Do you need a green card when you take your car out
of the UK to Europe? The answer is strictly no, as long as you are driving in or
through any of the countries in the European Union plus several others;
Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland (incorporating Liechtenstein),
Andorra and Serbia.
COUNTRIES SIGNATORIES TO THE
GREEN CARD AGREEMENT:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus,
Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithunia, Luxembourg, Yes, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
But things are never quite so simple. The green card
is not in itself insurance cover. It is a document recognised in all the participating
countries as proof that your vehicle has been insured to the minimum necessary to
meet the legal requirements of those countries. This requirement is often simply
third party insurance, covering you against a claim for damage you cause to another
Even if you have fully comprehensive cover
in the UK you need to check that this level of cover extends to Europe. Many
insurers will only offer third party cover in Europe, no matter what your cover
in the UK. Many insurers will extend cover to fully comprehensive for Europe, but
only if requested and only for an extra premium. They will also usually impose a
time limit per trip and per total number of days abroad in any one year.
Some insurers will not cover you for driving in Europe
at all, or will only offer the third party minimum. So if driving in Europe is something
you think you might want to do, it's worth checking the position when renewing your
And even those insurers which do offer European cover
will not always provide you with a green card, and if they do there is often a fee
to pay, so again, check when buying.
As stated above, you don't really need a green card
as long as you take your certificate of insurance with you as proof of cover, but
the benefit of a green card is that it is recognised everywhere, whereas your insurance
certificate might only be in English and this could cause problems with some police
forces. Some insurers print a multilingual summary explaining the cover on the reverse
of the certificate, which should be sufficient in most countries.
If you want to take your car
to somewhere outside the area covered by the green card agreement then it is entirely
up to individual insurers as to whether they will offer cover. Most do not and if
they do it will always cost. Bear in mind that cover can be bought at borders and
this can be cheaper than buying from your own insurer.
|Finally, remember that your car insurance
will not cover you for breakdowns (unless as an add-on when you bought the
policy). Even if you have breakdown insurance make sure to check it will
cover you for driving in Europe. If not, we recommend
Breakdown Direct for competitive premiums and an excellent level of
cover and service.
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All information on this page is provided as a service
to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different
countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive
document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot
be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies.
If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please
email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.