Car insurance Green Card

Our guide for driving in Europe

Many AA car insurance customers take their own vehicles to the continent, especially for holidays.

If you drive abroad in Europe from 1 January 2021 you'll need a Green Card in addition to your Certificate of Motor Insurance and the log book (V5C) for the vehicle.

But what is a Green Card and how do AA customers get hold of one? Here's our guide to help you, along with FAQs about driving abroad.

What is a Green Card?

The Green Card (or International Motor Insurance Card) is an internationally recognised document that shows that you have the minimum insurance cover needed by law in the country you're visiting.

The Green Card system covers 48 countries, including the 27 in the European Union.

Why do I need a Green Card?

If you're stopped at a border or by the police while driving your car in one of the countries covered by the Green Card system, you can show them your Green Card to confirm that you have valid car insurance.

We don't want you to be caught out, so be prepared and make sure you have all the necessary documents well before you travel.

How do I get one and how much does it cost?

A Green Card is free for AA car insurance customers who want to visit any of the following countries:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City.

Just remember to request it at least 14 days before you travel.

Request a Green Card

If your departure is within the next 14 days, call us on 0370 060 0137.

You'll get the minimum legal cover in any of these countries for the whole policy year, plus for 90 days you'll have the same cover as you already have in the UK.

Your Green Card is also free if you travel to the Republic of Ireland, and it'll be valid for the whole policy year. The Republic of Ireland is within the territorial limits of your policy, so you'll have the same cover as you have in the UK.

If you're travelling to a European country not listed above, or certain Middle Eastern nations, or you want the same cover as you have in the UK for longer than 90 days, give us a call and we’ll check if this is acceptable with your insurer. If it is, you may have to pay a fee and you'll still need a Green Card.

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Cancellation cover up to £5,000 per person
Medical expenses up to £15 million
Members get enhanced benefits with our Silver or Gold Cover*

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Your FAQs about driving abroad from 1 January 2021

Which countries are in the EEA or the EU?

You'll need a Green Card for the European Economic Area, which includes all the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The EU countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

What about going to and from Ireland?

If you drive between Northern Ireland (UK) and the Republic of Ireland you'll still need a Green Card, but it will be valid for the whole policy year.

I live abroad but also drive in the UK

Drivers of vehicles registered in an EEA country, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland who visit the UK don't need to carry a Green Card. This includes drivers in the Republic of Ireland.

But if requested by the police or following an accident, you'll still need to show proof of your motor insurance. So always carry valid insurance documents when you visit the UK.

What do I need if I have AA European Breakdown Cover?

You'll still need valid car insurance and a Green Card if you take your car to the EEA countries, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.

Who checks a Green Card when travelling abroad?

Border forces or local police may ask for proof of your valid car insurance, so the Green Card has to be a physical document. There's no international register of Green Cards for them to look up.

Does the document really need to be green?

No, Green Card is the name of the document. It can be printed on white paper.

What if I hire a car abroad?

You shouldn't need a Green Card when you hire a car. The insurance that comes from the rental company will cover you.

If you rent a car in the UK for use in the EU, then you will need a Green Card. Again, the rental company should sort this for you.

Good to know

* To qualify for these additional Member benefits you must be an AA Member at the time of purchasing the policy. The benefits are not available for the Bronze level of travel insurance.

Page updated 3 February 2021
Call us to get your Green Card

0370 060 0137

Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm.