Don’t ever assume your motorbike insurance includes European cover. Always check you’re covered to ride on the Continent, or extend your cover before heading abroad.
You have EU motorbike insurance if you have a UK motorcycle insurance policy.
You need to be aware that your policy might only offer the minimum legal cover to ride in EU countries – it won’t necessarily be the same cover as you have for riding in the UK.
For example, you could have a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy but might only have third party cover in the EU (plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland), as that’s the legal minimum.
If your policy offers ‘EU cover’ on the same terms as your UK cover (e.g. comprehensive), it might not extend to other European countries, like Norway and Switzerland – so always check.
If you only have third party cover, you won’t be insured for things like theft, vandalism, fire damage or accidents that are your fault.
You don't need a green card for riding in the EU, but you will need to carry your certificate of insurance to prove you’ve got the minimum amount of cover for the country you're driving in.
In some Eastern European countries outside the EU – Albania, Azerbaijan Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine – you'll need to carry a green card.
You can request a green card from your insurer. It’ll either post it to you, which takes around six weeks, or give you instructions on how to print one out yourself.
You must carry a physical copy of your green card – digital formats aren’t accepted.
You’ll need more than one green card if:
For most EU countries, you don’t need a GB sticker for your motorcycle if:
You do need a GB sticker if your number plate has:
But if you’re riding in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must show a GB sticker, regardless of what’s on your number plate.
No. You only need an IDP for riding in the EU if you have a paper driving licence, or a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
Yes, as long as you have proof of suitable insurance and the right documents.
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You’ll only have European cover for a certain number of days per year and this will be specified in your policy documents.
The catch is, this is a total annual limit – so you might not be able to use it all up in a single trip.
So you also need to check your policy for the single trip limit – that's how long you’re insured abroad for any one trip.
Only 69% of policies offered cover for a single foreign trip of 60 days or more, so check your documents carefully if you’re planning an extended trip.
Lots of policies will include the same level of cover in Europe as you have when riding in the UK, but if yours doesn’t you might want to add it to your policy.
You might be able to add cover for several trips over the whole year, or just upgrade cover for the days you’re going away.
This is usually charged as an optional extra and your insurer might also charge you an admin fee to change your policy.
Because of that, it’s usually cheaper to think about whether you’ll be riding abroad when you take out your policy and, if you are, make sure you choose one with the cover you need for your trip.
European breakdown cover won’t be covered as standard on your insurance policy, so you’ll need to buy it separately, even if your insurance includes breakdown cover in the UK.
You can get cover for a single trip or take out an annual policy.
Depending on the policy you take out, you can be covered for roadside assistance, garage labour costs, accommodation expenses and getting your bike back to the UK.
Last checked 24 August 2022