The UK left the EU on 1st January 2021, and driving in the EU became a little more complicated, so what do you need to know?


Green Cards

At first we needed Green Cards (also known as an International Motor Insurance Certificate (IMIC)), then we didn’t, and now we mostly don’t. Helpful right?

As of 2nd August 2021 the UK is part of the Green Card Free Circulation Area (GCFCA). This means that Green Cards are no longer required for UK drivers driving in the EU, other than in some circumstances when driving with a trailer, caravan etc attached. We suggest you check government advice [1] before travelling to check if you need a Green Card or not.

If you do need a Green Card for this, you can request one from your insurer.

Have a look at our FAQs for more information on Green Cards.


Driving in the EU: Permits and documents

You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU / EEA if you have a photocard driving license issued in the UK. However, you may need one if you have a paper driving license or a license that was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, please check the government advice here on driving in the EU [2].

Luckily, if you do need one, these only cost £5.50 and are available at post offices on a quick turn-up-and-go basis.


Road accidents in the EU: Making a claim

The UK has well-established relationships with motor insurers in each EU country to help the settlement of claims for any incidents.

UK residents involved in a road accident need to make a claim against either the driver or the insurer in the EU/EEA country where the accident happened. This could mean making the claim in the local language.

As with all incidents, it is still important that you contact your UK insurer as soon as possible.

Please visit the Motor Insurers’ Bureau’s [3] website for more information on driving abroad.


UK vehicle identification: Plates and stickers

There are some situations and countries where you will have to display a GB sticker. If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must display a GB sticker no matter what is on your number plate.

In other EU countries, you do not need a GB sticker if your number plate includes the GB identifier or the Union flag, and you do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in Ireland. But a sticker will be required 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

The GB sticker should be displayed clearly on the rear of your vehicle. For more information on this, please visit the UK government website [4].


Travelling with pets

You can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain for travel to an EU country. You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

When travelling to an EU country, your pet now needs:

  • a microchip
  • a valid rabies vaccination
  • an animal health certificate unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland
  • tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta

These requirements also apply to assistance dogs.

Before travelling, please check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements.

More advice on this can be found on the UK government website for taking your pet abroad [5].


The information on this blog was updated 6th August 2021 and is based on government guidance. Everything on this blog is subject to change so we recommend you keep up to date with the latest government announcements. If you’re our customer and plan to drive in the EU, please contact us if you have any questions – more on our FAQs.