There’s nothing in the world quite like a driving holiday. That sense of freedom and escapism is unrivalled, 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 can be the ideal solution for many drivers looking to hit the open road while travelling abroad. Whether you’re visiting friends somewhere far away or just on holiday for a week or two, short-term cover could not only save you money but also 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 temporary car insurance that covers you to drive in Europe, which is also flexible and gives you everything you need before you head off.
Is car insurance abroad essential?
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.
So, what about driving in the European Union?
If you’re driving in the EU with your existing annual insurance policy, it’s more than likely you’ll only receive the minimum third-party level of cover, and often you’ll only be covered to drive your own vehicle, not anyone else’s. While you should always check your policy wording before driving abroad to check what is and isn’t covered, if you’d like to share the drive or use a different car, you’ll need a different arrangement.
There are several ways in which you could get cover for driving abroad but they might not all be simple, straightforward and cost-effective. That’s where temporary car insurance for travellers in Europe comes in.
Where will temporary European car insurance allow me to drive?
A temporary policy covers you to drive anywhere in the UK as standard but, with temporary European car insurance, you are insured to drive across all EU member states as well as the following places:
- San Marino
Make sure you know which countries you’ll be driving in before you get your insurance, then you can check what the minimum level of cover is and whether the policy will cover you.
Why choose temporary car insurance cover?
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.
It’s available for as little as a few hours up to 28 days at a time, and you only pay for the insurance you’ll 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.
Getting temporary car insurance abroad
Can I adjust an existing insurance policy to cover driving abroad?
Yes, you could, but you might not get the level of cover you’d like and you’d still only be able to drive whatever vehicle on which you’re already named. If you’re planning on borrowing or sharing a car that’s not yours, your existing policy could only cover you if you added that vehicle to it – even if you were able to do so, that could push up your premiums by a lot.
What’s more, 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.
What’s the best car insurance option for sharing driving abroad?
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 annual policy and No Claims Bonus is unaffected.
What European car insurance cover should I get if I’m borrowing a car?
To be covered driving a car that somebody else owns, you could get the owner to add and name you on their annual policy. However, this would cost a lot, push up premiums and give you cover for far longer than you’ll actually need it.
Taking out short-term European car insurance is a simple way to get cover to drive a car you’re borrowing for the trip. 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 owner’s No Claims Bonus if you have an accident while driving their vehicle.
How do I get a quote for temporary European car insurance?
Getting a quote has never been easier. Simply enter some basic information about the vehicle and the driver you want to be insured. You’ll be presented with a quote if you meet our acceptance criteria.
You can then adjust the start time, date and duration of your insurance policy to best suit your needs.
All our temporary car, van and motorbike insurance policies give you third-party equivalent European cover – the minimum level of cover required in any EU country.
If you’re not sure what the minimum level of cover is where you’re going, you should be able to find that information online. Alternatively, you could contact an insurer that’s native to your destination country.
We currently don’t offer fully comprehensive EU cover.
How long does the application take?
It takes just 90 seconds to get a temporary European car 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.
What else do I need to know before I get short-term car insurance?
It’s important to remember that, whether you’re driving in the UK or abroad, there are a few 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.