Can UK Drivers Still Drive in the EU Using Their UK License?
One of the most common questions that Brits travelling to the EU have is whether or not they can drive there on their UK licence. Fortunately, despite Brexit, the answer is nice and simple.
Do I Need a Separate Licence to Drive in Europe?
In short, no, you don’t. You will need to request a green card from your insurer, but you can drive throughout the EU on your UK driving licence. Of course, the UK has left the EU officially now, but is still in the so-called ‘transition period.’ For the duration of this transition period, things will largely continue as they did while the UK was a full EU member. No one knows for sure what will happen after December 31, 2020, but there are no indications of an impending change so far.
According to the UK government website, any vehicle insurance that is valid in the UK will also provide the minimum of third party cover while driving in EU countries. Whether you have a standard car insurance package, or you have chosen a specific type of insurance like young driver insurance, you can be confident that you will be able to drive legally throughout the EU. This means that you don’t need to choose a special type of insurance just because you plan on driving in the EU at some point.
What is a Car Insurance Green Card?
A green card is a document issued by your insurer to certify that your insurance is up to date. This green card will be accepted by authorities across the EU as proof of your ability to drive. Not every EU nation requires a green card; in fact, most don’t. However, in the absence of a proper deal with the EU, a green card will be needed to drive in any EU nation.
For residents of Northern Ireland, a green card will almost certainly be needed to drive in the Irish Republic but, again, no one knows for sure right now.
Obtaining a Green Card
Green cards are not issued automatically; you have to apply for one specifically. Your insurer can issue you with a green card and the process should be simple and straightforward. However, you are advised to complete your application at least a month in advance of your travel date.
Also, bear in mind that many insurers will charge an administration fee to process your application. This changes from provider to provider.
Check Your Policy
As the UK government website says, a UK insurance policy will provide you with the minimum level of third-party cover while in the EU. However, just because your policy is comprehensive in the UK, that doesn’t mean you will get the same while in the EU.
If you can drive legally in the UK, then you can also drive in most of the EU. However, you should check the specific requirements for the country that you are visiting to be sure.