A simples guide

European driving insurance

Time for a holiday or business trip? If you’re planning on driving in Europe this year, there’s a few things you should consider.

 

Make sure you familiarise yourself with the rules of the road in the countries that you’ll be visiting.

 

You’ll also need to think about whether you need to carry some additional items in your car.  For example, certain countries require you to have reflective hazard triangles and fluorescent jackets in your vehicle.

 

Don’t forget, wherever you’re heading, check your documents and contact your insurer to ask about your car insurance cover while driving in Europe. The legal minimum insurance requirements will be covered as standard but euro extension cover may not be.

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Your European Car Insurance

To start, you’ll need to check your current comprehensive policy to see whether you have existing European car insurance.

The Level Of Cover


Don’t assume that because you have a comprehensive policy in the UK, that you’ll automatically have the same level of cover abroad. All car insurance policies provided in the UK match the legal minimum requirement in EAA countries.

EAA countries are the 28 European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. However, an add on could be offered for EAA extension which would cover the policyholder to the exact same level of cover they have in the UK. 

Many policies that do have existing European cover will have a limit on the number of days that you’re covered for. This could be a limit lasting a number of consecutive days called continuous cover, or could be a total yearly allowance.

It’s worth discussing the specifics of your journey with your insurer so they can tailor the cover for your dates of travel in Europe.

Print your documents and take them with you

It’s important to take your documentation with you when you’re driving in Europe. This includes the following:

Your driving licence

If you have a photo card licence, a copy of your DVLA driver record and a licence check code if needed

An International Driving Permit (when necessary)

Your vehicle's registration document (V5c) (the original not a copy)

Your motor insurance certificate

Your passport(s)

Your travel insurance documents

 

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What’s a Green Card?

You may have heard of the Green Card System andyou may be offered a Green Card by your insurer. It was created to help the movement of cars across European borders by creating one recognised European document. This helps to prove that the driver is insured. The Green Card is not compulsory for travel in the EEA but in some countries you may be asked to produce the document by the local authorities.

The Green Card now acts an international certificate of insurance and quickly proves to foreign authorities that the driver has insurance for the country they’re driving in. Possession of a Green Card guarantees that the victim of an accident caused by a foreign vehicle will be compensated in the country of the accident if the driver of the foreign vehicle was found to be at fault.

The responsibility for issuing the cards in the UK sits with The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, but they’ve delegated the responsibility for issuing and printing them to the individual insurers.

Currently 47 countries, including all 28 European Union countries and EEA countries, are part of the Green Card System.

 

Questions?

If you’ve any concerns or questions regarding your European insurance cover it’s probably best to speak to your insurer directly in the first instance.

We search the UK’s leading car insurance providers to help people find cheap car insurance. To compare car insurance, simply start a quote, tell us a bit about you, your car and what level of cover you’ll need. Our comparison service will do all the leg work for you and provide you with a range of competitive quotes that suit your needs.