How will Brexit affect your car insurance?

The UK is leaving the EU on the 31st January. And one of the many things that will be affected is car insurance. Here's everything you need to know.
By Team member, 27-01-20203 minute read

Between now and the end of 2020, car insurance rules and regulations won’t change much as a result of Brexit. But after that, things are less clear. You might need extra documentation, and your level of cover in other countries might change.

Here’s the handy Cuvva guide to how leaving the EU might affect your car insurance.

What even is happening

The UK left the EU at 11pm (midnight in Brussels) on Friday 31 January 2020. After 47 years!

We’re now heading into a transition period. Also known as the implementation period, it’s set to run till 31 December 2020 (there’s a chance it’ll be extended, of course).

This means the UK won’t be in the EU anymore. But we’ll still be subject to EU rules. So not much will change for now.

But - not to be too scary - we have no idea what will happen after the transition period. Once the Government’s set out a plan, we’ll let you know.

Driving in Europe: how it works in the EU

In recent years, all UK car insurance policies have given you a “minimum level of cover” in the EU. This kind of insurance gives you less cover than a third party only policy. It only covers damage to the other person’s car - not your own. It doesn’t cover you if your car’s stolen, either, or if it’s damaged by fire.

Sometimes, you can increase the amount of cover you get abroad to include things like damage to your own car, and breakdown cover. But to do this, you'll need to tell your insurer you're going abroad - and you may have to pay to get the extra cover.

You don’t need much documentation, either.

The transition period: how car insurance in Europe will change

Now that we’re leaving the EU, things could - eventually - change. But in the short term, things will probably stay more or less the same.

Your car insurance will still give you a minimum level of cover to drive in the EU.

And during the transition period, you won’t need to carry around too much extra documentation if you’re driving in the EU.

You won’t need a green card, which is a piece of paper proves you’re covered to drive in the country you’re visiting. You don’t need one to drive in the EU right now, and you won’t need one during the transition period, either.

But according to the Association of British Insurers, you will need a green card to drive in Europe if we don’t figure out a deal by the end of 2020.

The rules on International Driving Permits (IDPs) won’t change either. Right now, you only need an IDP to drive in Europe if you’re staying for more than 12 months. This won’t change during the transition period.

You’ll still need a GB sticker on your car.

And you should take your driving licence and vehicle log book (V5C) with you. Just in case. It proves that you’re a qualified driver, and it proves who the

registered keeper is. (It’s fine for your car to be registered in the UK, as long as you’ve got the documents to prove it.)

We can’t give you a full list of what is and isn’t needed to drive in each country. Different places have different requirements (you’ll need an emissions sticker to drive in Germany, for example).

How Brexit could affect car insurance prices

There are lots of things that affect the price of car insurance. So, depending on the impact of Brexit, prices might go up a bit. Maybe it will be harder to get replacement car parts from Europe, and insurers will increase their premiums to make up for it.

But again - things are unlikely to change much during the transition period. So things will probably stay more or less the same.

Cuvva policies and Brexit

Right now, Cuvva policies keep you insured outside of the UK, like every other car insurance policy.

Temporary car insurance policies have the same minimum levels of cover as annual policies.

After Brexit and during the transition period, your Cuvva policy will still be valid for driving in the EU - plus Andorra, Norway and Switzerland.

But if you’re driving in the EU (or Andorra, Norway or Switzerland) your policy will only give you the minimum cover required by law. The level of cover is less than third party, so it only covers losses to other people’s vehicles or property. But damage to your own vehicle wouldn’t be covered.

And if you did need to make a claim, we wouldn’t be able to help out very much. That’s because our underwriters - the people who pay out if you have an accident - are (currently) all UK-based. So there wouldn’t be much of a support network. And we’d be able to offer very little help compared to if you were in the UK.

You should also bear in mind that these things can change at any time, based on government decisions. So be sure to do your own up-to-date research on the specific countries you want to drive in.

Team member

Team member