How does Brexit affect your Car Insurance?


Frequently asked questions

Yes - Sainsbury's Bank will continue to provide the same level of cover you receive in the UK while traveling in the EU/EEA as per your current terms and conditions.

If you have comprehensive cover with us then we will provide the same cover that you have in the UK while you are abroad for up to 90 days. And if you are driving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland we will extend that to the 365 days.

For third party fire and theft cover we will provide the same cover that you have in the UK while you are abroad for up to 35 days. And if you are driving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland we will extend that to the 365 days.

If you intend to use your car in excess of 90/35 days, you must first contact us to obtain agreement and there may be an additional charge. Only the minimum cover required by the relevant law will apply unless you informed us prior to travel.

If you travel across the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland border contact us to arrange for the appropriate Green Card documents.

We will provide the same level of cover you have in the UK, for the duration of your insurance policy if you are a Northern Ireland resident.

A physical copy of your Green Card.

A Green Card is 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 existing EU law, only vehicles from countries that are part of the European motor insurance ‘free circulation zone’ can drive in the EU without needing to carry paper documents. All EU member states are automatically part of the ‘free circulation zone’, but non-EU countries must apply to be part of this system. The Department for Transport has published a guidance document confirming that if the UK leaves the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement, it expects that the UK will not be part of the ‘free circulation zone’ on Exit Day. In this scenario, drivers would need to carry a Green Card document to prove that they have valid insurance cover for their vehicle.

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

No - Sainsbury's Bank will not charge any additional premium for the Green Card document.

Yes - Your Green Card is required to specify the licence plate number of each individual vehicle and identify any trailers or towed vehicles.

In some EU member states, a separate Green Card is needed for each trailer. We will be able to advise you on the exact requirements for the countries you plan to visit when you contact us.

Yes. If you plan to travel to an EU member state, you will need to contact us in advance (about 21 days) of your date of travel to ensure you have the documentation and cover you need for your trip.

When you travel to EU member states only, the Green Card document itself is designed so it can be used in the same way across every EU member state. The Green Card will specify which countries you are insured to drive in.

If you are travelling to a Green Card country that is not an EU member state – you will need to inform us which countries you will be visiting as you will not be automatically covered for driving in any country outside the EU, even if they are part of the Green Card system.

No - 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. 

An alternative option is to purchase insurance when you arrive in the country (often referred to as ‘frontier insurance’). However please be aware, such insurance cover may not be widely available and can be more expensive than UK-issued policies. 

You may be required to show documents at the border when entering the EU, however this will be a decision for the border authorities to take. You will need to be able to present the document at the scene if you are involved in an accident.  

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.

A Green Card will automatically provide you with a guarantee of insurance for a minimum of 15 days. We can specify that it covers a longer period if this is required, so ask for this if you need it. 

However, at the point at which you renew your motor insurance policy, you will also need to ensure you have a new Green Card for your new policy (even if you are still abroad on the date your original policy expires). If you decide to switch to a new insurer, you will need to request a new Green Card from that insurer as well.

Yes - You will need to contact your insurer 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.

Through the Green Card scheme, the UK has well established relationships with motor insurers in each member state to facilitate the settlement of claims for any incidents involving cross-border drivers. 

However, the current 'visiting victims' arrangement for when a UK citizen is injured in a car accident in another EU member state will not be in place if the UK exits the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement. If 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.

In addition to the potential changes to insurance rules, there will be a number of significant changes to driving rules and licensing requirements. You will need to comply with all these requirements under the terms of your motor insurance policy.

The Department for Transport has produced a series of guidance notices on the impact of Brexit on Driving and Transport:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-driving-permits-for-uk-drivers-from-28-march-2019

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.

No - The Green Card documents provided will only apply to your own UK-registered vehicle.  If you want to rent or borrow a vehicle, you will need to arrange insurance separately and your Green Card will not cover this.

In addition to the potential changes to insurance rules, there will be a number of significant changes to driving rules and licensing requirements. You will need to comply with all these requirements under the terms of your motor insurance policy.

The Department for Transport has produced a series of guidance notices on the impact of Brexit on Driving and Transport:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/international-driving-permits-for-uk-drivers-from-28-march-2019