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Driving in Europe from 1st January 2021

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The United Kingdom stopped being a member of the European Union on the 31st January 2020. Until the end of 2020 this year, the old rules on for travel in the EU still applied. However, new rules will take effect from the 1st January 2021, including the documents you’ll need to carry when driving in Europe. Please see below for more information about this. Here’s what you need to know.

Transition period

As the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) is in transition until 31st December 2020, there won’t be a need for Green Cards for any customers travelling outside of the UK with their vehicle before this date.

No-Deal Brexit

With the above deadline fast approaching without an agreement in place, there is an increasing possibility of a ‘no-deal’ or ‘hard’ Brexit.

In this instance, motorists will need to ensure they are carrying a physical Green Card (International Certificate of Motor Insurance) while driving in any EU country, as well as in Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Serbia and Andorra.

Green Cards are not currently required for travel from the UK to these countries until 1st January 2021.

It is important to note that where a trailer or caravan is being towed, a separate Green Card is required for the towing vehicle and the trailer/caravan, so two Green Cards will be required whenever a trailer or caravan is being towed.


There is no change to the cover provided so if your policy provides full cover in any of these countries, that will continue to be the case.

All UK motor policies, as required by road traffic legislation, provide the minimum cover necessary whilst driving in the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Serbia and Andorra. This will also continue to be the case.

How can you obtain a Green Card?

If you intend to travel outside of the UK after this date and therefore require a Green Card, please let us know as soon as you can, bear in mind some insurers are asking for 30 days’ notice. We will also need the information listed below:

Once we have this information, we will then be able to arrange for the issue of a Green Card to you.

***Please note that as of July 2020, there is no longer a requirement for Green Cards to be printed on green paper and can now be printed on white paper with plain black text ***

Some of our insurers have the capability to email the green card as a PDF so you can print it out yourself, which will speed up the process. Please check with your handler if your insurer is currently able to do this. Alternatively, we can issue it in the post for you.

Keep up to date

These guidelines will be reviewed by us regularly and the advice above may change depending on further information regarding whether the UK will still be able to benefit from the ‘Green Card-free zone’. This is of course dependent on the contents of any Brexit agreement once in place.

We will continue to monitor the situation and cascade this information onto our clients so we can keep you up to date.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries regarding this.

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Dunsby Associates Insurance Brokers Limited
4th Floor
New Oxford House
16 Waterloo Street
B2 5UG
0121 631 3051