As we are set to leave the EU on the 31st December 2020 the Ryan's team answer your most common questions about how Brexit could effect you and your insurance when travelling abroad, starting with green cards...
If the UK and the EU do not reach an appropriate agreement you will need a green card for any journeys within the EU taking place after the Brexit transition deadline.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal then whilst this doesn't change the cover provided by your insurance policy, there is some important information you will need, if you're planning on driving any UK-registered vehicle in the European Economic Area (EEA) and some other countries (Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland). A list of EEA countries is available here.
What is a green card and which countries require me to have one?
A green card is a certificate which confirms you have the minimum motor insurance cover to drive in that country. You will need a green card if you are visiting any of the following countries...
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
How much is a green card and how do I get one?
Green cards are issued free of charge by insurers, please contact us and we can order one for you. We recommend you order your green card at least two weeks before you are due to travel. If you are travelling shortly, we may be able to email you a copy of your green card, but you must print it and carry a hard copy when you travel. If your policy is due to expire whilst you are away, you will need to contact us before you leave to ensure continuation of cover.
What happens if I don't have a green card? Can I still travel?
After the 31st December 2020 you may be refused entry to a country, if you do not have the relevant paperwork. You could be charged for driving with no insurance and have your vehicle seized.
Do I need to tell my insurer if I am towing a caravan or trailer?
Yes you do, as some countries require you to have a green card for the caravan or trailer as well as your vehicle.
Do I need to change my driving licence?
This depends on the type of licence you have and the countries you are travelling to, you may need an international driving permit, these are issued by the Post Office. You can see if you need one here.
Will I still need a GB sticker?
You will need to display a Great Britain (GB) sticker on the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the vehicle has a number plate with the Euro symbol or a GB national identifier.
What about my passport?
Passports are changing too, with some countries requiring you to have a minimum period left on your passport when you travel, you can check if this effects you here.
What about medical cover abroad, can I still use my EHIC?
From 1 January 2021 you may not be able to use a UK-issued EHIC to access healthcare in Europe, so it is especially important to buy travel insurance before you travel. EHICs issued by other European countries are not affected. You can find out more about EHIC's here.
I'm travelling with an animal, has this changed?
Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) will become a third country from 1 January 2021. In the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are 3 categorisations of third country. Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category Great Britain becomes on 1 January 2021. You can keep up to date with this here.
There is a lot to digest and think about in this period of change, If you are concerned about any other insurance policies you hold or have a question about a trip you have planned, you can visit the Government's website, or give the Ryan's team a call and we will do our best to help you.