You might have family living overseas, be a regular traveller for business or just want to explore the continent in your retirement - whatever the reason, you'll need Europe wide car insurance.

Without car insurance for Europe you're leaving yourself vulnerable if something goes wrong, not to mention the fact that you might end up in hot water legally.

Depending on how often you drive your car abroad and how long your trips last, regular policies may not offer the level of cover you need - and in this case unlimited European car insurance would be your best bet.

What's unlimited European cover car insurance?

This type of car insurance policy means you can drive in Europe without worrying about how long your overseas cover will last or counting how many days you've got left.

Many insurance companies won't offer car insurance for more than 90 days in Europe or beyond 180 days continental car insurance, so if you spend longer than that abroad you wouldn't be protected.

Moreover, even if they do offer half a year's European cover, most insurers will impose maximum trip duration limits, meaning you can't use your whole allowance in one stint.

With car insurance unlimited European cover policies, no such restrictions apply, allowing you freedom to enjoy your travels.

What's covered under long term European car insurance?

When you compare unlimited European car insurance you'll still need to check what you're actually covered for when driving on foreign roads.

Don't assume that you'll have the same level of cover that you do in the UK; even if it gives you comprehensive insurance here, it may only offer a watered-down version when overseas.

This is why it's important to shop around and ask potential providers of 365 day European car insurance whether the level of protection you have in the UK will be matched when you're on the continent.

Countries included and breakdown cover

Car insurance with unlimited European cover is only as good as the protection it offers. You should find out from the company exactly which countries are included in the policy - just to be on the safe side!

During your unlimited European car insurance comparison, you might find that breakdown cover for driving in the EU will need to be added as an extra to your deal, so make sure you read through the small print and ask your insurer if you're in any doubt.

Avoid getting caught out

Remember to check what you need to have in your car when driving in Europe, otherwise you might end up in a spot of bother!

For example, in France you're required to have a self-test breathalyser in your vehicle. If you're found without one you may well have to pay a fine. Similarly in many EU countries you'll need a warning triangle and fluorescent jacket in your car, so make sure they're on your Things to Pack list. and are always kept in your car

Discounts and excess

When you search for car insurance European cover unlimited deals, you may able to pay less if you buy the policy online, as insurers often offer discounts for buying insurance through their sites.

Another way you might be able to knock some money off is by offering to pay a higher excess, as companies may lower your premiums if you do. However, you'd still need to be able to afford that excess in the event of a claim - so don't hike it up too much!

Once you've worked out what level of cover you need and have figured out which insurance companies can provide it, you can make a comparison and get quotes from each one. This way you can you get a deal that offers the best value, while including all the features you need to cover you when driving on the continent.

Read our guide Discover the best overseas car insurance for driving abroad to find out more about getting cover while driving in Europe and beyond.