Prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit

The UK is set to leave the European Union on March 29th. However, the uncertainty surrounding the deal has caused a lot of confusion, in particular for motorists preparing to drive in the EU.    To help, we have created this short guide to driving in Europe after Brexit.

International driving permits

The official Government website confirms that o­­n 28th March 2019, the type of international driving permit (IDP), recognised by some countries outside the EU, will change.

Consequently, in the event that there is a no EU Exit deal, you may need an IDP in addition to your UK driving licence to drive in EU and EEA countries.­­

Green Card

The Green Card is an international insurance certificate that proves your policy provides the minimum legal cover required. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned that you may be breaking the law if you drive in the EU without one.

An agreement between UK and European insurance authorities was struck last year to waive the need for green cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, the agreement has not yet been approved and the ABI says there’s “no sign” it will be approved by the time we’re set to leave the EU.

You can request one from your insurance company or broker, please ensure you leave enough time for the card to be processed and posted, a minimum of 15 days. There may be a small
administrative charge associated with the provision of Green Card

Please note you won’t need a green card if you’re just hiring a car. If you rent a vehicle abroad then the insurance that comes with it from the rental company should cover you.

Number plates and national identifiers

The official Government website reports that under international conventions, GB is the distinguishing sign to display on UK-registered vehicles when driving outside of the UK.

You can display the distinguishing sign as either a GB sticker or a GB sign on your number plate.

From March 29th, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you may need a GB sticker even if your vehicle has a Euro-plate (a number plate displaying both the EU flag and a GB sign).

However, you will not need a GB sticker to drive outside the UK if you replace a Euro-plate with a number plate that features the GB sign without the EU flag.

Vehicle registration documents

In the event that there is no EU Exit deal, you should continue to carry your vehicle registration documents with you when driving abroad.

This can be either:

  • your vehicle log book (V5C)
  • a VE103 to show you’re allowed to use your hired or leased vehicle abroad

Road traffic accidents in the EU

In the event that there is no EU Exit deal, UK residents involved in a road traffic accident in an EU or EEA country should not expect to be able to make a claim via a UK-based Claims Representative or the UK Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

It may instead be necessary to need to bring a claim against either the driver or the insurer of the vehicle in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened.

In the event of an accident in an EU or EEA country caused by an uninsured or an unknown driver, UK residents may not receive compensation if there is no EU Exit deal. This will vary from country to country.

If involved in a road traffic accident in an EU or EEA country before 29 March, you may need to bring legal proceedings in the UK against either the insurer or the MIB before 29 March. After this date, you may need to bring legal proceedings against either the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle in the EU or EEA instead.

We will provide further advice as soon as the deal has been finalised.

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