Will Brexit affect your car insurance?

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Green Cards
Driving in Europe
What to do if you have an accident abroad
Brexit and insurance prices

Even though the UK has left the EU, not much has changed when it comes to car insurance.

UK driving licences are still valid for driving in the EU, and UK insurers still have to provide some level of cover for European road trips.

But there are still a few things you’ll need to know about driving in Europe after Brexit.

You don’t need a Green Card anymore

A Green Card is a piece of paper which serves as proof of insurance when you drive abroad.

In early 2021, you had to get a Green Card from your insurer if you wanted to take a British car into the EU.

But as of August 2nd 2021, that’s no longer needed — you just have to have your UK policy documents.

But there’s a few things that you will need to drive in the EU

There are still a few requirements for driving in Europe. Here’s what you’ll need for your trip:

Your full driving licence

Make sure your licence is in date. If it’s expired, you’ll need to apply for a new one online. You should do this at least a week before you travel.

Your logbook (V5C)

If you're driving your own car in the EU and the trip is less than 12 months, you'll need to bring your log book (V5C).

Make sure it’s up to date. If you need to change any details, be sure to leave enough time to update the V5C before you travel.

If you plan on driving a hired or leased car in the EU, for less than 12 months, you'll need to get a VE103 certificate to prove you're allowed to drive it abroad.

You can get a VE103 for a fee from:

If you want to take your car out of the UK for more than 12 months, you'll need to tell the DVLA.

Proof of insurance

Your policy documents are all the proof you’ll need. It’s probably worth printing out a paper copy, just to be safe.

Just so you know, all UK insurers have to provide a basic level of cover in the EU. But that's not always comprehensive insurance.

Trailer registration

If you’re taking a trailer abroad, you might need to register it first. Best to check if you’ll need to register your trailer before you go. You can do this online.

You’ll most likely need to attach a UK sticker to your car

Cars registered in the UK need to display a “UK” sticker when driving in any European country aside from Ireland.

It used to be a “GB” sticker. But from the 28th of September 2021, you’ll need a “UK” sticker instead.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. But the stickers are only about £1.50, and driving without one could land you a fine.

So it’s probably worth getting one.

Driving in Europe hasn't changed too much since Brexit
Driving in Europe hasn't changed too much since Brexit

You might need some extra safety equipment

In some EU countries, drivers have to carry certain safety equipment in their vehicle at all times - such as:

  • A first aid kit
  • A hi-vis vest
  • A breathalyzer test
  • A red triangle

You can usually order these online.

Road rules can change, though. So be sure to check what’s needed in the countries you’re travelling to.

Check if you need an International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a translated version of your licence that makes it valid in other countries.🌍

You may need an IDP to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein if your licence:

  • Was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
  • Is a paper driving licence (rather than a photocard)

You must be over 18 and have a full UK driving licence to apply for an IDP.

They cost around £5.50 from the Post Office, and you’ll need to carry your regular UK licence too.

If you're caught without an IDP or your UK licence, you could be fined and have your car seized. 🚨

You can find out if you need an IDP on the GOV.UK website.

Oh, and don’t forget your passport.

What to do if you have a car accident abroad

In most European countries, you’ll need to do the same as you do in the UK.

Get the other driver’s details: You should take as many details as you can about the driver, their vehicle, and their insurance details. This will help you to make a claim later on.

Contact your insurer: As soon as you can.

You’ll probably need to report the incident to the police, too: Usually within 24 hours.

If you’re in an emergency, you should call local emergency services as soon as possible. Don’t forget that the emergency services number is 112 throughout Europe.

Check the rules in the country that you’re travelling to

These rules can vary. Hopefully, you won’t be involved in an accident at all. But it’s a good idea to have a look at what you’ll need to do if it does happen.

It’s best to check the rules for the countries that you’re going to, before you leave.

Don't forget your passport (and other essentials)!
Don't forget your passport (and other essentials)!
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Will Brexit affect the cost of car insurance?

The short answer is: probably not.

While the Brexit deal was being negotiated, there were concerns about new taxes on imports and exports that could make cars more expensive in the UK.

If it became more expensive to import cars and car parts, the price of insurance would have risen, too.

But for the time being, no tariffs are being applied to products going between the UK and the EU.

(But if your insurance has got more expensive recently, there could be a few reasons why. We've written about this in more detail)

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It's perfect for borrowing and lending - and for experienced or learner drivers alike.

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Updated on 30th March 2023