Unless a new agreement is reached, there are less than five weeks to go until the UK leaves the EU without a deal on Friday 29th March. Of course, recent updates suggest there might be a delay to our departure from the EU but, for the time being, the countdown is on.
While there are many questions still unanswered, there are a couple of things that we know will change immediately – one of those is travel.
Can I drive in Europe after Brexit?
Yes, you can still drive in Europe after the UK leaves the EU. However, if you plan to drive a car which is registered in the UK, whether it’s your own car, a company car or a rental car, you will need to obtain a Green Card. This was the arrangement before the UK joined the EU in 1973, so it will be familiar to some drivers. A Green Card is evidence of your vehicle insurance, and is free of charge. They are issued by insurers so, when you are organising EU cover for your vehicle, your insurer will send you your card. Our advice is to arrange your cover as soon as possible, so there is no delay in receiving your Green Card. This will be important if you have plans to travel abroad for Easter, for example.
Please note: if you are travelling to the EU before March 29th and will still be there, driving a UK registered vehicle after March 29th, you need to arrange adequate insurance before you leave so that you have your Green Card when you need it.
If you are travelling into Europe by other forms of transport such as plane, train or ferry, and rent a car upon arrival you do not need a Green Card. You will, of course, still need to insure the vehicle in the same way that you do now.
How much is a Green Card?
The cards themselves are free, although you might incur a small admin charge.
Can I travel within Ireland?
As highlighted by Huw Evans, Director General of the Association of British Insurers, if you live in the UK (which includes Northern Ireland) and plan to drive to the Republic of Ireland on or after March 29th, you will need a Green Card.
Is my passport still valid?
Another big change, and something you must check before you travel, is that your passport has at least six months left before your date of arrival. This rule applies to both adult and child passports. There will also be changes to the pet passport system. However, these are currently unknown so it’s best to speak to your insurer or broker directly.
Do I need different travel insurance?
Once the UK leaves the EU, European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will no longer be valid. Do not rely upon your EHIC – arranging your own travel insurance is essential.
What happens if we arrange a deal with the EU?
Everything stated in this article is valid in the situation that the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Therefore, the information here could become invalid should that change.
Who can I speak to if I need help with my travel insurance?
S-Tech are part of the Alan Boswell Group, one of the UK’s largest independent insurance brokers, and we’re able to guide you through a wide range of individual and commercial policies. If you would like help arranging travel insurance or EU car insurance, please get in touch.