New research has revealed an “alarming” lack of awareness by the UK public of the legal requirements to drive in the European Union in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
More than half (55%) of UK motorists do not realise that they must carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving their vehicle in the EU in the event or a no-deal Brexit, according to Populus research commissioned by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The research also revealed that 49% of UK adults believe it will be legally necessary to have European breakdown cover if they are taking their car to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile, only a third of respondents had heard of a motor insurance Green Card and just 37% knew they need to obtain one. Another 20% failed to identify that they will need a valid driving licence to legally drive to the EU following a no deal Brexit.
Only around one in three people (35%) said that they have heard of the motor insurance Green Card. Awareness was significantly higher among those aged 65 and over, at 59%, compared to 20% for those aged 18 to 24.
“If we leave Europe without a withdrawal agreement, there are certain reciprocities that we will not continue to enjoy,” said Graeme Trudgill, executive director at BIBA. “One of these is the benefits of driving in the free-circulation zone without vehicle insurance checks. If the UK is not allowed in the free circulation zone, then UK motorists will have to produce what is known as a Green Card – a hard copy document evidencing valid motor insurance, printed on green paper. Since the 2016 referendum BIBA has raised with Government the difficulties of reverting to a Green Card system and the additional bureaucracy that drivers will have to face. This research confirms what we suspect – those driving to Europe could be caught unawares.”
“Insurers have issued over 400,000 Green Cards to customers and, together with insurance brokers, have been busy alerting motorists to what they need to do if driving their vehicle in the EU, including from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, in the event of a no-deal,” said Hugh Savill, director of regulation at the ABI. “As things currently stand, all drivers planning to take their vehicle to the EU after 31 October should, if they have not already done so, contact their motor insurer to arrange for a Green Card in good time for their trip.”
In a joint statement, both organisations said that they are working closely with the Department for Transport and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau to raise awareness and to help the public avoid unnecessary delays and inconvenience to their journey because they do not have the right documentation.