New driving rules in Europe since Brexit
As overseas travel restrictions ease, vacationers planning to travel to the continent by car are being made aware of new rules in the post-Brexit world.
Insurance company Admiral warns drivers that they could risk being refused entry at the country’s borders, that they could be fined or even have their vehicle seized for not having the correct documentation which includes now a green card for insurance, their driving license, their vehicle. logbook and – again after Brexit – a GB sticker.
A green card from your insurance company to cover accidents across the Channel is now essential and Admiral recommends allowing at least seven days for your green card to come from your auto insurance company.
Green cards cover travel across the EU and are also required for driving in the Republic of Ireland since Brexit. The advice is to let your insurance company know of any countries you plan to drive in to make sure you are fully covered.
Taking a vehicle abroad without a green card is an offense – the green card is proof that the driver is at least covered by a third party for any injury or damage caused in an accident while driving abroad .
While most green cards are free, some insurers may charge an administration fee, although Admiral said it offered them at no additional cost.
Green cards may not be required if you have a driving license issued by a European country other than the UK.
Travel at the moment is very limited, but it is expected that more countries will be added to the safe “ green ” list, requiring no quarantine on return, as the summer progresses.
But vacationers should also remember to check the requirements of the country they are heading to as well as the UK government requirements for their overseas travel.
The rules of the green card
- You should have a hard copy of your green card with you when you travel – an electronic version on your smartphone or tablet is currently not accepted by authorities.
- You can print it yourself before you leave the UK, but it should be clear and legible.
- It does not need to be printed on green paper – a white paper copy is fine.
- Drivers towing a trailer or caravan will need an additional green card to prove that the towed vehicle is also properly insured.
Other driving rules in Europe in 2021
In addition to arranging a green card before a road trip in Europe, Admiral reminds motorists who take their own vehicle that they must now also obtain a GB sticker, although some countries will be happy if your license plate includes the number plate. ‘GB identifier or the Union flag – but the England flag does not count. This is a new rule that came into play following Brexit.
All GB stickers must be displayed on the back of your car. In some countries it is mandatory regardless of the contents of your license plate, so it is best to check the rules of any countries you will pass through.
Depending on the country you plan to visit, Admiral also reminds vacationers to check whether or not they need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
If you have a UK driver’s license with photocards, you won’t need a displaced person to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. However, if you have a paper driver’s license or a license issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you may need an IDP to drive in certain EU countries and Norway.
Follow the highway code
When driving abroad it is important to know the rules of the road as they may differ slightly from those in the UK. The admiral said overseas driving accidents were quite common.
Clare Egan, Automotive Product Manager at Admiral, said: “We expect many motorists to consider taking their cars rather than flying, once vacations in Europe are possible again.
“The new rules and regulations mean there’s a lot more to think about before you go abroad, and that includes getting a green card if you’re taking your car with you.
“Fortunately, applying for one is easy, but there are other things to remember.
“Make sure you are prepared and have all the necessary protection and documentation before you travel, as the rules have changed since Brexit.
“This will minimize any potential problems you might face at the border and reduce any last minute panics.
“You will need your driver’s license and vehicle registration document in case of an incident.
“It’s also a good idea to take a copy of your auto insurance certificate or have an electronic copy available.
“You will also need to check if you need a GB sticker and an international driver’s license before traveling, so allow plenty of time to organize these additional items.
“The last thing you want to think about is having an accident abroad while driving, but unfortunately it can happen, so it is important to be clear about the rules of the road before traveling and to have all the right documents with you on the road. .
“The rules may have changed since your last trip, so it’s worth taking the time to check before you go.”