May 23, 2023.

Your bags are in the boot, the petrol tank is full and you’re ready to set off. Taking the car on holiday is a practical way to travel and allows you to be flexible. To make sure you don’t need to make any unexpected stops on your trip to the sea or the mountains, you should get your car ready for the journey ahead. This not only means things like checking the tyre pressure and oil level but also ensuring you have a green card with you, depending on the country. With these tips, you can enjoy a fun – and safe – holiday.



The condition of your car determines whether you’ll arrive at your holiday destination quickly and smoothly or whether you’ll encounter problems that lead to unforeseen stops. Follow these seven tips when planning to go on holiday by car:  

  • Check the tyre pressure before setting off on a long journey. Adjust the pressure if you’re going to be transporting a heavy load. Tyre tread is also important. Summer tyres should be replaced when the tread depth is less than 3 mm (the legal minimum tread is 1.6 mm). Also make sure that the tyres aren’t showing any signs of damage from sharp objects or impact with the pavement.
  • Cars also heat up in hot weather, so it’s important to have a working cooling system. You can refill the car’s coolant at any petrol station. Important: take care not to open the coolant reservoir until the engine has cooled down.
  • You can easily check your vehicle’s oil level yourself. A low oil level will lead to engine damage sooner or later, so make sure you top up your oil before it gets low.
  • Often, other road users notice that one of your car lights is no longer working before you do. This can be dangerous. Before setting off, check that the headlights, rear lights and indicator lights are working properly.
  • Car batteries become less reliable as they get older, and react more sensitively to the cold and heat. Your garage can check your car’s battery performance so you won’t have to make any unwanted stops on your trip.
  • Is your car making strange noises when you brake? Then you need to take it to a mechanic. Sometimes brakes can make a grinding or squealing sound. This can be caused by various things, which all need to be fixed one way or the other.
  • Even small issues can have nasty consequences. For example, old windscreen wiper blades or low wiper fluid can lead to poor visibility – so check them before you set off.



Don’t forget: give your car a quick check when you get back 


Travelling hundreds of miles to your holiday destination and back can take a toll on your car. So, don’t just vacuum the sand out of the boot – you also need to check the tyre pressure and oil, coolant and wiper fluid levels again. By the way, roof boxes or bicycle racks cause additional air resistance, leading to higher fuel consumption. Remove them when they’re no longer needed.





The green card is the international insurance card that you must have with you when driving in the following countries: Albania, Morocco, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine. The green card confirms that you have adequate third-party liability insurance cover for your vehicle. Exception: the green card is not valid for car journeys to Kosovo, where you have to take out third-party insurance at the border.  



Generali tip:

We will be happy to send you a green card automatically. It’s valid for one year at a time. It’s best to keep this international insurance card together with your European Accident Statement in the glove compartment.


  • While not compulsory in Switzerland, the oval CH country sticker must be clearly visible on your car when abroad. If you don’t have one, even a short shopping trip over the border could land you a fine.
  • You should also find out whether you need to have a warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher or high-vis jacket in the car too. In Switzerland, only the warning triangle is required by law. Good to know: in many German and Italian city centres, motorists have to display an environmental sticker.Notieren Sie sich die Telefonnummer Ihrer Versicherung, bei der Sie Pannenhilfe und Assistance bekommen. Dann sind Sie für den Notfall vorbereitet.
  • Make a note of the phone number of your insurance company that you can call for breakdown assistance. That way, you’ll be prepared for an emergency.
  • A European Accident Statement helps people involved in an accident to record all the important information. It’s a very useful document when you report the damage to the insurance company after your return. Order an Accident Statement free from us.




What is a green card?


Since 2020, the green card has officially been called the international insurance card. It confirms that you have adequate third-party liability insurance cover for your vehicle. The card shows, among other things, the registration number and make of your car, as well as the contact details for your insurance company. 



Do I still need a green card?


Yes, having an international insurance card with you in the car is compulsory in these countries:

  • Albania
  • Marocco
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine


The international insurance card is also valid in these countries (see the Number Plate Agreement (“Kennzeichenabkommen”).



Why do I need a green card?


In the event of a car accident abroad, the international insurance card proves you have adequate third-party liability insurance for your vehicle. You must carry a green card in paper form.



How long is the green card valid for?


The green card is valid for one insurance year. However, take note of the exact expiry date on the card.