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Car Insurance When Driving Abroad

Most people set off on their overseas car journey with the belief that they’ve fully covered by their own car insurance. If you’re taking your own car abroad, it’s a common misconception that your current insurer doesn’t need to be informed of your overseas trip and that you will be covered on the same basis as you are in the UK. Sadly, however, this isn’t the case and although it’s hopeful that you’ll never need it, it’s essential to have full coverage when travelling.

Check With Your Insurer First

Travelling abroad can often be more dangerous than travelling in the UK. Unfamiliar roads, traffic systems, road signs, driver customs and more can mean your likelihood of an accident may increase. Many countries have entirely different standards of driving from the UK also, so keeping yourself safe when travelling abroad is extremely important. If you’re unlucky enough to have an accident, however, insurance is very important so you must check with your UK insurer before heading off. There are a number of important points to raise with your current insurer:

  • Is your current insurance RTA (Road Traffic Accident) only?
  • Is your current insurance only a third party when travelling abroad?
  • Are you covered if your car is stolen or involved in a legal matter after a collision
  • Can you get fully comprehensive car insurance with them?

Most insurers will be happy to keep your business and will be keen to set you up with a policy that will cover you when travelling abroad. In the majority of cases, this will simply be an extension to your existing policy for a set number of days, but there are other options also.

Green Card Insurance When Driving Abroad

The European Commission has announced that UK drivers will no longer be required to carry Green Cards when driving in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland beginning August 2, 2021.

Please note that a Green Card may still be required to drive in other countries, including Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. For more information, please visit:

Car Insurance in the US

Although driving through Europe allows you to extend your existing UK policy for full cover there, driving in the US is entirely different. If you’re hiring a car there it is essential that you are aware of what insurance you have. You will normally need to purchase this insurance before you arrive or at the car hire area and it will be entirely separate from your UK car insurance. Speak to your travel agent first and see if they can get you a good deal and always be prepared to top up basic cover there as accident claims can be extortionate.

Different Types of Car Insurance When Travelling Abroad

There are different fees and price structures when it comes to car insurance and travelling abroad. You must consider what level of cover you’re happy with, as well as specify what type of car you’re driving. Various rates depend on:

  • Type of car – hybrid cars often have different pay levels than others
  • Length of cover – how long do you require the extended cover for
  • Extra covers – do you require breakdown cover, special restrictions or other extras

Make sure you fully understand what you’re covered for and how much it will cost before you head off. Having your insurance papers with you when travelling is essential and you should keep these with you in your car at all times.


Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.