Driving in Europe after Brexit: What you need to know

Please read below if you plan to take your vehicle outside of the UK after we leave the EU.

As we move closer to 12th April with no definitive Brexit plan, we felt it was important to contact you to explain what you need to consider should the UK leave with no deal.

Currently, UK driving licences may be used to drive anywhere in the EEA (this is the EU, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). However, if you intend to travel outside the UK after 12th April, you will need additional paperwork to ensure you’re covered.

To illustrate the various scenarios, we have created the following table for you to consider.

Travelling outside the UK…Green Card needed?International Driving Permit (IDP) needed?
… but returning before 12th April?NoNo
… but returning after 12th AprilYesYes
… after 12th AprilYesYes

What is a Green Card?

Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that a motorist has the necessary minimum third-party motor insurance cover for driving in the country they are visiting.

Don’t leave it too late. If you determine you require a Green Card (see table above), it must be issued and valid from either the 12th April, or from the date of travel, whichever occurs first. You should allow enough time for your insurer to process your request and if required, to post your Green Card document. This may also mean there is a small administrative charge associated.

What is an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

An IDP is as it sounds – a permit that allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence alone is not sufficient. They are valid for one year from inception and are recommended or required in over 140 countries. For the purposes of Brexit, there are three types of IDP, depending on the country you will be travelling in:

CountryIDP Required
Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus1949
All other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland1968

You may also need to purchase more than one IDP, depending on your travel plans. For example, if you cross the channel to France, then drive into Spain, you will need both the 1949 and 1968 permits.

International Driving Permits cost £5.50 each and can be purchased from a participating Post Office. You can check on an individual country here, and whether your local office provides them by clicking here.

Call us on 01484 970 500
to discuss your requirements

What if I am hiring a car?

Whether you are driving your own car or hiring a car, these rules will apply. Do check with the rental company first, however.

Do I need anything else?

If you are travelling outside of the UK, you will need to make sure you have the following with you:

  • Valid UK Driving Licence
  • Proof of motor insurance
  • Proof of vehicle ownership if applicable (V5C Certificate)
  • Green Card
  • Appropriate International Driving Permit(s)

In certain countries, you are also required to have other items with you. For example, in France you must always carry the following: warning triangle, reflective jackets, GB sticker and breathalyser kits.

Further considerations

Aside from the motor insurance and documentation required for trips after 29th March, you may want to consider additional protection from the following, all of which we can help you arrange.

Breakdown Cover

We can provide comprehensive breakdown cover (including EU travel) for as little as £73.

Collision damage waiver

If you hire a car to travel, there will likely be a large excess to pay in the event of a collision. A Collision Damage Waiver will cover this excess, leaving you financially better off. This type of cover can be rather expensive – give us a call to see how much you can save.

Travel Insurance

With no clear decision on whether EU countries will honour the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) post-Brexit, it is in your best interests to arrange separate travel insurance. Call us now for a 1-2-1 discussion with a personal advisor, who will help you put together a policy based on your individual needs.

Call us on 01484 970 500
to arrange cover

Information valid at point of publishing (25th March 2019).

To ensure you receive the most up to date information, please contact your insurer/broker directly.