FOLLOWING previous correspondence on the subject of Green Cards - the certificate from your motor insurance company necessary to provide full cover for continental motoring - Mark Ellingham, a director of Rough Guides, describes a recent problem.

'Our card had been issued for three months by a Lloyd's syndicate insurance company. When we realised that we would be staying abroad in France and Spain for longer than this, we phoned up to have it extended. 'No can do', was the answer from broker and insurance company, as three months is the maximum Green Card permit in any one year.

'We phoned around and other insurers had the same story. Our options were, therefore, either to have the car insured for fire and theft for a few weeks (which we did, of course - but a bit risky all the same), or going through all the faff of cancelling the policy and opening a new one in Spain with a local company.'

'Britain in Europe - it's a joke, isn't it?' Mark Ellingham concludes.