Driving in Europe after Brexit
07 December 2020

Be Prepared for Driving in Europe after Brexit

updated 30 July 2021

As you will be aware the United Kingdom has left the UK and transition period has ended. This means there are implications if you’re driving aboard. From 1 January 2021 to drive your vehicle in Europe you will need 

  • a green card, as proof of insurance, and 
  • to display a GB sticker 

Green Cards

What is changing?

The Department of Transport says UK motorists should carry ‘Green Cards’ as proof of insurance cover when driving in the EU, EEA, Switzerland, Serbia and Andorra from 1 January 2021 to until 1 August 2021, including in Ireland.

From 2 August 2021 you will not need a green card to drive in these countries.

The rules on Green Cards have changed as they no longer need to be printed on green paper. 

What you need to do

Firstly, you should contact your Motor Insurance provider 6 weeks before travel to get a Green Card, if you’re planning to travel in Europe. (Your insurer may charge an administrative fee for issuing a Green Card.)

You will need to print out your Green Cards or request a physical copy from your insurer before travelling.  Green Cards will not be accepted in an electronic format, so you must have a paper copy. 

You will need to carry multiple Green Cards if:

  1. Your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan. You need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer / caravan, as you need separate trailer insurance in some countries.
  2. You have 2 policies covering the duration of the trip, for example, if the policy renews during the journey.

If your motor insurance policy is due for renewal during the period of travel, you will need to obtain two Green Cards – one for each policy. If you change insurers, you should ask both your current and your new insurer to provide a Green Card.

The UK Government is working on the UK remaining part of the Green Card-free circulation area but this has not yet been agreed.

GB stickers

What you need to do

You must display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle and trailer when driving outside the UK, including in the EU/EEA.  This applies, even if you currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier under the EU logo.

It is not an offence under Irish law for GB or Northern Ireland registered vehicles to drive in Ireland without a GB sticker attached to the vehicle.

Don’t forget the get the right level of cover abroad

All UK motor insurance policies will continue to provide third-party motor insurance cover for travel to EU and EEA member states, so you’ll not need to purchase additional third-party motor insurance policy cover to meet that country’s minimum insurance requirements.

However you will still need to contact your insurance broker or insurer, if you want the same level of cover as you have in the UK.

Be Brexit Ready

Speak to your motor insurer for a green card for each of your vehicles and trailers, and don’t forget to display your GB stickers when driving abroad.

Further information:

For information published by the FCA for consumers,

visit www.fca.org.uk/consumers/how-brexit-could-affect-you

For information about the possible requirement for an International Driving Permits,

visit www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit


For further Brexit-related advice, go to www.gov.uk/transition