• Bluedrop Blogs and Guides

  • Bluedrop Insurance Blog
  • Do I need a green card to drive in Europe?


    If you're planning on taking a British registered vehicle into an EU member state, it's vital to check the local regulations for all countries you'll be driving through to ensure you have the correct documentation and insurance provisions for every aspect of your journey. Many people ask, do I need a green card to drive in Europe?

    Here, we breakdown the key information British vehicle owners need to be aware of if your planned driving route takes you into a European country.

    Some aspects of these rules have changed from those first publicised after the UK left the EU, including the need for a green card in certain countries.

    On this page you'll find the most-up-to-date information concerning the use of green cards in Europe, including when a green card is needed and in what circumstances you may be asked to show a valid green card for your journey.

    What is a green card?

    A green card is an internationally accepted travel document, supplied by your vehicle insurer, that proves you have the correct levels of insurance needed to drive your car outside of Britain.

    Who needs to carry a green card?

    After Brexit, a green card become a mandatory requirement for all drivers entering European member states from the UK in their own vehicles, with drivers expressly encouraged to seek this from their insurance company a good 6-8 weeks ahead of travel into Europe.

    This green card would need to be provided in the event you were stopped by authorities, for instance, if your vehicle was involved in an accident whilst abroad in the EU. It was also commonly requested at borders when crossing into an EU country overland in your vehicle.

    When is more than one green card needed?

    In some cases, multiple green cards are necessary for travel in Europe. You'll be required to have more than one green card if you're towing a trailer, caravan, or similar, or if different legs of your journey are insured under different policies. Extra green cards are also needed if more than one vehicle is insured on a single policy (for example a fleet insurance policy).

    However, the rules surrounding green cards are now different from what they were when Britain first left the EU, which means that green cards are no longer needed in all parts of Europe.

    What are the rules now in relation to green cards to drive in Europe?

    If you made a journey into a European member state in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, your insurer likely made you aware of the need to carry a green card as proof that you had the necessary vehicle insurance required to drive your car overseas.

    While this initially applied as a blanket rule to Brits taking their car into any part of Europe, the rules surrounding green cards have seen been updated and downgraded. This change came into effect on 2 August 2021.

    To that end, the Government now states that a green card is no longer required if you're planning on driving a British registered vehicle in the EU. This also extends to Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland.

    Are there still countries where a green card is needed?

    Yes. While Europe may have eased its stance on green cards for now, there are still some countries where it may be necessary to travel with a physical green card on your person.

    At the time of writing, these countries consist of: Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

    If you're planning a route through these nations within a UK registered vehicle, you're well advised to speak with your insurer in plenty of time ahead of travel in order to ensure you have the correct insurance levels and necessary paperwork as proof of your policy.

    Does my UK vehicle insurance cover me to drive in Europe?

    It depends on your policy, your insurer, and where in Europe you plan to visit.

    Some policies do cover you for up to 30-days in select European countries, so as a first point of reference you should check any policy wording in relation to using your vehicle outside of Britain.

    It's also strongly encouraged that you make your insurer aware of your travel plans in advance of setting off on your journey. This is the best way to ascertain whether you have sufficient cover in place for the county or countries you wish to visit on your travels.

    If you do take your vehicle abroad and you fail to disclose this to your insurer, there's a very real risk that you may void your policy, leaving you uninsured. Having an open dialogue with your insurer about your travel plans is the only surefire way to mitigate that risk and obtain the assurance that you have the appropriate protection in place should the worst happen. 

    Want to find out more about Bluedrop's Fleet Insurance?
    Return to blog menu