Green Cards are changing
You no longer need a Green Card to travel in Europe. But we recommend you carry one until 2nd September, just in case you’re still asked to show it at any borders. So, if you’re travelling to the EU before September, just follow the steps below.
The UK's now left the EU and it's important to know which documents you'll need to take with you if you're planning to drive abroad.
You'll need your Certificate of Motor Insurance and your policy document to prove you're insured to be able to drive in the EU. You can find both of these in Manage My Policy.
You also need to take your vehicle registration document (V5) to prove you own the vehicle and you must have a GB sticker on your vehicle and any trailer. In some countries you'll need an international driving permit (IDP). Check if you need an IDP.
Lastly, you'll also need your Green Card. You can find out more about this, and how to get one, in these FAQs.
What’s a Green Card?
A Green Card is an international certificate of insurance that proves you're insured to drive in the EU. They're issued and signed by your vehicle insurer, and include your vehicle and registration details. You'll need to have one with you if you're driving in Europe and you'll need a second one if you're towing a trailer or caravan.
Once you've requested your Green Card, it will be issued to you via email and you’ll need to remember to take it with you when you travel.
Please make sure we've got the right email address for you.
We suggest you request it 14 days before you're due to travel, so it’s sent to you in time.
Do I need a Green Card?
From 1st January 2021, you'll need to show your Green Card document at European borders to prove you're insured. This includes if you're leaving for your trip before this date but returning after 1st January. In some countries you'll need an international driving permit (IDP) Check if you need an IDP.
What countries do I need a Green Card for?
How do I get one?
If you plan to drive in the EU (or between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) you can request your Green Card by contacting us on 01733 308380.You should give us 14 days’ notice to make sure your Green Card arrives in time.
What happens if my insurance renews whilst I'm driving abroad?
When you renew your insurance you'll need a new Green Card for your new policy, even if you keep your insurance with us. So, if you plan to be driving your vehicle abroad when you're due to renew, make sure you've got with you a Green Card to cover your current policy and one to cover your new policy. Please let us know when requesting your Green Card if this is the case.
If you decide to switch to a new insurer, you'll need to ask them for a new Green Card.
Will I still be insured to drive in the EU?
Yes. We, like all UK motor insurance providers, will continue to provide you the legal minimum motor insurance cover for travel to EEA countries as part of your current policy.
So, if you're a UK motorist, you won't need to purchase additional third-party motor insurance policy cover. Many of our customers will actually have a similar level of cover abroad as they get in the UK. For details of your cover, check your policy booklet.
Will my Green Card cover me to hire or borrow a vehicle while in the EU?
No. If you want to rent or borrow a vehicle, you'll need to arrange insurance separately and your Green Card won't cover this.
Will I need a GB sticker on my vehicle?
You could get fined if you don't display a GB sticker on your vehicle or trailer.
You'll need a GB sticker even if your number plate already has a GB or the EU symbol on it.
They're available from a variety of high street and online retailers, as well as departure points in the UK, and only cost a couple of pounds.
What will happen if I don't have a Green Card when I travel abroad?
You could be breaking the law, be refused entry into the European country, receive a fine and/or have your vehicle seized. Your policy doesn't cover loss or damage caused by the legal confiscation of your vehicle by HM Revenue and Customs, the police, a local authority or any other government authority - check your policy booklet for full terms and conditions.
Will there be any changes to driving licences?
Potentially yes. You may need an international driving permit (IDP) in addition to your UK driving licence to drive in the EU and EEA countries if the current agreement changes. IDPs are issued by the Government. Find out more.
What happens if I'm driving with a trailer or caravan?
You'll need to tell us when you ask for your Green Card as you need a second Green Card for your caravan or trailer. If you plan to take a commercial trailer weighing over 750kg or a non-commercial trailer weighing over 3,500kg, you must also register it with the Government before you can travel to, or through, most EU and EEA countries.
We'll be updating this FAQ page as the situation changes, so make sure to check back here if you're planning on traveling abroad.
For more information on Green Cards and the latest on driving abroad you can visit:
What's the main reason for getting a SmartMiles policy?
What happens after I start a SmartMiles policy?
How much does the box cost?
Can the policy have more than one named driver?
Does my car need to be kept at my home address?
Can the policy include business travel?
Can I earn a No Claims Discount?
Can I protect my no claims discount?
Yes, you can choose to protect your no claims discount when you get a quote.This means you won’t lose all your no claims discount straight away if you make a claim during the policy year. However, your insurance will cost a little more.
Please note protecting your no claims discount doesn’t protect the overall cost of your insurance. Your price can increase after an accident even if you aren’t at fault. If you choose to protect your no claims, full details will be included with your quote. If you’ve already bought your policy, you can see details on your policy schedule. This is stored in your online portal.
I have a Pass Plus certificate - can I save more?
How does SmartMiles know about the way I drive?
To find out more, please visit About SmartMiles.
What aspects of my driving are monitored by the SmartMiles box?
As this system is based on satellites, are there any 'blackspots' where you won't be able to track a car?
Do I get to see the data from my SmartMiles box?
Can I drive outside the UK on a SmartMiles policy?
Is there anything I need to bring with me when the box is being installed?
Do I have to wait for the Smartmiles box to be fitted before I can drive?
Will the SmartMiles box work in my car?
My car already has a telematics box from a previous insurance policy. Can I use this instead of the SmartMiles one?
What does the box look like?
Is the SmartMiles box visible from the outside of my car?
Could the SmartMiles box affect the performance of my car or its warranty?
What happens if the box stops working?
What should I do if I disagree with the mileage shown by my SmartMiles box?
What happens if the box is damaged in an accident?
What if I disagree with my driving score or feedback?
However, occasionally something could go wrong, for example a road speed limit may have changed without our knowledge. If after reflecting on how you’ve been driving you disagree, please let us know by visiting our contact us page with specific details (e.g. the times & dates of any example journeys where you believe we may be incorrect) and we’ll investigate
Will my policy be cancelled if I speed?
Will you share the SmartMiles data with other insurers?
What happens if the police ask for the data?
Is there anything other than my SmartMiles policy that the data could be used for?
Will you supply any personally identifiable data to any third parties?
How do you work out the cost of my first year's insurance, as you didn't have any driving data to base it on?
Will I be charged more if I go over my expected annual mileage?
But don’t worry, we’ll let you know if it looks like you’re going to exceed your limit when you reach 75% of your mileage and we won’t automatically stop your cover.
Keep an eye on your mileage by using our app or your online dashboard.
If I don't reach my mileage limit will I get a refund?
Can I drive at night?
What does my policy consider to be 'night'? Is it as soon as it’s dark?
How do I check the documents relating to my policy?
Will you ever cancel my insurance based on my driving?
Please note, we updated the terms around driving thresholds on 11th May 2016. If you bought your policy before this date, you can find the minimum scores that apply to your policy on page 29 of your policy booklet.
What is the Dashboard?
Is there a SmartMiles mobile app?
Find out more.
Will you help me improve my driving?
Can I have more than one login to the Dashboard?
I'm starting a SmartMiles policy for one of my children. It will be in their name, but I'm paying. Will I have access to their Dashboard?
Why isn’t my policy going to renew?
Can I get another policy with Hastings Direct?
How can I talk to you about this?
What do I do with the black box in my car?
Will I get proof of my no claims discount?
Do I need to tell my new insurer you didn’t renew my SmartMiles policy?
Do I need to keep the black box in my car?
However, once your policy has ended (or we’ve told you to remove your box) the box will be deactivated and it can be removed.
If you fitted your SmartMiles box yourself or an engineer fitted it to your car battery, you should safely remove it from your car. If it was fitted in a different way, you should either leave the box where it is, or get in touch with us to arrange an engineer to come out to you. (There will be a charge of £45 for this).
How can I safely remove the black box from my car?
If this applies to you, check out our step-by-step guide on how to remove it safely.
If it was fitted in a different way, you should either leave the box where it is or get in touch with us to arrange an engineer to come out to you. (There will be a charge of £45 for this).
What should I do with the black box once I've removed it?
What should I do if my car is stolen?
- First, call the police to tell them what has happened and let them know the car has a tracking device. You will also need to get a crime reference number.
- Call our theft helpline on 0333 999 8371 and give them your policy number and the crime reference number. They will activate the theft tracker to trace your vehicle and liaise with the police.