GB vs UK Car Stickers: What’s different now and why?

gb-vs-uk-stickers

GB vs UK Car Stickers

Do you ever feel like the government is focusing on things that aren’t all that important? Well, since September 2021 if you’re planning to travel around Europe, get ready for some changes.

Are they important changes? That’s up to you to decide. Today, we’re talking about GB vs UK car stickers.

A new law is being introduced that will require you to display a UK badge on your vehicle when traveling abroad. Why? Keep reading to find out!

New Rule with Car Stickers

It’s not common for the United Nations to concern themselves with ordinary driving problems, but in this situation, it seems that they are involved.

Starting from September 28th, 2021, UK drivers must replace their GB car sticker with one that displays “UK” instead if they’re driving their UK-registered vehicle.

I wrote more about the new rules, as well as where to buy and place the sticker, here: UK Car Sticker Instead Of GB

Why the Change? GB vs UK Stickers

The reason for the change? Politics.

While no official statement has been released, it is believed that the change is a political move to show support for Northern Ireland following Brexit.

Still not following?

It’s quite straightforward (although some might describe it as bureaucratic or trivial)…

The term “Great Britain” refers to England, Scotland, and Wales. However, the “United Kingdom” encompasses these regions plus Northern Ireland.

Requiring the display of a UK sticker aims to ensure that drivers in Europe (as well as those in the Republic of Ireland) are acknowledging that Northern Ireland remains part of the UK.

Sometimes, the little things can make a big difference, right?

Do You Need a UK Sticker on a Car?

Yes.

If you’re traveling to any European country (including the Republic of Ireland, as they’re still part of Europe), you must display a UK sticker on the rear of your vehicle.

Here’s some good news, though:

If you’ve already purchased a fancy new number plate with “GB” prominently displayed over the Union Flag, you can still use it when traveling abroad. You’ll just need to supplement it with a “UK” magnet or sticker on the back of the car.

Why did we use the GB sticker?

It has always been a requirement for cars crossing European borders to display their country of origin. Vehicles could either use stickers featuring initials from their state of registration or have a number plate displaying the relevant country letters. Prior to Brexit, UK number plates often featured the letters “GB” beneath the circle of EU stars.

However, Great Britain (and the UK, for that matter) is no longer a member of the European Union.

In January 2021, the government suggested that “GB” with the Union Flag would still be adequate for driving in Europe.

However, as of September 2021, you may find yourself at the mercy of local law enforcement (such as the Gendarmerie, Guarda, Polizei, or any other European police) if you don’t display a “UK” emblem on your vehicle.

In the event of a car collision

If you’re involved in a car accident, whether as the at-fault driver or the victim, and your insurer determines that you did not have the appropriate UK car sticker during the collision, you may not receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.

This is why it’s critical to ensure that your vehicle displays the correct identification when driving abroad. It may seem like a minor detail, but it could have a significant impact on the outcome of any potential insurance claims.

So, before you set off on your next European road trip, make sure that you and your car is ready to avoid any problems in the event of an accident.

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