Driving Abroad – Do I Need a Green Card or an IDP? 🟢
The rules around Green Cards and driving abroad have changed twice since Brexit. Immediately after negotiations, drivers were required to carry a Green Card when traveling through Europe. Now, you only need an IDP, or International Driving Permit. The rules differ depending on where you’re travelling, so be sure to check the requirements for each country here.
Ultimately, you’ll need to ensure you have the minimal level of insurance required in order to legally and safely drive abroad.
What Is a Green Card?
A Green Card proves you have the minimum compulsory level of cover to drive in countries using the Green Card system. Most UK insurance policies include cover to drive in the EU, but always check your policy wording. If you’re unsure, contact us.
What Is an IDP?
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a requirmrnt to drive in countries where your UK license is not enough. It’s an extra failsafe that tells authorities that you can drive legally and safely in their country.
What’s the Difference?
A Green Card is proof that you have the minimum level of insurance needed to drive abroad. These are obtained through your insurance provider.
An IDP essentially extends your current UK driver’s license allowing you to drive in other countries. Though not required by all countries, it’s recommended you purchase one whenever you’re driving outside of the UK.
Where Do I Need An IDP?
If you have a photocard UK license, you don’t need an IDP to drive in:
- Countries in the European Union (EU)
- Countries in the European Economic Area (EEA)
However, there are exceptions so it’s important to check the Government list here, or check with local embassies.
Where Do I Need a Green Card?
You’ll need to apply for a Green Card if you’re driving in:
Similarly to the IDP, you don’t need a Green Card for driving in Europe. However, we recommend that you double-check the requirements of the country you’re travelling to.
In some countries, a physical Green Card isn’t needed. However, if you would like one we recommend giving us at least 14 days’ notice. It’s also important to note that if you are towing a trailer/caravan, you’ll need a separate Green Card.
How Much Does a Green Card or IDP Cost?
The Green Card is free to obtain.
An IDP carries a small cost of £5.50, and can be purchased over the counter in Post Office branches. There are three types of IDP, and depending on where you’re travelling you may need more than one.
How Do I Get a Green Card?
If you think you may be abroad in one of the countries requiring a Green Card, contact us for help.
- Call us on 0808 169 9165
- Email us at [email protected]
- Chat to us live via the app
If you’d like to print your card, we can also give you guidance on making sure the card is as clear as possible.
For any further questions, please contact us and we’d be happy to help!
Due to the UK leaving the EU on the 31st December, there has been a slight change to the regulatory stance of our underwriter Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, which you will see on the footer and/or insurer information section on your policy wording and IPID. This change does not affect your insurance and you are still covered with the piece of mind knowing that Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch holds an excellent level of financial security rating and an A.M. Best rating A+ (Superior).