BREXIT & THE CARAVAN IN EUROPE
While Brexit is currently a byword for confusion, uncertainty and frustration – we should expect to prepare for change. If you are hoping to plan a European caravanning holiday for autumn/winter 2019 and beyond, you’ll need to do additional research to ensure that you have everything in place.
What do we know so far?
Your Driving Licence: Those who hold a UK driving licence can currently use these to drive in Europe. In the event of a ‘no deal Brexit’ you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). Of course, if our government are successful in its aim to agree a new arrangement - by which UK driving licences are recognised by individual EU countries – then you won’t need the IDP. But it is worth making yourself aware of its existence just in case.
An IDP costs just £5.50 and is a multi-language translation of your driving licence – you will need to carry it with you on your trip. There are 3 types of IDPs, depending on where you are travelling to. Check www.gov.uk to find out which one you require. You can purchase an IDP from a Post Office.
Your Vehicle Insurance: Currently, you only need your regular UK certificate of insurance to drive your motorhome within the EU, the EEA and Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland. Driving outside the EU requires the addition of a Green Card.
What exactly is a Green Card?
It is a physical document to show that you have the appropriate third-party insurance in place for travelling outside the EU – so you must take it with you.
There are two different types:
- Category A (Car): for a car or motorhome
- Category F (Trailer): for a caravan
After the UK leaves the EU, it is likely that you will need a Green Card to travel around Europe, at least until the withdrawal agreement is finalised.
- A ‘no deal Brexit’ = You will require a Green Card to travel anywhere in Europe, including crossing the Irish border.
- Leaving Europe with a deal = there will be a period of adjustment while the Withdrawal Agreement is being implemented. During this time, you will need a Green Card to travel around Europe.
- If you are travelling over the planned leave date/or a few weeks afterwards = You will need a Green Card to travel to Europe.
How do I get a Green Card?
- You can get one through your insurer. Some companies may charge an administration fee.
The GB Identifier: Following Brexit, the government recommends displaying a GB sticker at the rear of your vehicle.
Non-Commercial Trailers/ Fifth Wheeler Caravans: Since new legislation came in in March 2019, you will need to register any caravan over 3,500kg or non-commercial trailer with a gross weight of 750kg, to legally take them to Europe.
Most caravans are well under 3,500kg – so it shouldn’t be an issue. However, it is important to check the Mass in Running Order/ MRO (this can usually be found on the information plate on your caravan) to establish the maximum legal weight of your vehicle. You can register via the government website (you will need the VIN/Chassis number) and it currently costs £26.