Taking Your Car Overseas After The 1st January 2021?

Higos Motor News!

Given the current travel restrictions, whilst driving your car abroad may seem like a wishful thought it is important to note that on the 31st January 2020 the UK formally left the European Union (EU) and entered a transition period which ends on 31 December 2020. As of 1st January 2021 the requirements for driving in the EU will change.   

Why might a Green Card be necessary when taking your car overseas on or after 1st January 2021. 

You may need a green card to show you’re covered for some countries. Contact us in advance of your travel date if you are looking to drive your car overseas on or after 1st January 2021.

What is a greencard?

A Green Card is a European Economic Area (EEA) certificate of insurance which provides motorists with evidence of the minimum level of compulsory motor insurance required by the law of the EEA country in which travel will take place.

Where travel is not included in any trade agreement, after 31 December 2020 , UK motorists driving all classes of vehicles, both privately owned and those within a company's fleet will need to carry a Green Card as proof of third-party motor insurance cover. 

A physical copy of a Green Card will be necessary when travelling in Europe as digital copies are not currently accepted. Green Cards need to be applied for at least a month before travel. If you are planning on driving on or after 1st January 2021 in Europe please contact us as early as possible. 

What happens if I drive without a green card?

Driving without a Green Card could lead to your vehicle could be seized and you facing a fine and/or the risk of prosecution.

Why you should check your insurance if you’re taking your own vehicle.

Your UK vehicle insurance gives you a minimum of third party cover to drive your vehicle in EU countries. Check with us to ensure your policy covers things like theft or damage.

Towing your trailer or caravan abroad.

Check if you need to register your trailer before you can take it abroad. Some countries may also require separate insurance for trailers, so a separate Green Card may also be required for a trailer.

Do you need an International Driving Permit (IDP) ? 

Check before you drive in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein – you could be fined or your vehicle could be seized if you drive without the correct documents.

Additional important requirements.

There is still some uncertainty so we strongly recommend you monitor guidance issued from the Government for driving abroad as things could still change, depending upon the terms of the UK's future relationship with the EU.

Additional driving abroad checklist. 

  • Put a GB sticker on the back of your vehicle if it's registered in the UK, even if your number plate already shows GB with a Euro symbol. You could get a fine if you do not have a GB sticker when you need one.

  • You need to take your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence with you so check yours is still valid and renew your driving licence online if it’s expired or about to expire.

  • If you are taking your own vehicle you will need to take log book (V5C) and your insurance certificate.

  • If you’re taking a vehicle abroad that you’ve hired or leased in the UK, you’ll need a VE103 certificate.

  • Check the overseas driving rules - Make sure you follow overseas driving rules, including local speed limits and drink driving laws. You may be breaking the law and get a fine if you do not.

Depending on the country you’re visiting you may need:

  • Additional equipment – eg : reflective jacket and a warning triangle in many countries, emission stickers (permits) in some European cities - you may need to buy these weeks before you go abroad.

  • Headlight converter stickers.

  • Hiring a car abroad

  • The hire company may request your driving licence information when you pick up the car. You can share this by getting a licence ‘check code’ and can do this up to 21 days before you travel.

  • If you’re hiring a car, insurance is included. Check what you’re covered for with the hire company.

More comprehensive information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad

We will continue to update you as and when things change.


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