If you are planning to travel to Europe by car after 1st January 2021 there are
important changes you need to be aware of. You are responsible for making sure
you have the acceptable evidence of your vehicle insurance each time you enter a
There is uncertainty as to whether the UK will negotiate a withdrawal agreement. If there is a no-deal Brexit, UK motorists driving in the EU will need physical proof of their motor insurance when entering an EU country. This is proof is called a Green Card.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is an internationally recognised insurance document proving you have
the minimum level of insurance cover to drive in that country. This minimal level
is to cover third party property damage and personal injury in countries that are
part of the Green Card system. It is not evidence of your full policy cover.
The Green Card must be printed by you* and carried with you when traveling abroad. You cannot show an electronic copy as a substitute as this will not be accepted in the countries your travel to.
How to order a Green Card from Hedgehog
We need to know the dates of travel ‘From and to’ and the list of countries you plan
to drive through. We will then send you an electronic copy of the Green Card for you
to print*. There is no cost for a Green Card.
You can order a Green Card from Hedgehog in the following ways:
- Email us with ‘Green Card’ as your subject, the travel dates, and countries you plan to visit via [email protected].
- Use the online chat option on our website.
*We recommend printing your Green Card onto green paper as some border checkpoints may expect the document to still be on green paper.
When should I order my Green Card?
You must order your Green Card before you travel. We recommend giving us 7 working days’ notice before the date you are leaving. This is to make sure you get your Green Card from us in time for you to print it.
What happens if I do not have a Green Card?
You may be refused entry to the country or be accused of driving without insurance. This could lead to a significant fine, your vehicle seized, or prosecution. It is your responsibility to make sure you can evidence you are correctly insured. This would not be covered by Hedgehog.
Countries requiring a Green Card
It is possible you will need a Green Card to drive in the following countries after 31 December 2020:
- Countries in the European Union (EU)
- Countries in the European Economic Area (EEA)
We will not extend cover to other countries.
Can I print my Green card on white paper?
Yes. The Green Card will be valid printed in black text on plain white paper. The
information must be clear and readable, set out in a vertical (portrait) or horizontal
(landscape) format. The acceptable size of paper is a maximum of A4 to a minimum of A6.
The back page should be blank.
We recommend printing on green card with black text as this may be expected by some border checkpoint personnel.
My insurance policy – Cover in Europe and Brexit
You will still be covered for up to 90 days in the countries listed in your Hedgehog
Insurance Policy Wording (Section 9 Using your car abroad).
Although talks are ongoing between the UK and EU during the Brexit transition phase, there is an increased chance you may need a Green Card to drive abroad after 31 December 2020. This page will be updated as we know more so please check your documentation and this page before you leave. Up to date information is also available at https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad.
If your policy is due to expire while you are travelling
You will need valid Green Cards that reflect the policy cover dates. If you switch to a new insurer at renewal you will need a Green Card from them for the renewal date onward. We strongly recommend confirming the renewal of your insurance and organise the respective Green Cards for each policy in as much time before you travel as you can.
Towing a trailer or caravan
You will need a separate green card for the trailer. Some EEA and EU countries require a separate Green Card as proof of insurance for your trailer, including caravans. If you are traveling with a trailer, contact us to get two Green Cards: one for the towing vehicle, and one for the trailer.
Other important information to consider when driving abroad
Your driving licence
The rules for driving licences are also changing. You may need one or more International Driving Permits (IDP), although you do not need an IDP for the Republic of Ireland. Whether you need an IDP will depend on the kind of UK licence you have. The countries you will be driving in, and for how long you will be visiting. IDPs can be obtained from the Post Office, and currently cost £5.50 each. You can find out more here (https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit).
European Accident Statement form
This form has many different names, e.g., it is known as a "constat amiable" in France and a "DAA" in Spain. It is not a legal requirement, but it is sensible to print one-off and take it with you, as completing it is standard practice in many countries, and it will ensure you understand what the questions are since the format is identical regardless of language.
The UK Government have a webpage with advice that is country specific and you can sign up for updates here (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu-after-brexit).