Important update: Driving in the EU if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit

A movement shot of cars driving on a motorway at twilight

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, corporate and private client policy holders who plan to drive in the EU will need to arrange a Green Card. The Green Card acts as proof of insurance, without one the driver could be breaking the law.


No deal?

There remains a possibility that Green Cards may not be required if an exit agreement between the EU and UK is ratified. However, reports that an agreement has already been reached to waive the need for Green Cards in the event of a no-deal has not been confirmed by the European Commission. Hence the insurance industry is planning on the basis of Green Cards being required.

Among those affected are:

  • Northern Ireland residents travelling to the Republic of Ireland. You should contact your insurer to arrange for the appropriate Green Card documents.
  • Republic of Ireland residents travelling to Northern Ireland. Valid Irish insurance discs will be accepted as proof of insurance for Irish vehicles.
  • Anyone planning to take their vehicle to Europe (including families on holiday and corporate travel). Or freight company planning to transport goods into the EU.

How to obtain a Green Card

If you are a Howden client we will provide your Green Card to you as a PDF document free of charge. Please contact us at least five working days before your intended travel date to allow enough time for your request to be processed.

Please note, the Green Card must be printed on green paper to be valid. The Council of Bureaux (COB) has not stated a specific pantone other than to say that a Green Card must clearly be green in colour. 

What about travel insurance?

The ABI says travel insurance will be unaffected, even if there is no agreement on a replacement for the current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which allows citizens a level of free healthcare across the EU. 

Customers are, however, advised to keep their travel insurance documents or their insurer’s emergency medical assistance contact number with them. In the event of severe travel disruption at ports or airports, airlines, travel agents or credit card providers would be the first port of call for financial compensation.

Howden is in communication with all our insurers to clarify the position on Green Cards and will communicate with policyholders individually once the situation is clear. If you are not insured with us for your motor insurance, please get in touch with your relevant insurance company. 

A photo of Julia Harrop

Julia Harrop

Divisional Director, Corporate

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