If you want to drive abroad for a few days or weeks a short term car insurance policy can be an affordable way of getting the cover you need.

A short term European policy could be a good option if:

  • You will share driving someone else's car on holiday

  • You are borrowing a car to take abroad

  • You want to use a car overseas that had been declared off the road in the UK with a Statuary Off Road Notification (SORN)

Can you use your existing car insurance policy to drive in Europe?

Yes, you do not need to get a separate temporary policy to drive in Europe if your car is already insured.

Every UK car insurance policy will provide at least third party cover to drive in other European Union (EU) countries.

This guide explains exactly what cover you need to drive abroad.

Get the right length of cover

When you get a quote you will need to choose how many days you will need your policy for.

To get the cheapest cover, try not to take out a policy for longer than you need to. It is calculated per day so you could end up paying more than you have to.

If you are going on holiday, think about:

  • How many days you will be away for

  • How long will you need the car before and after the trip

For example: If you are staying in France for seven days, but plan to drive to and from your destination which will take one day each way, you will need nine days of cover.

Our table shows the length of cover each insurer offers; usually between 1 and 28 days. If you need longer than this consider an annual car insurance policy with European cover.

Can you upgrade your cover?

Yes, all polices offer basic third party level cover, but some insurers give you the option of extending it to comprehensive cover.

However, not all offer this so use our comparison to find the insurers that can upgrade your policy.

Short term European car insurance FAQs


Will short term insurance cover me to drive in Europe?


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.


What European countries are covered?


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


How long does short term European cover last?


Most insurers offer policy terms of between 1 and 28 days, but some will cover you for longer.


Is the excess higher on short term European policies than standard policies?


Yes it can be, especially if you are a younger driver. Some insurers will set an excess of as much as 1,000 for short term cover.


Will I have breakdown cover in Europe?


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


Do I need a Green Card to drive in Europe?


No, most countries do not require you to have a Green Card. However, you will need a Green Card in Belarus, Russia, Turkey and Morocco.

About our car insurance comparison


Who do we include in this comparison?


We include short term European car insurance policies available from our panel of insurers and brokers. They are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.


How do we make money from our comparison?


We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.