UK motorists have been warned to take action or risk breaking the law on car insurance in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has said that if no agreement is reached, drivers will have to act quickly to ensure they have a Green Card to prove they have insurance.
Currently, all UK drivers with insurance are automatically covered to drive in all the countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland. As part of a Green Card-free circulation area, drivers are not required to carry proof of this cover.
The ABI has warned that although an agreement between European insurance authorities was made in May 2018 to waive the need for Green Cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit, this has not been confirmed by the European Commission.
That means UK drivers heading to Europe, including those moving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, need to carry a Green Card as proof of insurance. Without a Green Card, you would have to purchase local insurance in the country you are entering, also known as frontier insurance, or face being fined or stopped from driving in that country.
You won’t, however, need any additional or different insurance.
Who will be affected
- People who drive across the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border.
- Anyone planning to take their vehicle to Europe e.g. a family planning a holiday to France in the Easter holidays.
- Any freight company planning to transport goods into the EU after 29 March.
You can already request a Green Card from your insurance provider free of charge, but the ABI has said drivers should apply for one at least a month before they travel.
Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, commented: “As it looks increasingly possible that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may happen, we want all insurance customers to know the facts about what this means for them.
“If you live in Northern Ireland and drive to the Republic of Ireland, or if you plan to drive your vehicle to mainland Europe after a no-deal Brexit, you will need a Green Card to prove you are insured. You should contact your insurer before you travel in order to get one. This advice applies to businesses as well as individuals.”
The ABI’s warning comes on the heels of news that UK citizens living in Europe may have to resit their driving test and amid a warning from the Government that all UK visitors to Europe may require extra documentation in order to drive there.