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Driving abroad after Brexit

Last updated: 28/02/2022

This information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge at point of publishing – you can stay up-to-date with the latest Brexit news by visiting the government website.

If you drive abroad regularly - either for business or leisure – now’s a good time to get to grips with what you’ll need to take with you now that the Brexit transition period has ended as of 01 January 2021.

Read on to find out more about what documents you’ll need to drive abroad in a post-Brexit world, as well as some tips on what might be handy to have in the car for your trip.

What are the rules for driving abroad after Brexit?

To drive in the EU and EEA, you will need:

  • Your driving licence and vehicle registration documents, such as your V5C logbook or a VE103 for a hired or leased vehicle. There are a few exceptions for those who only have a paper licence. You can find further guidance for people in these groups here.

  • A sticker for the rear of your car (read more about what type of sticker you need depending on where you’re going here).

  • An International Driving Permit (IDP) - but only to drive in some EU countries under certain circumstances. Find out whether you need an IDP here. This can be purchased from the Post Office. You will need to be over the age of 18 to apply. Whether you need an IPD will depend on the country you’re visiting and whether or not you have a driving licence issued in the UK.

  • Proof of insurance – i.e. a ‘green card’ (you can find out more about this below). Remember, without the right documentation drivers can be denied entry at the country borders, fined for not having the correct insurance or even have their car seized.

Find a full list of countries and the relevant IPD rules here.

Quick tip: Review your existing breakdown cover (or take out standalone European breakdown cover) to avoid unexpected expenses should you encounter car trouble abroad.

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What is a green card?

A ‘green card’ is an international insurance certificate which proves that your UK car insurance policy provides you with the minimum compulsory insurance cover required by the law of the country you’re visiting. You should check whether you need to carry a green card if you’re taking your car outside of the EU.

If you’ll be towing a trailer or caravan, you’ll need a green card for both the towing vehicle and the trailer / caravan (you may also need separate trailer insurance in some countries).

If you have fleet insurance, you’ll need a separate green card for each vehicle.

How do I get a green card?

If requested, your car insurance provider will provide you with a green card , as long as your policy covers you to drive in that country. They will usually charge a small fee for this service.

Remember to apply for your green card plenty of time in advance.

If you have car insurance with Endsleigh and need a green card, you'll need to get in touch to request one 4 weeks before you're due to travel (the government recommend at least six weeks’ notice). This is so you leave enough time for your green card request to be processed, printed and posted, and to allow for any potential issues issuing the card.

Please note: From 2nd August 2021, a green card will no longer be legally required for travel to the EU. However, we can still provide one if you would prefer to take one

What about NI residents wishing to travel after Brexit?

As of August 2021, customers living in Northern Ireland will no longer need a green card if they wish to regularly travel across the border into the Republic of Ireland (or to the rest of the EU).

What else might I need to drive abroad after Brexit?

Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may also need to take the following items:

  • Additional safety equipment, such as a reflective jacket or warning triangle.
  • Emission stickers
  • Headlight converter stickers (for driving in Belgium or France)
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Breathalyser/alcohol test
  • Spare headlight bulbs
  • A tailored driving playlist including all your favorite tracks (this is essential)

Driving abroad but still not sure what to take? Check out RAC’s driving advice for every country in Europe.

Quick tip: A translation book could not only come in handy in shops and cafes, but may also be useful if you happen to break down or get involved in an accident.

Car insurance with Endsleigh

If you’ve found yourself ready to take out new car insurance, you’re in the right place. To compare prices from over 60 providers and get all your quotes in one place, check out Endsleigh Compare today.

Learn more about car insurance or get a quote.


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