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UK motorists wanting to drive in EU ‘will need green card’ if no-deal becomes reality



Millions of British motorists hoping to drive in the EU will need a “green card” to do so as the UK approaches the “increasingly possible” event of a “no-deal” Brexit, insurance firms have warned.

Those wanting to use their vehicles in the continent – or cross the Irish border – have been advised to arrange the extra documentation if the UK crashes out of the European bloc on 29 March.

Insurers are advising holidaymakers and businesses to contact their providers about a month before they plan to travel to obtain the correct papers.

They said the same rules would apply to those from the European Economic Area (EEA) wanting to drive in the UK.

The director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Huw Evans, said: “As it looks increasingly possible that a no-deal Brexit may happen, we want all insurance customers to know the facts about what this means for them.

Insurers are advising drivers to contact their providers about a month before they travel to obtain the correct papers
Insurers are advising drivers to obtain the correct papers before travelling

“If you live in Northern Ireland and drive to the Republic of Ireland, or if you plan to drive your vehicle to mainland Europe after a no-deal Brexit, you will need a green card to prove you are insured.

“You should contact your insurer before you travel in order to get one. This advice applies to businesses as well as individuals.”

Britain had made an arrangement with European insurance authorities in May last year to waive the need for Green Cards in a no-deal scenario.

But the European Commission has not yet ratified the agreement.

At the moment, there is a green card-free circulation area which covers the EEA, as well as Andorra, Switzerland and Serbia.

Border checks for the document – which acts as proof of third-party motor insurance – are not enforced within the area.

But things could soon change for British drivers.

In September, last year, the Department for Transport (DfT) said the green cards would be issued for free – despite the possibility of insurance firms increasing administration fees to make up losses.

Businesses with fleet insurance would need a card for each individual vehicle.

Those who are hoping to take a trailer to countries that require separate insurance for them will need a separate green card for their trailer too.

Without the correct papers, drivers would have to be covered by third-party insurance bought in the country they are visiting.

Drivers may not be able to drive at all without the green card and could be fined too.

Mr Evans warned a no-deal situation would be “bad for the economy and bad for our customers” and urged the government and the EU27 to “agree an orderly way forward”.

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