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Can I drive my car in Europe after Brexit?

Every day, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union dominates the news agenda. With the continued uncertainty about a deal with the European Union, it is hard for people to know whether they’ll be able to do certain things in the future. This article should help separate what’s certain from what’s unknown.

As negotiations between Westminster and Brussels continue, there’s a lot of information reported about what is or is not agreed. However, it is important to note that nothing has been formally agreed until all sides have approved of plans.

At present, if you have a motor insurance policy that allows you to drive within the EU, this will remain unchanged until the date we leave the EU. So, if you’re planning a trip that is completed before that date, nothing changes for you.

For those who are planning to drive in the EU after that date, including those whose trip begins before Brexit, but will still be abroad after it, the picture is less certain.

Green Cards

On the basis that there is still not a deal agreed, guidance from the Association of British Insurers and other organisations is that drivers should be prepared to have a Green Card when driving abroad after we leave the EU. These are certificates that prove you are suitably insured and it is important that you take a physical copy with you when you travel as digital copies are not currently acceptable. If you’ve driven to places like Switzerland or Russia, you’ll have received one of these certificates before.

The issuing of Green Cards does not affect your premium unless, in having the card issued, you change your type or level of cover. A reasonable administration fee may be charged. You can learn more about the Green Card system on the Motor Insurers Bureau website.

Do I need to apply for a Green Card now?

The process of issuing Green Cards for driving in the EU is currently being developed. However the guidance in the interim is that you should notify your insurer if you intend to drive abroad one month before travel.

Can I drive using my UK driving licence?

No. After we leave the European Union, when driving in the EU, you may need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) in some countries if an alternative agreement is not reached between the UK Government and the European Union. There are two types of IDP required by EU countries, each governed by a separate United Nations convention.

IDPs cost £5.50 and are available from the Post Office.

But remember to take your UK driving licence with you when driving in the EU as you will need this as well as the relevant IDP. More information about the requirements can be found on the Department for Transport website.

Please visit our dedicated Driving in Europe page for more information on what you may need to do after Brexit.