Travelling to Spain and living in Spain after Brexit has been very confusing for many, not least because the rules on what Britons need to do in order stay in the EU keep changing, as the practicalities of the legislation become more obvious. In the latest EU U-turn, the initial post-Brexit requirement for drivers from the UK who are driving in the EU to obtain a ‘green card‘ from their car insurance provider has now been dropped, following a change to legislation, and the European Commission’s agreement to waive the requirement.
Here’s what we know so far:
An Announcement from the European Commission
The route to Brexit has been anything but smooth, and the UK and EU are currently locked in discussion regarding the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, where there has been tension over the past six months. As part of their package of measures designed to diffuse this tension, the EU have announced that the use of a ‘green card’ from an insurer in order to travel between the UK and the EU will no longer be required. The new rule is due to come in effect shortly: it will become law 20 days after it is published in the Eu’s official journal.
Whilst this change was designed to make travelling between the border countries of Ireland and Northern Ireland easier, it will have a wider effect for all Britons travelling to the EU. If you are driving in the EU to take holidays or to visit family and friends then you will no longer need to secure extra paperwork before you make this journey.
What is an Insurance Green Card?
The car insurance ‘green card’ isn’t a new concept. Before the UK joined the EU, all motorists were required to carry a card from their insurer to prove that they had adequate insurance coverage in the event that they were in a car accident. It is effectively an internationally recognised card that shows local law enforcement that the car is fully insured. At the end of the Brexit transition period, when the EU could no longer take advantage of the benefits of being part of the EU, this card was reintroduced, however it was difficult for some motorists to secure, with some British insurance companies refusing to issue them or not deeming them to be necessary. This meant that working out what they needed to drive in the EU, and securing that paperwork, was a headache for many Britons.
Good News for British Drivers
This change of policy is good news for British drivers, and will make travelling to the EU a lot easier. The Director General of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said, in an interview with The Guardian, that the Commission had taken a “pragmatic approach on the matter” and that this would be excellent news for British drivers... “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...It will be especially welcomed by motorists in Northern Ireland driving across the border.”
Driving in Spain
Driving in Spain from the UK remains relatively easier, thanks to bilateral deals on driving licences which mean that most EU countries, including Spain, continue to allow British tourists and visitors to drive in the country using their UK licences, and they don’t have to secure an International Driver’s Permit. It is important, however, that you are aware of the other requirements that have changed, to ensure that you don’t fall foul of the law when you’re driving between the two countries.
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