European car insurance

Compare quotes from insurers that offer basic European cover as standard if you're looking to drive abroad. Make sure you are covered to drive in Europe by having the right insurance in place.

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Car insurance for Europe

Last updated: 29 September 2020

Every UK car insurance policy will provide minimum third party cover to drive in other European Union (EU) countries, but this will only cover other drivers' costs, so you should consider extending your cover to get the best protection.

Extended European car insurance

Many car insurance policies let you extend your European cover so you will get the same protection as you have in the UK.

So, if you have a fully comprehensive policy, you will get comprehensive cover when you drive in Europe too.

However this is not always offered as standard you will need to compare car insurance to see which insurance policies include European full comprehensive cover.

Here is more on the cover you need to drive overseas

Get the right length of European car insurance cover

Most will European car insurance policies will include the following terms and conditions:

A maximum period for the term of the European car insurance policy: this is normally a total of 180 days a year.

A maximum length of each individual trip: this is normally between three and 90 days, depending on the insurer.

  • If you are planning to be away in a foreign country for three months during the year, make sure you get cover for at least 90 days.

  • Make sure each trip made during those 90 days does not exceed the single trip limit.

Unlimited cover in some cases: some insurance companies offer unlimited annual European cover, which means you will get the same cover at home and abroad for trips of any length during the policy.

You should also make sure the policy you choose covers everything you need, not just driving in Europe. Here is everything car insurance can cover you against.
Short term car insurance can cover any trips to Europe but check your level of cover first.

European car insurance FAQs

Yes, all car insurance policies give you third party cover to drive in Europe. You can usually extend your cover; find out how to add European cover here.

If you are under 25 search for car insurance for young drivers to compare European cover.

All European Union (EU) countries and other destinations like Andorra and Switzerland. The policy documents will outline which countries are included.

No, only if you have added European breakdown cover to your policy, or taken out a standalone European breakdown policy.

No, most countries do not require you to have a Green Card. However, some countries insist foreign drivers carry a ‘green card’ – a form of ID you can get free from your insurer.

Countries where you are required to have a Green Card, include: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

It can cover damage to your and another driver's car after an accident. It can also cover theft, vandalism, fire and more.

Sometimes, insurers will cover damages but not theft, but within Europe it is normally basic third-party cover.

This your car won’t be covered for damages, or any expenses for personal injuries sustained.

  • know what you are covered for whether you have third-party only (TPO), third-party damage, fire and theft (TPFT) or comprehensive cover

  • third-party only insurance will not cover damage to your own car or your medical expenses

  • third-party damage, fire and theft insurance also covers you for arson and if things are stolen from your car

  • check how many days you are insured for

Before you do, make sure you have the right to drive in your country of choice: check on where you can use your licence abroad.

If you hold a British driving licence you are fine to drive in:

  • European Union (EU) member countries

  • European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

You’ll need an International Driving Permit to drive in countries outside of these zones

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