Planning a holiday to Europe in your motorhome or campervan?
We bring you some updates, if you’re planning, or already on, a motorhome trip outside of the UK to a European country (including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Serbia, Andorra or Liechtenstein). (Updated November 5th, 2019)
If you’re not planning on driving your motorhome in the EU, there’s nothing you need to do.
If you’ve already contacted us to request a Green Card for your upcoming trip, then you don’t need to ask for another.
Planning a holiday to Europe in your motorhome or campervan?
Whilst there’s still some uncertainty about whether we will be leaving the European Union with or without a deal on January 31st, we know that many of our motorhome customers will be planning European trips, or might already be in Europe.
We’ve therefore updated our information, to help you prepare to travel to the EU before January 31st.
To make sure you can drive your motorhome in the EU as normal, it’s important to consider if you’ll need a Green Card and/or an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Other issues affecting UK travellers to the EU are:
Check if your passport is valid for travel after Brexit.
Healthcare and travel insurance
Check that you have adequate health cover on your travel insurance.
Arrange pet travel with your vet at least four months in advance of travel.
If Brexit is delayed, cancelled or there is no deal
If Brexit is delayed or cancelled you should be able to drive your motorhome within the EU as normal, without any extra documentation.
What happens if the United Kingdom leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement?
It’s likely that you can drive your motorhome within the EU as you would normally, without the extra document described above. However, until this is confirmed by the Government, we would still recommend requesting a Green Card and International Driving Permit as a precaution.
What happens if the United Kingdom leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement?
You will legally need to carry a Green Card when driving your motorhome in the EU. This also applies to travel across the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border.
You will also legally be required to carry an International Driving Permit, if you hold a UK licence, however, you should not need an IDP to travel across the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border.
As it is a developing situation, we’ll update this blog post as and when the Brexit negotiations move forward, or you can keep an eye on the Government website for updates.
What do I need to do now?
You can request a Green Card via our web form as a precaution. This will be issued FREE if requested online.
We suggest you do this 10-14 days before you go on holiday to make sure you get your Green Card on time.
If you’re already in Europe, we might need to issue you a Green Card in a PDF format. You can also request this via the web form.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is issued by your motor insurance company and is a standardised document recognisable at borders. It demonstrates that you have the necessary minimum motor insurance cover in place to be on the roads. This also applies to travel across the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border.
Drivers have to physically carry the Green Card with them when driving.
A Green Card can be issued for a minimum of 15 days, but cannot be extended beyond your motorhome insurance policy period. It can include all the countries you are travelling to, so it can cover more than one trip.
Some European countries might also require a Green Card as proof of third-party liability insurance if you’re towing a trailer, so in these circumstances, you might need two Green Cards – one for your motorhome, and one for the trailer.
Obtaining a Green Card is precautionary at this point. However, in the event of a No Deal Brexit, it will be mandatory to have a Green Card when travelling in the EU. Green Cards can take up to 14 days so please plan your journey accordingly.
If the UK leaves with a renegotiated deal, or if the European Insurance Authorities confirm Green Cards will not be needed then you might not need to carry one.
Insurance validity in the EU
If you’re a UK motorist, with a UK registered vehicle, you’ll continue to hold the same motorhome insurance cover as you do now.
Our motorhome insurance policy provides the legal minimum insurance cover required by law for travel to countries who are members of the European Union or European Economic Area (EEA). A full list of these countries can be found on the Government’s website. Many customers choose to extend this cover from the minimum required third party liability cover, to include comprehensive cover for damage to their motorhome and equipment. Your motorhome insurance policy schedule will tell you which cover you have in force.
Drivers from the UK might need extra documentation when driving in the EU, if we leave without an agreement.
International Driving Permit (IDP)
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you will likely need an International Driving Permit (IDP) as well as your UK licence. The IDP is a multi-language translation of your driving licence and currently costs £5.50. They can be bought from a Post Office.
There are three different types of IDPs, depending on the EU country you are driving in. You might need more than one if travelling through several countries. You can find up-to-date information on the Government’s website.
If you hold a UK licence, you should not need an IDP to travel across the Northern Ireland / Republic of Ireland border – just your licence.
Do I need a European Accident Statement form?
This is a standardised carbonated document making it easier for drivers involved in an accident to exchange details and facts of any incident. They are not compulsory, so you do not need to have one in your motorhome.
We do however provide these to customers automatically when they first take out fully comprehensive European cover, or on request, for peace of mind in the event of an incident or accident.
What documentation should I have when driving in Europe?
When entering the EU you might be asked for documentation. The decision of what is needed will be for the individual border authorities. It’s also possible that you might be subject to police checks, or you might need to present documentation at the scene if you’re involved in an accident.
As we don’t yet know the enforcement requirements applicable in a post-EU world, we feel it appropriate that our customers consider having the following up-to-date documents to hand when driving in Europe or the EEA.
Having these documents may be precautionary, but could offer reassurance that your travel plans can go ahead as anticipated.
- A copy of your insurance documentation (including your certificate of insurance)
- Vehicle registration document (V5C) – the government recommends you carry this.
- Green Card/s
- Driving Licence/s
- International Driving Permit/s as applicable
- European Accident Statement Form
For more information
The Government has guidance about preparing to drive in the EU after Brexit.
In the event of a No Deal Brexit there will be changes affecting:
When the UK leaves the European Union, there will be new rules for UK passport holders travelling to most European countries. Check your passport is valid for travel to Europe using the GOV.UK passport checker. If you’re travelling to Europe after Brexit, you may need to renew your passport earlier than planned.
You can check the validity of your passport and find out more by visiting: gov.uk/brexit-check-passport
Travelling to Europe with pets
To make sure you can travel with your pet after Brexit, you should start to prepare at least four months before your travel date by visiting your vet for advice.
In a No Deal, current EU pet passports issued in the UK will not be valid for entry to the EU.
Pet owners need to complete the following steps before travel:
– Get your pet microchipped
– Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date
– Allow at least 30 days after your pet’s last rabies vaccination before returning to a vet for a blood test to check it’s worked
– Wait three calendar months after a successful blood test before travel
– Return to a vet within 10 days of travel for an animal health certificate
If your pet’s vaccinations are kept up to date you won’t need to repeat the blood test for each journey. To prepare for changes visit gov.uk/brexit-pet-travel
Taking a vehicle out of the UK for less than 12 months
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal the EHIC will no longer be applicable and you will need to make sure you have adequate health cover on your travel insurance before you travel.
For more information visit the Government’s Prepare for Brexit website.