Do I need a Green Card to drive in Europe?

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You no longer need a Green Card to drive a UK registered car in Europe

For a little while after the UK left the European Union, a Green Card was required to take a British car into the EU.

But as of August 2nd 2021, that’s no longer needed.

What do I need to drive in Europe?

UK insurance companies must cover you if you are travelling:

  • In the EU (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden)
  • In the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
  • In Switzerland, Andorra, and Serbia

With a Cuvva subscription, you get 60 days of comprehensive EU cover every year.

Insurers only have to provide the minimum level of cover though — so some will only give you third-party cover (which doesn’t even cover damage to your vehicle!). So definitely check before you travel.

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

Your full driving licence

This is probably a good time to check that your licence is still in date. If it’s expired, you’ll need to apply for a new one online, 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 long, you'll need to bring your log book — make sure it's up to date!.

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:

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

Proof of insurance

Make sure you’ve got your policy documents with you. It’s probably worth printing out a paper copy, just to be safe.

Trailer registration

Certain trailers will need to be registered before you take them into the EU. 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.

You might need some extra safety equipment

Some EU countries legally require drivers to carry certain safety equipment in their vehicle at all times. These could include:

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

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 you have:

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

An IDP costs around £5.50 from the Post Office, and you'll need to be over 18 and have a full UK driving licence to apply.

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 GOV.UK.

Oh, and don’t forget your passport.

You might still need a Green Card to drive in non-EU countries.

UK drivers still need to get a Green Card to drive in some non-EU countries.

Last time we checked, these were:

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • Moldova
  • Azerbaijan
  • Iran
  • Turkey
  • Tunisia
  • Morocco

But rules can change — so definitely check before you travel.

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. 🚫

Radically better insurance with comprehensive European cover

We’ve created a new type of pay-monthly insurance with no deposits, interest, or cancellation fees.

With a Cuvva subscription, you get 60 days of comprehensive EU cover each year, as standard.

And with smart pricing, you could save up to ⅓ on your insurance each month.

Interested? Get a quote today.

Updated on 16th September 2021