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Green Card Insurance

- Updated: 04/12/2012

Important Information for anybody planning on driving their British car into Spain - whether for a holiday or for a longer period.

Green Card Insurance

The Green Card (otherwise known as International Motor Insurance Certificate) is the equivalent of a national motor insurance certificate in all of the countries a motorist visits. It is an internationally recognised document that is accepted by the authorities of all countries in which the Green Card is valid (and Spain is one of these countries).

When you first bring your British car to Spain whether that be on Holiday or for a longer period it is essential to carry either the Green Card or a Certificate of Insurance in your vehicle at all times. The Green Card will provide easily recognisable proof that you carry the minimum requirement of having third party insurance which is preferable in the event of an accident when travelling abroad. The conditions of your Green Card are only valid when your car is out of the Country (that your Insurance is held in) for no more than 90 consecutive days after that period has passed then you should cancel your policy and take out another in Spain.

The Green Card in itself does not provide insurance cover but it does certify that you carry the required minimum standard of Insurance to drive in Spain. Insurance against other hazards, such as fire or theft abroad needs to be addressed as a separate issue with the cover provider.

You should apply for a Green card from your Broker or Insurance provider in sufficient time before making your trip overseas. In almost all cases this will be provided in a matter of days, free of charge however in some cases a small administration fee may be requested.

When you make the request it is also advisable to check the following points:

  • Is any additional documentation (relating to the Insurance of the Vehicle) required?
  • What is the extent of the Insurance provided?
  • What is the procedure in the event of an accident abroad?

In the event of an accident abroad, immediately contact the insurer if they have a representative in Spain you may wish to contact them instead. The Green Card gives details of the local Green Card Bureau that you should contact in the first instance to get these contact details.

If the accident was caused by an uninsured or unidentifiable car, the victim is entitled, under Community law, to compensation from the motor vehicle guarantee fund for Spain. This is in accordance with the rules in force.

New rules have been introduced to ensure that motorists get rapid compensation for accidents regardless of where they are in the EU. This has made procedures easier and settling claims quicker, with fines being charged on late payments. This applies not only to accidents that happen in the EU but also to accidents between two EU parties in a country outside the EU but which belongs to the Green Card System.

Comment on this Article

 
I travel every year to Albania through non EU countries like Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia, does anyone know any insurers offers Green Card motor Insurance for non EU countries?
Rajmond - Tue 29th Apr 2014
I have recently bought a French car in England and want to take it to Spain how do I get it Insured ?
David Hennessey - Mon 10th Sep 2012
Deniz : Many UK Insurers will automatically include European cover for a certain number of days (usually 90), and this is almost always free of charge. However, I would recommend that you called them to ascertain <1) That Turkey falls within their Green Card recognised countries 2) The exact number of days that you will covered for 3) That there will be no surcharge or admin fee for you being granted this cover.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 15th Jun 2012
Hi have trader insurance but will I still need a Green Card go Turkey ? what can I do and how much will cost me ? Thanks
Deniz - Fri 15th Jun 2012
Normally a UK Insurer will only give you a certain number of days with free European cover - 90 days being the norm - however, many of them also offer the option of extending this cover for a small premium. I know that the AA offer this aswell as others. If your car is a UK registered RHD (and it falls within the period for not requiring to be legally imported into Spain) I would recommend that you tried to insure it in the UK as opposed to in Spain.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 6th Jul 2011
We have European Cover on our UK insurance policy for 90 days only. We have just returned from a month in the UK and will be going back for a month in October, but we have been told we can not have any more european cover and our car is right hand drive with UK plates. Will we be able to get insurance here in Spain.
Linda - Wed 6th Jul 2011
Mutluer : The 'cards' all used to be Green, however recently many Insurers have moved away from the Green card system because of the cost and resources involved in issuing them. Instead, some companies offer a certain period with European Driving cover offered as standard within your normal UK policy. This seems to be the case with your Insurer. Even though your policy will not look like the traditional Green Card in our example, it will still offer you European driving cover, and as such this policy document should be all that you require. Just check the T&C's to be certain.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 4th May 2011
They say its on the back of the policy paper, but that ones doesn't look like your example - just a simple white paper and not green. Last year they didn't accept a white one and it caused me trouble ?
Mutluer Bali - Tue 3rd May 2011
I have had a look at Tesco Insurance's 'Abbreviated Policy Information' document online and it states that 90 Days EU cover is included as standard on all vehicle policies that they issue. It may simply be an issue of terminology - you could try asking them about your coverage in the EU instead.
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 28th Apr 2011
Thank you for your recoment. But I ask my insurange conpany they says they do not now anyting about green card (tesco insurange)
Mutluer Bali - Thu 28th Apr 2011
You can get a Green card posted out to you by calling your Insurance provider. It is avery simple process and shouldn't cost you anything.
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 28th Apr 2011
I live in the UK do you know how can I get one ? -Thank you
Mutluer Bali - Thu 28th Apr 2011