With so many stunning countries just the other side of the English Channel, it’s no wonder so many Brits take to the roads to see what beautiful places Europe has waiting just hours away.
While driving across the water does offer a lot more freedom with your adventures, you need to make sure you’re doing properly.
In today’s guide, we’re going to explore everything you need to know, including what you need to look for, what sort of prices you can expect, and how you can have the best insurance experience while on a driving adventure in Europe.
Table of Contents
Is my car insurance valid in Europe?
Yes. All UK insurance providers provide a minimum of third-party insurance cover while driving in Europe, and include this with their standard UK car insurance policies.
However, there are some variables you’re going to want to be made aware of. This includes how long you’re covered for in terms of days, how long a single trip can be, and what kind of protection and situations you’ll be covered for.
The differences in European driving insurance policy and what you’re covered for will differ depending on which provider you go with, so make sure you’re researching beforehand to guarantee you’re going to be covered with what you’re looking for.
What is European Car Insurance?
As the title suggests, European car insurance is a type of insurance term policy that covers you and your vehicle while you’re driving in European roads. All standard UK car insurance policies offer the minimum of third-party cover for car insurance for Europe, but this doesn’t mean you’re covered to a fully comprehensive level.
When you’re driving in the EU, whether you’re on holiday or driving for business, you’re going to want to ensure you’re covered.
There’s nothing worse than being involved in an accident and then having to deal with everything yourself without the help of an insurance company who knows what they’re doing. It’s much easier, and more cost-effective, to get yourself a fully comprehensive european cover car insurance policy.
If your current insurer does give you European car insurance cover with your UK policy, you’ll need to make sure you’re provided with a green card and accompanying documentation. This proves your car is insured while driving in the EU, but more on that later.
A green card is a term referring to how insurance companies will prove a UK driver and car is insured while driving in the EU after Brexit. Read on to find out more!
It’s worth remembering that while all UK insurance providers will grant car insurance with European cover included, if you’re looking for a specific form of cover, or a certain type of protection, there are some dedicated, short-term European car insurance providers you can look into. These include;
- Insure Daily
- Day Insure
- Insure 4 a Day
- Keith Michaels
- Sterling Insurance.
Where To Get The Best European Car Insurance Deal?
There are plenty of places you can get yourself a comprehensive European cover car insurance deal. The best place is to look online (read on to see our best comparison of the best European car insurance policies), but it’s important to make sure you’re doing your research to ensure you’re finding the best deal for you.
However, there are a few other things to consider when looking for cheap European car insurance.
As above, you may get a third-party or even fully comprehensive level of European cover on your existing car insurance policy, so it’s always worth checking. Some of the best European car insurance cover providers will offer European driving cover within their terms and conditions.
You will find below a comparative table of some of the best European car insurance deals you could get in the UK.
|Provider||Price||Features of Policy||Opinion|
|£348.66 per year|
|£353.78 per year|
|£361.36 per year|
|£407.05 per year|
|£407.61 per year|
|£431.44 per year|
Prices are given based on a standard Vauxhall Corsa of a 30-year-old man. Your own prices will differ based on your driving history, personal information, and the vehicle you’re insuring. Prices are subject to change and should be used as a guideline only.
Always make sure you’re checking to see how long any included car insurance European cover lasts on your existing policy. In most cases, you’ll receive 30 to 90 days of cover, if any at all. If you plan on driving in the EU over these time durations, you’ll need to invest in a dedicated policy.
What’s included in European car insurance policy?
What’s included with your car insurance in Europe policy will solely depend on the provider you opt for. There are many providers that will offer various extra features to your policy, some will be included for free, and some you’ll have to pay for.
This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re researching providers to see which is best for you.
However, some of the key features to look out for include;
- European breakdown cover
- Lock replacement and key loss cover
- Gadget and personal belonging covers
- Courtesy car cover
- Windshield cover
- Legal assistance and compensation.
If you require long term European car insurance, contact your car insurance provider to see what they can offer you.
How much is European car insurance?
Averagely, you’re going to be looking around the £400 mark for a fully comprehensive car insurance for driving in Europe policy.
This is a policy that will cover you comprehensively in both the UK and the EU, and comes with all the features and policy extras you can add as required.
What is a green card for insurance?
While looking for the best European car insurance policy, the chances are you’ve seen a mention of the ‘green card’, but what is this and how does it affect you?
In short, a green card is a clause that will allow UK drivers to drive in the EU after Brexit has happened. This green card will be provided by your insurance company and will prove your insurance policy is up to date and valid for use in EU countries. It basically just ensures everything is legal while you’re driving around.
Will Brexit affect car insurance?
Hand in hand with what we’re explaining above, with the terms of Brexit unconfirmed, yes, Brexit will affect how car insurances work, but this is uncertain how. However, regardless of what happens, the Association of British Insurers has confirmed that, in most circumstances, the changes should be very minimal.
In the vast majority of Europe, unless there is a no-deal Brexit, you’ll be able to drive, just like you can now, and without a green card. Only in a selection of countries will a green card be needed. These countries include;
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
According to what’s currently known, you’ll need a green card, plus specialist insurance policies to cover you when driving in the following EU countries;
- Northern Cyprus
This information is correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change as the UK government and EU decide on how Brexit is going to be implemented. Always research countries you’re travelling to before you take your trip to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information.
Do you need to increase your car insurance policy when driving in Europe?
If you’re driving in the UK with third party insurance, you may start considering whether you want to bump this up a level to fully comprehensive for when you travel into Europe, but this is completely up to you. However, as a rule of thumb, yes; you’ll want to upgrade your insurance simply for peace of mind.
When driving in Europe, you’re going to be driving on roads you don’t know, potentially on the other side of the road, trying to read road signs in foreign languages and stay within the boundaries of foreign road laws.
This, all added together, means you may be more likely to be involved in an accident, which is why having fully comprehensive is a good idea to ensure you’re covered for everything. Always check to make ask does uk car insurance cover Europe so you stay legal!
What do I need to check before taking a car insurance to drive in Europe?
Now you’re nearly ready to fully head out and take your driving trip around Europe, you need to make sure you do your final checks to ensure you’re going to be driving legally in whatever country you’re going to, and you’re covered in the event you do find yourself in a situation.
Here are some quick-fire points you’ll need to remember;
- The level cover needed - No matter what of cover you want and what benefits you’ll want access to while driving abroad, make sure you’ve got the insurance policy to cover you. Third-party, third-party, fire and theft, or fully comprehensive, it’s up to you!
- Check you’re insured in the right countries - As we mentioned above, most EU countries you’ll be able to drive in without needing to do anything and won’t even need a green card, but there are some exceptions. Make sure you’re checking for the most up-to-date information to ensure you’re driving legally. Check out our reviews.
- The length of the policy - Always check how long your insurance provider is covering you for while driving in Europe. This can range from 90 days to 180 days, but the average trip duration is 90 days. Be clear on this before you leave.
- Make sure you have access to documents - It’s vital that you have access to your insurance documents at any time while driving in the EU, so the best course of action is to print off copies and take them with you. You’ll also want copies of your driver's license, national insurance number, and your passport, just in case you need them.
To ensure you always have access at any time, you may want to use a provider that allows you to access your policy documents online.
- Valid tax and MOT policies - You won’t be able to have a valid insurance policy if you don’t have a taxed vehicle or a car that doesn’t have an MOT. Before heading out on your trip, make sure you have both of these, and that the tax and MOT will last the duration of your EU trip.
- Follow country-specific laws - It’s essential you research the driving laws of the countries you’re planning to drive through on your trip. For example, in France, it’s the law you have a breathalyzer device, a high-visibility jacket, and a hazard triangle in your car and easily accessible for if you’re in a road accident event. Failure to apply to these rules can leave you with hefty fines, and maybe even prosecuted.