Changes to European Driving Rules that UK
motorists must be aware of
Following Brexit, UK drivers were required to carry a “Green Card” (an International Motor Insurance Certificate) when driving in Europe. This document, issued by the motor insurance providers, certifies that the holder has sufficient motor insurance cover to allow them to legally drive in the country that they are visiting.
Motorists in Northern Ireland were particularly inconvenienced when the protocol was introduced, as it meant they were required to apply for, carry and present the Green Card when crossing the border into the adjoining Republic of Ireland.
On 30 June 2021, the European Commission announced that, with effect from 2nd August 2021, this would no longer be the case. The announcement stated that the UK would be able to participate in the Green Card Free Circulation Area (GCFCA), which consists of all 30 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, as well as Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland.
UK drivers will still be required to obtain a Green Card, for the period to 2nd August 2021. Failure to present this documentation upon request, can result in fines, prosecution or having your car impounded.
Holidaymakers and business travelers alike can breathe a sigh of relief, as they can scratch one more thing off their pre-travel to do list.
However, whilst this is welcome news, it may take time for processes to be updated across Europe, especially at borders and ports. To better manage the transition, some insurers, such as Aviva and NIG, will continue to issue Green Cards until 2 September, 2021, to ensure that news of the agreement has filtered through to European border crossings and road policing authorities. Talk to your usual Towergate broker if you have any concerns.