Car Insurance Abroad

If you decide to take your car outside the UK, your car insurance policy may not cover you. Even fully comprehensive policies do not necessarily cover foreign travel, because for the insurance company dealing with foreign insurers or uninsured drivers can be a real problem.

The cost of car insurance for taking your car abroad depends on the country you are driving in. The length of time you are away will also affect the premium.

You do not just need insurance while you are away, in fact it is essential that you have breakdown cover. Dealing with mechanics in a language you are not fluent is not an easy task, so having breakdown cover can be the difference between an inconvenient breakdown and an expensive nightmare that spoils your trip.

Many breakdown services offer European cover that you can purchase for the number of days you need it, rather than for the whole year which could be expensive. Cheap breakdown cover will get you roadside assistance, whereas more expensive policies will get you a hire car, cover all repair costs and even get you home to the UK.

You should therefore carefully check the small print on any car insurance you buy to travel abroad, and look for breakdown cover as a matter of course. Prices for policies vary widely, and it is definitely worth shopping around.

Double check that your medical expenses will be covered if you are injured, or if you injure someone else. Not every country has a national health service like in the UK, and medical bills can be extremely expensive.

Remember that really cheap policies may not include everything you need, and that the complications of dealing with an accident, arranging hire cars, repairs and so on are multiplied by unfamiliar systems and practices abroad.

Make sure that you are aware of local traffic regulations, speed restrictions and that you know which side of the road to drive on! The rules about giving way in particular can be very dangerous to british drivers in France, where cars on the main carriageway give way to cars joining the road from the slipway. Failure to comply could result in a nasty accident.

Always contact your insurance company before you go away with your vehicle, and be sure to carry your insurance documents with you. You will also need your driving licence, and some countries require you to carry a Green Card.

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