U K Insurance Logo

How Brexit will affect your car insurance


Who we are

U K Insurance Limited (UKI) was established in 1974 and is an insurer that underwrites policies for many well-known brands. It provides cover for motor, breakdown, home, pet and travel products.

U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited (UKIBS) is a company in the same group that introduces customers to UKI brands for insurance and other products and services.

Introduction

The transition period between the UK and EU ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. Whilst a deal has been agreed, there are still changes to the legal position that means you need to take action when considering travelling outside the UK.

The main change was that you needed a Green Card for any journeys within the EU, although from 2 August 2021 this is no longer the case and no Green Card is now needed for most countries in Europe, including all of those covered by your policy with us. We suggest that you still take one for travel during the month after this date to avoid any inconvenience when you’re abroad. Should you have any questions about this, please contact us. However, if you’ll be towing (e.g. a trailer or caravan), a difference between UK and EU rules means you may still need a Green Card beyond this date.

U K Insurance Logo
  • Q1 What is a Green Card?

    A Green Card is an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary minimum motor insurance cover for driving in the country they’re travelling to.

    From 2 August 2021, unless you’re towing a trailer or caravan, you don’t need a Green Card to travel to any of the following countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 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. We suggest that you still take one for travel during the month after this date to avoid any inconvenience when you’re abroad.

    Please note that a Green Card does not change your cover, it's evidence of the most basic legal minimum cover. If you want to extend this to have the same level of cover you have in the UK, you should contact us to discuss whether you need a foreign use extension, for which there may be a charge. When you buy a foreign use extension this will automatically include a Green Card.

  • Q2 How much is a Green Card?

    We can send you a Green Card for free, but from 2 August 2021, unless you’re towing a trailer or caravan, you no longer need one although we suggest that you still take one for travel during the month after this date to avoid any inconvenience when you’re abroad. If you want to extend the cover you have, e.g. to have comprehensive cover abroad, you should contact us to discuss whether you need a foreign use extension. There may be a charge for this.

  • Q3 How can I contact you if I need to discuss Green Cards?

    You should contact us on the number provided in your policy documents.

    Our lines are open 8am to either 8pm or 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday. The opening times for your brand will be on your policy documents.

  • Q4 What about my driving licence?

    You don’t need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein if you have a photocard driving licence issued in the UK.

    You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have either:

    • a paper driving licence
    • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

    IDPs can be obtained from the Post Office, and currently cost £5.50 each. You can find out more here.

  • Q5 Do I need a European Accident Statement form?

    This form has many different names, e.g. it's known as a "constat amiable" in France and a "DAA" in Spain. It's not a legal requirement but it's sensible to print one off and take it with you, as completing it is standard practice in many countries, and it will ensure you understand what the questions are, since the format is identical regardless of language. We include a form in our foreign use extension pack, or you can download and print one here.

  • Q6 Do I need to do anything with my number plate?

    EU GB number plates will no longer be valid. These are plates with a "GB" country identifier (or other UK variations, e.g. Cymru) surrounded by the EU star design. You’ll need to have a GB sticker or a number plate with the GB identifier on its own or with the Union flag. Please note that you’ll need a GB sticker if your number plate has any of the following:

    • a Euro symbol
    • a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales
    • numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier

    If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta you must display a GB sticker no matter what is on your number plate.

    You can find out more here.

  • Q7 Do I need to know anything else about driving in Europe? Where can I get information?

    You’ll need to take your vehicle log book (V5C) with you, and this must show your most recent address in the UK. There could also be other requirements depending on when you are going and for how long. UK Government advice is here.

  • Q8 What about breakdown cover?

    It's a good idea to speak to your breakdown provider to check you have cover for taking your car to Europe.

  • Q9 Are passport rules changing?

    Yes. Passport validity rules are changing. You can check if you need to update your passport here. Because many passports may now need updating, you should allow extra time. You may also need a visa if you’re planning on travelling to the Schengen Area for more than 90 days in any 180-day period (this could be spread over more than one trip). If this might apply to you, you should check the advice for the country or countries you’re planning on visiting here.

  • Q10 What about health? Can I still use my EHIC?

    The European Health Insurance Card allows holders to get reciprocal healthcare at the same terms as nationals of that country – this doesn't necessarily mean free of charge. EHICs will end at the expiry printed on them (up to 5 years’ validity) and can be replaced with the new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which you can arrange here. Government advice is that it remains very important to buy travel insurance and if you do have any existing medical conditions, it's important to discuss them with your insurer.

    Note that EHIC and GHIC can currently be used in the EU but not Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland, which all used to accept EHIC until the UK left the EU. You can use a UK passport to get medically necessary healthcare in Norway.

  • Q11 I’m planning on taking my dog abroad. Have the rules changed for this?

    The Pet Passport scheme is ending for holders in England, Scotland and Wales but is continuing for holders in Northern Ireland. You can read about this here, and it's a good idea to speak to your vet in good time before you intend to travel, including for trips from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.