No-deal Brexit – Green Card FAQs


If the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement in place, and in the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, you will need to ensure you carry a physical Green Card while driving your vehicle in the European Economic Area (EEA) and some other countries (Andorra and Switzerland). A list of EEA countries is available here.

Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary minimum motor insurance cover for driving in the country being travelled to.

Please note, the below FAQs are only applicable in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

How do I get a Green Card?

Our Online Application for Green Cards is now closed due to the delayed Brexit date. In the meantime a valid Certificate of Insurance will cover you driving in the EU area. In the event of a no-deal Brexit we will be reopening our portal later this year.

Will I still be able to use my insurance to drive in other EU member states after Brexit?  

Yes. Zurich will continue to provide the same motor insurance cover for travel to EEA countries. You will, therefore, not need to purchase additional motor insurance policy cover when travelling to these countries with a UK-registered vehicle. You would continue to hold the same cover that you do now.

What happens to my Green Card if I cancel my policy?

The Green Card will become invalid from the date of cancellation and you should destroy it.

Will I need to carry any documents to prove I have the right insurance cover?  

Yes. A physical copy of your Green Card. Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary third-party motor insurance cover for driving in the country being travelled to. Green Cards are guaranteed through agreements between the countries that issue them. The Green Card acts as a guarantee that the driver’s insurer will honour any claims made against the insurance policy for incidents taking place while they are driving within the EU.

Under current international rules, Green Cards are physical paper documents printed on green paper.

Do I need to carry any additional documents if I am driving with a trailer?

You will need a separate Green Card for your trailer. From the 28th March you will also need to register your trailer with the DVLA. 

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Will there be any additional charges?

No. Zurich is not asking for an administrative charge associated with the provision of Green Card documents.

What happens if I haven’t been sent a Green Card?  

If you are not carrying a Green Card when it is required, then you will not be able to drive legally in an EU member state.

If you do attempt to drive in the EU without holding a Green Card, you may be accused of driving without insurance and could be subject to a fine, having your vehicle seized or prosecution.

Will I need to show my insurance documents when I cross the border into the EU? 

You may be required to show documents at the border when entering the EU, but this will be a decision for the border authorities to take.

You may also be subject to police checks while driving abroad and you will also need to be able to present the document at the scene if you are involved in an accident.

Will all authorities in EU countries recognise the documents?

Yes. EU member states will all recognise the Green Card document.

The Green Card system has a standardised format that has been agreed by all EU member states (including the UK) and is currently used for travel outside the EU to other Green Card member countries.

I drive in the EU regularly in my own private car. Will I need to tell Zurich every time I travel?  

No, however you will need a valid Green Card any time you travel within the EU. When you request your Green Card you can choose the dates you are travelling from/to, but you will not be able to request a Green Card for travel outside of the dates of your current period of cover.

I run a business where I employ drivers who regularly cross the border into the EU. Can I arrange their insurance for them or will they need their own documents?  

As an employer, you will be able to arrange insurance cover on behalf of your employees, as you do today. However, each of your employees will have an individual legal responsibility to carry these documents. Driving for employment or business purposes would not exempt anyone from needing to carry a Green Card.

What happens if I am involved in an accident abroad that I may be wholly or partly responsible for – do I need to contact Zurich? 

Yes. You will need to contact Zurich as soon as possible.

You will also need to ask for the insurance details of the other driver and we would also strongly recommend you gather as much evidence as you can about what happened in the accident, including taking photos if possible.

Do I need a European Accident Statement?

No. The European Accident Statement is a standardised document to make it easier for drivers involved in an accident to exchange facts but you are not required to carry a copy of the European Accident Statement in your car.

What help will I receive if I am involved in an accident that was not my fault while driving in the EU?  

Zurich is a trusted global insurer and has well established relationships with motor insurers in each member state to facilitate the settlement of claims for any incidents involving cross-border drivers.

If the UK exits the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and you need to make an insurance claim against an EU-registered insurer, you will be subject to the local legal system and your claim may be treated differently to how it would be in the UK.

Are you planning to charge for issuing Green Cards?

No, we will not charge for a Green Card.

How long will it take to get my Green Card?

If you choose to print the Green Card(s) at home, a PDF will be emailed to you within 24 hours. If you opt for the Green Card(s) to be posted to you it can take up to three weeks depending on demand.

How long will Green Cards be valid for?

If you request a Green Card to be posted to you then it will be valid for the period that you have requested.

Please note that the start date for your Green Card must be after the commencement date of your current motor policy and the end date cannot be later than your next renewal date.

Where will the Green card allow me to drive?

The Green Card we issue will allow you to drive in EU and EEA countries, excluding Serbia. If you’re going to Serbia please call us or speak to your broker.

I will be on holiday in an EEA territory at the time of the EU deadline, do I need to carry a Green Card before I start my holiday?


What happens if a deal is agreed?

In the event of a deal, it’s likely the requirements to drive in Europe will stay as now.

Does this apply for driving across the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland border?

Yes. A Green Card is required and if based in Northern Ireland we will be sending you the necessary Green Cards for your vehicles. If you do not receive a Green Card from us please contact your broker or if you are a direct customer your usual Zurich contact using the contact details in your policy documents.

What happens if I travel without a Green Card by mistake?

If you are travelling without a Green Card, a Green Card PDF can be emailed to you but you will need to arrange for it to be printed on green paper as a single, double sided document. Or a Green Card can posted to an address of your choosing.