Written by Graham Cutbill-White
There’s nothing in the world quite like a driving holiday. That sense of freedom and escapism is unrivaled, with your set of wheels letting you squeeze more into one trip than you ever thought was possible.
But there’s plenty of practical stuff to think about first, including how you’re going to stay protected when you take to those new and unfamiliar roads.
Temporary car insurance abroad can be the ideal solution for many drivers looking to hit the open road. Whether you’re visiting friends somewhere far away, or are just on holiday for a week or two, short term cover could not only save you money, but save you from the hassle of having to alter your existing policy to cover you while you’re away.
So much can change when you’re planning a holiday, whether it’s the vehicle you’re using or who’s in the driving seat. You’ll want international temporary car insurance that covers you to drive overseas, that’s also flexible and gives you everything you need before you head off.
Wherever you are in the world, you should have a car insurance policy covering you whenever you get behind the wheel. While the minimum level of cover can vary from country to country, you should ensure you have at least this in place whenever you drive. As with many things though, things are a little more seamless if your travel is inside the EU.
While the UK is still a member of the EU, your annual policy back home will still apply in member states, and cover you to drive throughout much of Europe. However, this will only be the minimum third party level of cover, and would only cover you to drive your own vehicle. So, if you’d like more than third party cover or want to drive a different car while you’re away, you’ll need a different arrangement.
There are several ways you could get cover for driving abroad, but they might not all be simple, straightforward and cost-effective. That’s where temporary European car insurance comes in.
A temporary policy covers you to drive anywhere in the UK as standard, but with car insurance in Europe for travelers, you are insured to drive across all EU member states as well as the following places:
Aside from saving you the effort and possible expense of adjusting your existing policy, temporary car insurance gives you the cover you need, for the duration you actually want.
Available for as little as a few hours up to 28 days at a time, you only pay for the insurance you’ll really use. That means you can tailor the length of your policy to your trip. And if you end up extending your adventure, you can just take out new cover, since it takes just minutes to get and accept a quote online.
You can also pick from lots of optional extras, that you perhaps wouldn’t want to include on your annual policy, but would fit the nature of your trip and potentially make life easier.
Even if you’re taking your own car away, the third party cover that your existing policy will provide wouldn’t protect you in all circumstances, including if there was an accident and you were at fault. By taking out a short term European car insurance policy, you’ll be able to get comprehensive cover, which will give you proper peace of mind while you’re away.
With this arrangement, you can be confident that should the worst happen while driving in unfamiliar conditions, you’ll have the legally required cover, no matter what country you’re driving in.
Yes, you could. But you might not get the level of cover you like, and you’d still only be able to drive whatever vehicle you’re already named on. So if you’re planning on borrowing, hiring or sharing a car that’s not yours, your existing policy would only cover you if you added that vehicle to it – even if you were able to, that could push up your premiums by a lot.
And even if you are driving your own vehicle, driving abroad can take its toll. The vast stretches of road and long journey times can cause exhaustion in drivers, which can be extremely dangerous.
A great way to make sure everyone is alert behind the wheel is to share the responsibility. But adding a named driver to an annual policy can be expensive, especially if you only want them named for a short period of time.
There’s an easy solution. With short term European car insurance, your friend or family member can get cover to drive your vehicle for the duration of the holiday, and your policy and No Claims Bonus is unaffected.
If you’re worried about the third party only cover that your annual policy will give you overseas, you could even both take out a temporary car insurance policy, or be named on the same one. That way you’ll get comprehensive cover overseas, and no matter what happens and whoever’s behind the wheel if it does, the No Claims Bonus on your annual policy won’t be impacted.
To be covered driving a car that somebody else owns, you could get the owner to add and name you on their annual policy. But this would cost a lot, push up premiums and give you cover for far longer than you’ll actually need it.
So if you’re borrowing a car for the trip, getting a short term European car insurance is the simplest and often cheapest way to get cover to drive a new vehicle. You won’t have to worry about adjusting any existing insurance which can take a lot of time, effort and could see the vehicle owner’s premiums increase. It also protects the vehicle owners No Claims Bonus if you have an accident while driving their vehicle.
Getting a quote has never been easier, simply enter some basic information about the vehicle and the driver you want to be insured and select the quote you want from our panel of insurers.
You can then adjust the start time, date and duration of your policy to best suit your needs. Be sure to select the ‘European Cover’ add-on from our additional extras menu to make sure you’re covered to drive abroad.
It takes just minutes to get a short term European insurance quote and then the policy documents are emailed to you instantly, so whenever you’re heading off on your drive across the continent, your policy will be ready to go.
It’s important to remember that whether you’re driving in the UK or abroad, there are a number of requirements that all drivers with holiday car insurance must follow.
In order to get short term European car insurance, the vehicle you would like to be insured must be unmodified unless to aid a disabled driver, be right-hand drive and be worth at least £500.
The vehicle you’re driving must also be in the UK at the start and end of your policy. If you’re looking to bring a vehicle back to the UK from somewhere abroad, you’ll want to look at a different kind of policy, such as imported vehicle insurance.
For more information on driving overseas, including what to pack and what to do if you have an accident abroad, check out our guide on how to prepare for a driving holiday.
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