3rd party liability green card for driving thru Europe impossible to obtain for US registered car

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Dec 5, 2017
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#1
It looks like our dream of taking an extended road trip through Europe to visit family in Bulgaria has hit into a road block. We have a quote to get our car to Antwerp from Baltimore, making it convenient for us to get the car to a European destination from our home in the DC area to begin our bucket-list trip. The next step, getting the car legally on the road doesn't seem possible. Naturally we've checked with our insurance company and others both here and in Europe. None issues simple 3rd party liability to obtain the "green card" needed to pass through EU customs along the route. We are flexible and don't have budget restraints, except that costs should not exceed what a rental would be. Our time line is to travel in April for up to six months. Internet research shows some results but nothing that we could actually follow.

Is it because there's a deliberate policy against travelers driving their US registered cars in Europe?
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#2
Looking around, there seem to be a lot of issues with this, with people reporting having to essentially get the full vehicle inspection for registration in Europe in order to get their insurance. Have you asked the shipping company you're using?
 
Sep 12, 2015
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#3
In the 1990s we were able to bring our California register Volvo to our vacation home in the Netherlands. We were able to keep it there for two years. We did have insurance issued thought a Dutch insurance company. At the end of the two years we exported it back to California. We now have a vacation home in France and are not able to import a US registered car for longer than two months. We have not tried to bring in a car at this time. Rules and regulations have changed greatly in the last few years.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#4
I know you must have a compelling reason for taking your US car to Europe. For myself, I would consider leasing a car for 6 months rather than sending my car over and trying to deal with EU regulations.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
"Is it because there's a deliberate policy against travelers driving their US registered cars in Europe?[/QUOTE]."

The EU green card system for car insurance means that the insurance companies of those countries have agreed to pay a claim if the insured vehicle is in an accident in the foreign country. No US or Canadian insurance company has agreed to cover any accidents in Europe.

You can read about the countries that participate (Russia Tunisia and more) at Cobx.org

The problem is that a traveler that is bringing a foreign car and not staying in one country is that the person is not even a temporary resident and has no fixed address. Insurance companies want to know where someone is. Most countries allow a non resident car to be driven for several months but the challenge is to get insurance.

Has the OP asked their relatives to talk to their insurance company?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#9
I can't imagine any US insurance company would cover anything like attempting to take your car to a different country except maybe Canada or Mexico. Is there some issue with you not being able to rent a car?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#10
I would LOVE to ship my big fat SUV over to tour Europe for six months! Yours is a most fascinating post. Sounds like it's fairly complex these days, however.

If you do end up leasing a vehicle, I'd check with AutoEurope in Maine, through whom I've been renting cars for years. They're brokers, so they find you the best deal on the vehicle of your choice.

If you use a credit card with rental car protection, it will be simple. However, for multi-country insurance I think I'd be inclined to take the full coverage from the agency. Please let us know how things go ... I would really like to know how you solve this issue.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#11
Another reason I wouldn't want my US car over in Europe is the hassle of parking a larger vehicle. I love getting the smallest car I can when I rent in Europe. Makes driving life so much easier!
 
Likes: technomage1
Dec 5, 2017
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#12
Looking around, there seem to be a lot of issues with this, with people reporting having to essentially get the full vehicle inspection for registration in Europe in order to get their insurance. Have you asked the shipping company you're using?
Yes. They are freight forwarders only, I.e., get the car from port to port period.
 
Dec 5, 2017
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#13
"Our time line is to travel in April for up to six months."

Please be aware that a US citizen may travel in the EU for ninety days. For a longer stay, a long stay visa issued through the country of longest stay must be secured prior to outbound travel.
We have permanent residency in Bulgaria so length and frequency of stays there and rest of EU is not a concern.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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#15
We have permanent residency in Bulgaria so length and frequency of stays there and rest of EU is not a concern.
As an EU resident, I don't believe you can drive a US plated vehicle in Europe (or only for limited purposes). I remember this issue coming up a few years ago while living in Germany. As a resident, I believe you have to obtain a vehicle registration. You may want to check on this with the Road Traffic Office in Bulgaria to be sure.
 
Likes: mmb

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#20
The cost o ship is $786. With a reasonable six month premium around $300, the savings amounts to over $2000 when compared to leasing.
Wow- now I can see why you want to ship. I don’t know that we have anyone who is really schooled in this type of travel. I hope someone who knows more about this will see this