before you travel. We can email a Green Card electronically as a PDF document to you, however it must be printed on green paper prior to departure. A black and white copy is not acceptable because it would not meet the required format and therefore may not be accepted when checked. The Council of Bureaux (COB) does not set out any rules for the pantone other than to say that a Green Card must clearly be green in colour. Printing the document with an edge to edge green background setting unfortunately still leaves a small white border, this could create possible problems when crossing borders since custom officials might suspect it as a false document.


Will there be an administration fee for issuing a Green Card?
No. We will not charge an administration fee for issuing a Green Card.


What is the validity period of a Green Card?
Regulations deem all Green Cards are valid for at least 15 days from their effective date, they do not specify a maximum period. If insurers allow us to, we will issue annual Green Cards in order to reduce additional administration.


Will I still be able to use my insurance to drive in the EU after Brexit?
Yes. There will be no change to the cover currently provided in motor insurance policies, which includes legal minimum third party liability motor insurance required for travel to EU, EEA countries, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland. UK policyholders will not need to purchase additional third party motor insurance policy cover when travelling to these countries with a UK registered vehicle. However, cover may be reduced if you do not notify us of your travel prior to departure.


Is a Green Card needed for each vehicle insured on a policy?
Yes. A Green Card is required to cover the registration number of the individual vehicle. A separate Green Card is also needed for each trailer and caravan.


What if I lose my Green Card whilst I am outside of the UK?
We can send a Green Card electronically as PDF document, however as previously stated the document must be printed on green paper.


Does a driver need a Green Card if they are driving with a trailer or caravan?
Yes. A separate Green Card is needed for each trailer or caravan. Please contact us at least 5 working days before the intended travel date so that we can process the request for a Green Card and ensure that it reaches you in good time.


Will a driver need to register a trailer before towing it abroad?
A driver must register commercial trailers over 750kg gross weight and all trailers over 3,500kg gross weight before towing them through some European countries.

The Department for Transport provides more guidance here: Department of Transport guidance


Can a Green Card be issued for a non UK registered vehicle?
No. The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), as the issuer of the Green Cards, only guarantees UK registered vehicles.  For clarity, the MIB are also unable to issue Green Cards to non-UK registered vehicles which are permitted to drive in the UK.


Will a driver need their UK driving licence when driving in in the EU?
Yes. Drivers will need their UK driving licence to drive in the EU, EEA countries,  Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland,  they may need one or more international driving permits (IDPs), depending on which country they’re going to or through and whether  a photocard or paper driving licence is held. The Department for Transport provides guidance on IDPs: Department of Transport guidance. If a driver has a UK licence they will not need an IDP to drive when visiting the Republic of Ireland.


Will a driver need to carry vehicle registration documents?
Yes. If they are taking their vehicle to the EU, EEA country, Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland for less than 12 months they should carry one of the following documents with them:

  • vehicle log book (V5C) if they have one
  • a  VE103 or letter from their employer (if a company vehicle) confirming that they’re allowed to use the hired or leased vehicle abroad


Does a driver need to display GB stickers and number plates on their vehicle?
Yes. They must display a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle and trailer/caravan even if they currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier. They will also need a GB sticker even if they have a number plate with the Euro symbol and Great Britain national identifier.


Is an electronic platform to record and distribute Green Cards being considered?
Yes. This is being considered by the Council of Bureaux (COB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). This would remove the need to print a physical copy on green paper. As an interim step the COB has agreed that from July 2020 Green Cards will not be required to print on green paper.


For more information and related guidance from the Government to ensure you are best prepared for Brexit please click here.

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