From 1st January 2021, UK motorists need a Green Card to drive in European countries.
This is because rules around driving in Europe changed after the UK left the European Union (EU).
Green Cards prove that you have the right level of insurance to legally drive in another country.
You have to apply for one from your car insurer before travelling.
A Green Card is an international certificate that proves you have the minimum level of insurance needed to legally drive in another country.
(They're sometimes called International Motor Insurance Cards.)
The Green Card system is used by 48 countries including the EU, Switzerland and several counties in the Middle East. 🌍
You can get a Green Card from your insurer. They're usually free, but some companies may charge an admin fee.
Unlike the name suggests, Green Cards may be printed on white paper. You need to keep it with you at all times when you're driving abroad.
If you're caught without a valid Green Card, you could be fined or have your car impounded. 🚫
UK motorists driving in the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra or Serbia will need a Green Card. 🇪🇺
You'll also need a Green Card if you drive between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Check out GOV.UK for a full list of the countries you'll need a Green Card to drive in.
You should tell you insurer that you need a Green Card well in advance of your trip.
They'll need to know the dates of your trip and which countries you'll be driving in to make sure your Green Card is valid in all areas.
For example, if you're driving through Spain and Portugal, your Green Card will need to cover both countries.
Your Green Card will either be sent to you in the post or via email.
If your Green Card is emailed to you it must be printed out to be valid. (It's fine to print it on white paper instead of green!)
Digital copies of your Green Card won't be accepted so it's really important that you print yours out.
The time it takes to issue a Green Card varies between insurers.
It may take longer to process your application during busy travelling periods, such as peak holiday season in the summer.
Try to apply for one as soon as possible to make sure yours arrives in time for your trip.
Green Cards usually last up to 90 days depending on your insurer.
Some companies issue Green Cards that are valid for your entire policy if you drive abroad frequently.
You can find the exact amount of time your Green Card will be valid in your policy information.
If anything is unclear, get in touch with your insurer to find out.
You'll need to apply for multiple Green Cards if you have fleet or multi-car insurance and the other vehicles will be driven abroad too.
This is because you need proof that each car is insured.
Green Cards always specify the registration number of the car they cover so one card can't cover multiple vehicles.
If you're travelling with a trailer or caravan, you'll need to get a separate Green Card for that too.
You'll need a valid Green Card for the entire duration of your trip.
If your existing car insurance is up for renewal while you're away, you'll need to have a Green Card for that policy and a separate Green Card for the new policy when it starts.
If you decide to stick with your existing provider, they may be able to send you one Green Card that covers your old policy and your new one.
A Green Card issued under your policy will only insure you to drive your own car while you're in Europe.
This means that if you want to insure a car you don't own, for example, if you hire or borrow a vehicle, you'll need to arrange separate insurance - typically under the hire company's own policy.
Cuvva offers Green Cards free of charge to customers driving in the European Union, the Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.
You can apply for a Green Card in the Cuvva App or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated on 5th May 2021