Driving your car abroad – Insurance FAQs

Does my insurance cover me for driving in the EU?

Most, but not all insurance policies provide at least the minimum compulsory insurance required for driving in EU countries, so check with your insurer before you travel.

Do I need more than the legal minimum insurance when abroad?

The “legal minimum” required by other EU countries may be very basic, and could be less than the protection you get from your policy in the UK. Check with your insurer that you’re covered for fire damage and theft while abroad, and ask about extending your insurance for accidental damage to your car if that’s not already covered. You’ll pay a fee for optional extras.

If your policy includes any kind of breakdown assistance in the UK, this may not extend to other EU countries, so you’ll need to arrange this separately before you travel.

Should I tell my insurer before taking my car abroad?

Yes. Not all insurers require that you notify them when you take your car abroad but some do, so it’s a good idea to mention it anyway, especially if you’ll be away for more than a week or two.

How long does my policy cover me for driving abroad?

This varies between policies, so check the small print. Although your policy may provide a certain amount of cover when you take your car abroad, there’s a distinction to be made between the annual number of days you will be covered, and the number of days you will be covered for any one trip (the period of “continuous cover”).

Check that your period of continuous cover doesn’t exceed the number of days you plan to be abroad on a single trip. If it does, give your insurer a call to extend your cover.

What’s a Green Card?

A Green Card is internationally recognised by participating countries as evidence that you have the legal minimum level of insurance. It’s no longer obligatory to carry one in EU countries, but some insurers still issue them anyway. A Green Card can make life easier if the police stop you, owing to it being recognised everywhere.

If you don’t have a Green Card when you drive overseas, you should take your certificate of insurance with you instead as proof of cover, just in case you’re asked for it. Even if you do have a Green Card, take your insurer’s contact details with you in case you need to get in touch with them.