What is a Green card and why would you need one?

In the event of a no deal Brexit motorists travelling between Britain and Ireland will need a Green Card but what is and how do you get it? Geraldine Herbert explains


What is a green card?

Currently, when you take your car to any country within the EU including the UK you are covered by the terms of the EU Motor Insurance Directive (MID).  Essentially what this says is that anyone who holds a  motor insurance policy in an EU country is covered to drive throughout the entire EU.  However if the UK exit on March 29th without a deal this directive no longer applies in the UK. For this reason, an international insurance document known as a Green card will be needed as a proof of motor insurance.


How will I get one?

If you intend taking your car to Northern Ireland or to the UK you will need to notify your insurance company of your departure and return dates, at least four weeks in advance. They will then issue you a green card and they may or may not, depending on the insurance company charge for this.


How long will the Green Card be valid for?

The Regulations do not stipulate a maximum period so it will be at the discretion of insurance companies as to how long a green card is valid for.


Will I need one to rent a car?

No, you won’t need a green card if you’re just hiring a car in the UK.


Geraldine Herbert

23rd January 2019

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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  1. This green card is ridiculous i travel to northern ireland at least 3/4 times a week to visit family. I wont be able to give notice that i cross the border as i wont wait for a month to receive green card when as i said family come first. We paid our insurance so why punish us. What about people coming from northern Ireland to the republic are they being told this as well

  2. Anyone resident in the UK and going to Europe will also need a green card. In the UK they are allowing people to apply for one in advance of a hard Brexit
    If you already have your vehicle outside of the UK and are not planning to return before 29 March 2019 or If you are due to take your vehicle outside of the UK prior to 29 March 2019 and are not planning to return before 29 March 2019. Once a green card is issued it is likely that it will be valid for the duration of your insurance policy and can be renewed when you renew your insurance

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