Your guide to driving abroad
Last updated: 07/01/2021
Please note that these rules have been taken directly from the government website, and that this information is correct 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.
Does your car insurance cover me to drive abroad?
We will provide you with 90 days of cover in the countries noted in your policy documents, where you will also find details of any additional benefits that may be extended when driving abroad.
I live in the Channel Islands – can you cover me?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide cover to residents of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. While your policy will cover you to visit the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, some areas require you to have proof of insurance (or a Green Card) on your person in order to drive there.
What documents do I need to drive abroad?
To drive in the EU and EEA from 1 January 2021, 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 (issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or Isle of Man). You can find further guidance for people in these groups here.
- A GB sticker for the rear of your car (unless your number plate has the GB identifier on it (alone, or alongside a union flag). If the GB is next to an EU/England/Scotland/Wales flag, you’ll still need a GB sticker.
- An International Driving Permit (IDP) - but only to drive in some EU countries and Norway. This can be purchased from the Post Office for just £5.50. 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. Find a full list of countries and the relevant IPD rules here.
- Proof of insurance – i.e. a ‘green card’ (you can find out more about this below)
Remember, without the correct documentation drivers can be denied entry at the country borders, fined for not having the correct insurance or even have their car seized.
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.
Your car insurance provider will provide you with a green card to drive in the EU and EEA, as long as your policy covers you to drive in that country. They will usually charge a small fee for this service and you will need a separate green card for trailers/caravans.
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 (although the government recommend at least six weeks’ notice). This is so you leave enough time for your green card request to be processed, printed, posted and also to allow for any potential issues.
What about NI customers?
Customers living in Northern Ireland will need an annual green card if they wish to regularly travel across the border into the Republic of Ireland (or to the rest of the EU).
NI residents won’t need a green card to travel across to England, Scotland and Wales.
These green cards aren’t issued automatically and customers should contact us to request one at least four weeks before they’re due to travel (although the government suggest giving six weeks’ notice).