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Driving and towing in Europe in 2021 and the need for a 'Green Card'


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The UK has now officially left the European Union, so on January 1st lots of things stayed the same but many changed.  One of those changes was the need when driving anywhere in the EU and satellite states for drivers to have on their person a 'Green Card', this is proof of insurance cover in the event of an accident.

Engineer Aftercare Warranty have created a piece to provide more information at https://engineerinsuranceandaftercare.com/EU-green-card/  But, owners of Cars and Caravans, Trailers, Campervans and Motorhomes (If your towing, you need two!).  As an exercise we applied for my own car from insurer 'LV' to see how easy it was and what was needed to source said Green card.

The good news is that it was relatively easy, and the insurer notified they would send the card next day in 1st class post.  For further clarity, we have added addition links to information pages on the Post office, .Gov and Zurich Insurance.

Martyn Raybould MD

Engineer Aftercare Warranty Ltd 

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When I renewed car insurance with AXA in May, together with the emailed policy documents they enclosed a message about Green Cards together with a telephone number to acquire one.   They also added that if I was towing a trailer, I would need two.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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We’ve also taken a green card with us to France previously and had no issues requesting this.  It arrived through the post quite quickly too.  I can’t see any problems with this it not being the same now. 

 

Bergamo

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Hi am insured with LV got a green card for the car contacted the with regards to caravan all  they  needed was make and model 

ps , they are not green anymore 

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That was one of the easiest things to obtain before EU.  But no one seems to ask if you need the document that lets you travel in Spain.  If you didn't have the specific document, and you then had an accident, you could end up in their jails until the accident was sorted.  I know you were released if it was proved you weren't at fault, but not sure what would happen if you were found guilty

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Looks like if you do make a slip up and get caught speeding, unless in person on the spot  you won't have to pay the fine. UK aren't now sharing data about cars with EU authorities ,but sadly it works the other way too. Mind our cameras can't read foreign plates can they and there ain't enough police on our roads, We don't travel to Europe but it's all interesting re the Brexit shakedowns.

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I am with Churchill and they said they need to know my travel dates before they issue a green card.

 

Ian

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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28 minutes ago, IanV8 said:

I am with Churchill and they said they need to know my travel dates before they issue a green card.

 

Some policies give the same level of cover abroad (for up to 90 days) as it does in the UK.   But some don't - and therefore make an additional charge for full cover if going abroad.   Maybe your Churchill policy doesn't give comprehensive cover automatically therefore they need to know the dates you intend to travel.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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As Jaydug suggests my insurance just requires the dates of my trip abroad and provides additional documentation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wondering if I’ll need one for the Republic of Ireland as my insurance certificate (last year) says I’m covered in the UK and Ireland

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7 minutes ago, Eirrab said:

Just wondering if I’ll need one for the Republic of Ireland as my insurance certificate (last year) says I’m covered in the UK and Ireland

 

UK and Ireland is still a common travel area so you should not need one.

 

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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I worked for Cornhill Insurance back in the 1970s, and I wish I had a pound for each green card I did.  Everyone is worried about it.  Don't be.  Its just a routine document.  It covers you for the time you are in Europe.  When you get home, you just rip it up.  That's it.  You always take your insurance documents with you, well its the same with the green card.  Its not actually a card, its just a piece of paper, instead of it being white, its green;)

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My Aviva one came after my request. All done on line.

It is green in colour and an A4 sheet of paper, it only covers the car for 3rd party damage. I will have to get a separate one for the caravan.

They asked when I intended to travel, but the form came back simply with the date it was issued (a few days ago) and when the insurance expires.

It's the same as the one I had last year.

Edited by daveat92
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On 12/01/2021 at 14:07, Jaydug said:

When I renewed car insurance with AXA in May, together with the emailed policy documents they enclosed a message about Green Cards together with a telephone number to acquire one.   They also added that if I was towing a trailer, I would need two.

Who issues the second one for the van?  I thought the car [policy covers third party cover for the car and anything it tows. The caravan policy covers damage to the caravan only. - right?

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5 hours ago, Jaydug said:

 

The same company which issues the green card for the car.  

But the caravan is not insured by that company....? It is car that is insured and responsible for third party damage so why a second one?

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Just now, Fenester said:

But the caravan is not insured by that company....? It is car that is insured and responsible for third party damage so why a second one?

Because in France for instance, a trailer has its own registration number, different to the towing vehicle, and presumably, insurance.

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11 minutes ago, Fenester said:

But the caravan is not insured by that company....? It is car that is insured and responsible for third party damage so why a second one?

 

This is copied from the Caravan Clubs website:-

 

"A Green Card is now required if you are driving abroad (including travel from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland) in your own vehicle. A separate Green Card is required for each vehicle (if you have a multi-car policy for instance) and anything you may be towing such as your caravan or trailer tent or folding camper (unless it is under 750kgs or not braked). "

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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1 hour ago, Jaydug said:

 

This is copied from the Caravan Clubs website:-

 

"A Green Card is now required if you are driving abroad (including travel from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland) in your own vehicle. A separate Green Card is required for each vehicle (if you have a multi-car policy for instance) and anything you may be towing such as your caravan or trailer tent or folding camper (unless it is under 750kgs or not braked). "

Thanks,,,,  Not a big deal, I suppose.  I asked because in the old days, prior to the EU, the green card covered the car and trailer.  I suppose you have to declare to the cars insurer the CRiS number make and model of the caravan?

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I just renewed my insurance and the Green card was issued with it. It's not Green anymore, and dont RIP it up when you get back as its £30 for a replacement

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19 hours ago, Fenester said:

But the caravan is not insured by that company....? It is car that is insured and responsible for third party damage so why a second one?

 

But who is to know that the caravan is also covered for third party claims if the Green Card doesn't show it?

 

18 hours ago, Fenester said:

Thanks,,,,  Not a big deal, I suppose.  I asked because in the old days, prior to the EU, the green card covered the car and trailer.  I suppose you have to declare to the cars insurer the CRiS number make and model of the caravan?

 

Strictly speaking it should be the caravan manufacturer's VIN number, not the CRiS number, because not all caravans are CRiS registered.

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My caravan green card *issued by car insurer LV) only shows the make and model of the caravan! No VIN CRiS or other identifier. There’s no point in showing a VIN number because all a Green Card does is confirm the existence of insurance against third party claims. It matters not whatever causes any third party damage, all “The authorities” are interested in is if there is some form of insurance in force. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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3 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

My caravan green card *issued by car insurer LV) only shows the make and model of the caravan! No VIN CRiS or other identifier. There’s no point in showing a VIN number because all a Green Card does is confirm the existence of insurance against third party claims. It matters not whatever causes any third party damage, all “The authorities” are interested in is if there is some form of insurance in force. 

 

It is a legal requirement for any vehicle used on a public road to be covered by third party insurance. Without the VIN (or registration number in the case of foreign caravans that are registered) quoted on the Green Card who is to know whether the particular caravan in question is covered or not?

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15 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

My caravan green card *issued by car insurer LV) only shows the make and model of the caravan! No VIN CRiS or other identifier. There’s no point in showing a VIN number because all a Green Card does is confirm the existence of insurance against third party claims. It matters not whatever causes any third party damage, all “The authorities” are interested in is if there is some form of insurance in force. 

The Motor Insurers Bureau is the UK's National Bureau under the Green Card scheme. National Bureaux guarantee the Green Card proof of insurance cover and all claims pass through them on behalf of the insurers.

They have advised insurers that Green Cards issued for trailers should show the registration number if the trailer is registered (large goods trailers) or the chassis/VIN if it is not. The make or a description can also be included.

In 2019 it was agreed internationally that Green Cards no longer need to be printed on green paper. This allows insurers to send them electronically for the insured person to print themselves.

issue-mib-green-card-qa-for-members.pdf

Edited by Legal Eagle
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