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European car insurance

Levels of cover

Many people who head to France and the Continent believe that the level of car insurance they currently enjoy in the UK automatically extends to driving within Europe. This is not necessarily the case. A large number of car insurers only provide the minimum cover required by law in the country you're driving in. So if you have fully comprehensive insurance in the UK, this does not necessarily mean you'll have fully Comprehensive cover in France - more likely Third Party Fire and Theft (which covers damage to other vehicles but not your own). This could prove to be an expensive shock should you be involved in an accident.

Do I need a green card?

Green cards may be issued by your car insurance company if you are travelling abroad. A green card is simply a document which guarantees a driver has the necessary third party insurance to travel in Europe. However, it is not mandatory when crossing borders within the European Union - unless there is a no deal Brexit. The Green card by itself does not offer insurance cover, but it is a widely recognised document which proves that the minimum legal requirements for 3rd party liability insurance in any country for which the Green Card is valid are covered by the insured's own motor policy. When travelling within the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland, the advantage of the Green Card is simply that it is more widely recognised than a UK motor insurance certificate. Regardless of whether your European car insurance is provided by the same company that provides your UK car insurance, or you have obtained a separate single trip policy, ask if they will be issuing a Green Card. Always ensure that you take your UK motor insurance certificate and log book with you as well.

Green card for no deal Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit, a green card will be mandatory in France and Belgium and other EU countries and you should contact your insurer to request one at least one month before you travel. Travelling without one could result in a fine, prosecution, or impounding of your vehicle.