The post-Brexit requirement for drivers from the UK to obtain a green card from their insurance company before visiting Europe is set to be dropped after the European Commission agreed to waive the requirement.
The announcement from the Commission was part of a package of measures designed to diffuse tension over the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but will apply throughout the EU.
The new rule will come into effect 20 days after the ruling is published in the EU’s official journal, which is expected to be in the next few days.
This means that British visitors taking their cars when going on holidays or family visits to France, Germany, Spain or the rest of Europe will no longer be required to obtain extra paperwork from their car insurance companies ahead of their journey.
Readers of a certain age will remember the green cards – issued by the insurance company before a trip abroad. The internationally recognised card shows local law enforcement that the car is fully insured.
This requirement returned after the end of the Brexit transition period, although in practice not all insurance companies were issuing the cards and some told customers that they were not necessary.
The Association of British Insurers described the decision as excellent news for drivers.
Its director general, Huw Evans, told the Guardian newspaper that the Commission had taken a pragmatic approach on the matter.
“UK drivers will no longer need to apply for a green card through their insurer which will help reduce bureaucracy for drivers and road hauliers travelling between the UK and EU,” he said.
“It will be especially welcomed by motorists in Northern Ireland driving across the border.”
Bilateral deals on driving licences mean that most EU countries continue to allow British tourists and visitors to drive on UK licences (although British residents in some countries have to swap their licence for a local one) and an International Driver’s Permit is not necessary.
There are, however, still plenty of extra requirements in place for Brits coming into EU countries, from changes to passports rules for both humans and pets. All drivers should check the rules before driving abroad.