Green light for hassle-free, post-Brexit driving in EU

UK drivers and hauliers should not have to apply or pay for Green Card documentation from insurers when they travel in an EU member state after Brexit, the Department for Transport has confirmed. 

Following representations from the ABI, Motor Insurers Bureau and BIBA over the last 18 months, senior officials at the DfT wrote to the ABI last month stating that the Government has formally decided to keep the UK within the Motor Insurance ‘Free Circulation Zone'.  

The Association of British Insurers believes this is a significant development which means that drivers, haulage operators and insurers will not face the considerable administrative disruption associated with issuing Green Cards or having to face border checks.

The decision is now subject to formal approval by the European Commission, which needs to confirm an introductory date.  However, as the Department for Transport has secured the agreement of the Council of Bureau (the organisation that administers the international Green Card system) and has confirmed its ability to meet any cross-border claims involving UK drivers and haulage operators, the Commission’s role is only to confirm the timescales.  The ABI therefore expects the Commission to issue this confirmation.

“This is good news for drivers and haulage operators who no longer face the prospect of doing reams of paperwork and paying admin charges every time they get on a ferry to Europe,” Huw Evans, Director General of the ABI, said.  “I look forward to the Commission concluding the formalities as soon as possible."

As a result of this decision, the UK’s status within the Green Card system will effectively be the same as three other non-EU member states who are part of the Free Circulation Zone – Serbia, Switzerland and Andorra – where drivers can enter the EU using their domestic motor insurance policy and do not need any additional documentation.  The same will apply for any drivers and haulage operators from these countries who bring a vehicle to the UK.