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).
PLEASE NOTE 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 Post Brexit 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.
You now 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 here.
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 Health 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 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 pursuits like off-road motorcycling or track days – 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 Form process so that you are ready for anything.
Plus, of course, make sure you have all those annoying extra paraphernalia 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 god’s sake don’t let them find a speed camera detector/locator on your person if you get pulled…
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.
The European Commission has said that from 2022, 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.
What is a Green Card?
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 riding your motorbike in the EEA and some other countries (Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland).
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 2022.
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 have an ETIAS Visa.
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.
There are two common sites used to download these forms:
There are many other sources of useful information for riding in Europe, post Brexit: