Riding in Europe After Brexit
- EU riding without a Green Card after Brexit
- Motorbike Touring Insurance
- EU RAC Breakdown with Titanium Cover
BeMoto guide to riding in the EEA after Brexit...
Now that the Brexit transition period has finished and we are persona non-grata in Europe you will need to consider a few more things when planning a road trip or trackday / off-road trip in the EU (albeit Covid-19 still may have a thing or two to say about foreign travel).
THIS INFORMATION IS DESIGNED TO GET YOU THINKING, BUT SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON; DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!
- Since the 1st August 2021 you DO NOT need to carry a physical 'Green Card' whilst riding in Europe. When we refer to "Europe" we actually mean the European Economic Area (EEA) and linked countries (Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland). You can find out more from Gov.uk or at the Council of Bureaux who manage the Green Card system - you may still need one for countries outside of Europe.
- It is also important to carry your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which will still be valid until their expiry dates. After that, the UK government will issue a new Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) which will replace the EHIC for the majority of UK citizens.
- Make sure you have decent insurance cover, i.e. in addition to your comprehensive road insurance do you have European breakdown cover (check out BeMoto Titanium Cover) plus try not to rely on an EHIC or GHIC card for medical and repatriation costs if you are involved in an accident when taking part in hazardous persuits like off-road motorcycling or trackdays - it is also advisable to have specific motorcycle travel insurance top-up cover that includes touring on large capacity bikes (over 125cc).
- To be extra safe, why not check out the European Accident Statement (EAS) form so that you are ready for anything.
- Plus of course make sure you have all those annoying extra paraphanalia expected by the French police (this is not a definitive list and not having some items could lead to a hefty fine from the French Police):
- Your Certificate of Motor Insurance (printed, showing at least Third Party cover) and your V5 Logbook and current MOT if your bike is older than 3 years;
- UK stickers for your registration plate (not EU flag);
- Headlamp beam deflectors and a spare bulb kit (do not ride with important bulbs blown);
- Luminous vests, torches & triangles for a breakdown;
- Breathalysers (x2 Type "NF Approved") are recommended but the law has been all over the place;
- Spare fuses, first aid kit, etc.
Oh and for gods sake don't let them find a speed camera detector/locator on your person if you get pulled (Switzerland are very hot on this and have some pretty scary fines)...
Since 2 August 2021 you do NOT need a green card to drive/ride in the following countries: The EU (including Ireland), as well as Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.
Other EU Touring Considerations
If you have an old style paper driving licence or a licence issues in the Isle of Man, you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) that allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence alone is not sufficient. You can use the Post Office IDP checker tool - UK issued photocard driving licences do not require an IDP though.
If you're riding on Swiss motorways and expressways, you need a motorway vignette sticker. The vignette must be affixed to a clearly visible part of your motorbike.
The European Commission has said that from November 2023, UK citizens will also need to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) visa waiver - similar to an American ESTA - which costs £6 (ish) in some circumstances.
Other sources of useful information:
What is a Green Card and when do I need one?
Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by your insurer in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary third-party motor insurance cover required for that country. Green Cards are paper documents (not actually a card), which previously had to be printed on green paper, but this is no longer a requirement.
You must carry a physical Green Card while driving riding your motorbike in countries outside of the EEA (see above for definition); for example, Morocco or Turkey, however it is important to note that not all insurers will provide a green card for all countries. It's worth checking before you buy a policy if you know you are travelling outside of the EEA.
If you are applying for a green card, don't leave it until the last minute... It can take a few days to organise plus postage time, or if emailed and you are printing it yourself - make sure you have printer ink and paper ready!
Where does my BeMoto Motorbike Insurance cover me in Europe?
In keeping to EU directives all road insurance policies provide the minimum cover (third party only), while you or any other named rider are using your motorcycle (subject to carrying the Green Card as evidence), to meet the laws on compulsory insurance of motor vehicles in:
- Any country which is a member of the European Union; and
- Any country which the Commission of the European Communities is satisfied has made arrangements to meet Article 8 of EC Directive number 2009/103/EC on insuring civil liabilities arising from using a motor vehicle.
However, BeMoto policies also provide extended cover for up to 90-days per trip which extends your Fire & Theft cover for TPFT policies as well as Accidental Damage for Comprehensive policies whilst riding in the EU. You can come back and go again for another 90-days but once you exceed the 90-day period your policy will revert to the minimum Third Party Only (TPO) cover.
For Titanium Cover customers, not only is a Green Card slightly cheaper (for printed copies), but your policy also includes full UK & European breakdown cover from the RAC for the ssame 90-days per trip.You can find more information on the countries that follow the above EU Directive by visiting www.cobx.org
What is the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)?
British citizens will not need a visa to visit Europe after Brexit, but, they will need an ETIAS Visa Waiver from November 2023.
It will be available online for a "small fee" and is valid for up to 90 days of travel per 180 day period. The ETIAS Visa Waiver remains valid for 3 years or until a passport expires. In simple terms you can travel up to 6 x 90 days in that time on the one Waiver.
If leaving a European Border into a non European territory that is not part of the Schengen agreement UK Citizens will be required to follow entry requirements as specified by that particular country.
Check out the list of Schengen countries.
What is a "European Accident Statement Form"?
These forms are provided by European motor insurers to their clients.
They have a standard design, but will be in the local language of the person insured. As all forms are exactly the same layout, it helps to see what the other party is filling in, even if the form is in a different language.
Whilst it's not compulsory, it's better to have one of these forms with you to complete at the scene of an accident.
How else can BeMoto help me ride my motorbike in Europe?
We offer as standard full RAC European Breakdown with Titanium Cover road insurance policies. For around £50 extra you get the RAC top level cover including Home Start, Road Side, Recovery, Onward Travel and EU cover, but also £1,500 of Helmet & Leathers cover and £15,000 of Personal Accident and Accidental Death insurance. All our policies come with £100,000 of Legal Expenses Insurance and NO broker fees to make changes so what are you waiting for?
We are currently working on launching a new motorbike travel and repatriation insurance that covers you for emergency medical costs and repatriation back to the UK if medically necessary. Be aware that most UK travel insurance policies have a standard exclusion for riding motorbikes over 125cc so ensure you get top up insurance to avoid large hospital bills in the event of a spill, or worse being stranded in an EU hospital without the means to get home.
Call 01733 907000* to speak to BeMoto about European Motorbike Touring Insurance and our Titanium Cover with EU Breakdown.
* Calls may be recorded for our joint protection
Green Card FAQs
Does my motorcycle insurance policy cover me for riding abroad?
BeMoto motorcycle insurance covers you to legally ride in any country which is a member of the European Union and any country which meets Article 8 of EC Directive number 2009/103/EC (insuring civil liabilities arising from using a motor vehicle).
- Third Party Only Cover is included as standard in these countries;
- We also extend your cover for up to 90-days per trip for Fire & Theft (where you have TPFT cover) or Fire, Theft & Accidental Damage (where you have Comprehensive cover).
Post-Brexit you are still able to ride in these countries as standard (take a print out of your insurance certificate with you). However you may need may need other paperwork like an International Drivers Permit (IDP) from the Post Office. Check out our useful Guide to Riding in Europe.
Outside of Europe you may need a Green Card, subject to your insurer covering the countries on your trip - call us on 01733 907001 to find out which countries your insurer will cover and to request a Green Card with plenty of advance notice (don't leave it until the day before you go)!
Does my policy cover me for riding other motorcycles?
It is quite common to get cover for Riding Other Bikes (third party cover only within the UK) included in BeMoto motorbike insurance policies, however this can vary depending on factors, for example: your bikes engine size, the type of cover you have chosen or your occupation.
Please check with our insurance representative to see if this cover applies to you. It is best to check this when you get a quote, take out or renew your policy as it may require us to change the insurer we use for your policy to get this cover if it is important to you.
It will show on your Certificate of Insurance if you have this cover and is only valid within the UK - if you want a mate to ride your bike or you ride theirs overseas then you will need to add each other as named riders on the policy.
Do BeMoto do travel insurance?
Yes, BeMoto offers travel insurance for bikers who want to tour in Europe, take part on overseas trackdays or off-road riding (whether that's Enduro, Motocross or cross-country adventure riding).
Most normal travel insurance policies exclude cover for riding large capacity motorbikes overseas, in other words they'll cover you for riding a 50cc moped or 125cc scooter but nothing more, so if you decide last minute to jump on a quad tour or hire a cruiser for the day you may not be covered for emergency medical and repatriation costs unless you buy specialist cover like ours.
BeMoto Travel and Repatriation Insurance (often known as "Repat") is also widely used for Euro trackdays and dirt bike holidays, including amateur racing events if you choose the additional options/packages on our policy - no cover is available for professional racing overseas.