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Time running out to avoid UK motorists needing green cards for EU trips

Niall Carson

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Time is running out for UK motorists to be able to avoid the need for a green card to allow them to drive in the EU, insurers have warned.

ABI, a trade body representing insurance firms, has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging him to put pressure on the European Commission to intervene.

Regardless of whether a trade deal is agreed, drivers taking their vehicles to the EU after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31 will need to carry an insurance green card unless the Commission agrees that the UK will remain part of the free circulation zone.

The green card is an international certificate issued by insurers to enable visiting motorists to prove they have the minimum compulsory level of cover.

Motorists who fail to comply risk having their vehicle seized and being prosecuted.

All EU countries are part of the green card free circulation zone, meaning motorists there do not need to carry the documents when visiting other countries in the area.

If the UK is removed from the zone, even motorists in Northern Ireland who drive to the Republic of Ireland will require a green card.

ABI assistant director Carol Hall said: “Insurers have put considerable resources into preparing for the need to issue green cards for travel from 1 January 2020 to minimise any disruption to motorists.

“While they are geared up to do so, it is without question that the best outcome for customers, road hauliers and insurers continues to be for the UK to be part of the green card free circulation zone.

“We appreciate the pragmatic approach the UK Government has taken on this matter, and we need them to press the EU Commission to agree that the UK and its motorists can stay in the green card free zone.”

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