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Temporary European Car Insurance

Temporary insurance can cover you to drive abroad

Why choose our temporary european car insurance?

Get flexible cover that's right for you with policies from just one hour up to 28 days
For driving holidays or visiting friends and family
Quick quotes available in just 90 seconds

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:

  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Andorra

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.

Start a quick and easy quote now and get car insurance for driving abroad in minutes.

Customer satisfaction

 Tempcover has provided temporary vehicle insurance to hundreds of thousands of drivers for over 15 years.

We’re currently rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot and have over 27,000 reviews, with over 80% of reviewers giving us 5 stars!

We’ve been recognised for our work with plenty of awards

We work directly with insurers to provide you with short-term insurance to suit your needs
VISA, Mastercard, AMEX
You can pay for your short term insurance policy in several ways. Using our secure payment system, you can use the following payment methods:
VISA, Mastercard, AMEX

After you’ve bought your policy, your documents will be emailed to you instantly so there’s no waiting around.

FAQs about temporary European car insurance

Does my car insurance cover me to drive in Europe?

All UK car insurance provides the minimum third-party cover required to drive in the EU and several other European countries. However, this is only helpful if you intend to drive your own vehicle in Europe.

If you’re planning on borrowing or sharing a car for your trip, you’d need to add it to your annual policy. This, though, could impact your policy premiums, even if you only add it for a short time.

It’s also important to bear safety in mind when driving in Europe. Long journey times and unfamiliar surroundings take their toll on you, tiring you out behind the wheel. That’s why it’s smart to share the driving between yourself and another driver – but adding a named driver to an annual policy for even a short time can be expensive and could affect the annual premium.

In either case, taking out a temporary policy offers a better solution. Whether you’re driving a borrowed car or sharing the driving with someone else, short-term cover won’t affect any annual policies you already have in place. You get the get the exact amount of car insurance cover you need to drive in Europe and don’t pay for anything else.

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Can you insure me to drive in Europe?

Yes, we can. You’re covered to drive in the EU whenever you take out one of our temporary car, van or motorbike policies. You get third-party equivalent cover for the entire duration of the policy, the minimum amount required to drive in any EU country – on the condition that the vehicle is in the UK at the start and end of the policy.

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Which countries are covered by short-term European car insurance?

Our short-term car, van and motorbike insurance policies cover you to drive in all EU member states, as well as the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland

Always ensure that you check what the minimum level of car insurance cover is for any countries in which you’ll be driving while abroad.

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How much does short-term European car insurance cost?

Taking out a temporary car insurance policy to drive in Europe is convenient and could be the affordable option. The exact cost varies depending on a few factors, including details about you – such as your age and driving history – as well as the car you want to insure.

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What's the eligibility criteria for temporary European car insurance?

To be eligible for one of our temporary car insurance policies, you and the car you want to insure need to pass our criteria.

You must:

  • Be aged 17-78 years old.
  • Have been a permanent UK resident for the last 12 months or be a British expatriate.
  • Have no criminal convictions.
  • Hold a full UK or EU driving licence.
  • Have not been disqualified from driving in the last two years.
  • Have no more than seven license points in the last three years.
  • Have had no more than two claims for which you were at fault in the last three years.
  • Not have had a previous policy of insurance declared void by an insurer.

The car must:

  • Be valued between £1,500 and £65,000.
  • Be in a roadworthy condition and have a current, valid MOT– unless you are using the insurance policy to take the vehicle to a pre-booked MOT.
  • Be taxed, unless you are using the insurance policy to obtain tax for the vehicle immediately after purchase.
  • Not be modified in any way except for those designed to aid disabled drivers.
  • Be a right-hand-drive car.
  • Have no more than eight seats.
  • Not be declared SORN.

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What details do I need to apply for temporary European car insurance?

Applying for temporary car insurance for driving abroad is easy. You just need to provide a few details about yourself and the car you want to insure, including:

  • The car’s registration number
  • The value of the vehicle
  • Your personal details, including your name, address, and date of birth
  • You licence type and how long you’ve held it
  • When you’d like the policy to start and end
  • And your contact details, so we can send you your policy documents

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Should I tell my annual insurer I'm getting short-term car insurance to drive in Europe?

Our temporary policies have no impact on your existing policy, so there’s no need to inform your annual insurance provider.

This includes your No Claims Bonus on your annual policy but, if you do have an accident and make a claim on your holiday car insurance, you’ll need to notify your annual policy provider when it’s time to renew.

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What else do I need to drive in Europe?

You need to take all relevant documents with you when driving abroad, including your driver’s licence, car registration documents and travel insurance documents.

Our temporary car insurance policies cover you to drive in the following countries without a green card:

  • The EU, including Ireland
  • Andorra
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland

However, there are countries that may require additional documentation, such as an International Driving Permit (IDP). You may also need to display a GB sticker on the back of your vehicle, depending on where you travel.

Make sure you check government guidance and consult with your insurer before travelling.

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What our expert says

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Many of our customers use our temporary insurance to drive a car they're borrowing or sharing in Europe. They get the cover necessary to be on the road abroad, only pay for as much as they need, and there's no impact on their annual policies – it's a no-brainer. Just make sure you buy breakdown cover separately if you do this as you can't get it as an add-on in Europe.

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Marc Pell

Managing Director

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