Driving abroad – Do I need insurance?

It is common for UK motorists to drive their own vehicle abroad for holiday and work purposes. Fortunately, if you have an active insurance policy that was taken out in the UK, you are legally insured to drive in the following EU countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden (Source:

There are additional European countries where you are insured to drive, despite the fact that they are not part of the EU such as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra and Serbia who are part of the EU Motor Directives.

What Car Insurance You Have in the EU

The Motor Insurance Directive was set up to help EU drivers efficiently handle any claims made in another EU country. The premiums will vary between EU countries based on their level of risk and compensation schemes.

The Directive states that all motor vehicles in the EU receive compulsory third party insurance. This level of cover pays for all compensation, damages and repairs to third parties in the event of an accident that you have caused. So if you get into an accident with another driver, pedestrian or property in another EU country, your third party cover will pay for any of their damages but you will not be able to claim any damages to your own vehicle.

If you would like to claim damages that happen to your vehicle, you can speak to one of our friendly advisers about insuring your car for a fully comprehensive policy. Depending on the country that you are visiting, there might be an increased risk of making a claim due to crime, weather or road conditions – so having extra cover in place can be very worthwhile.

Breakdown cover is not usually included for journeys within the EU so this is something that our insurance experts can help you with at Call Wiser.

The terms of the Directive include:

  • no border checks for insurance to encourage easy driving between countries
  • quick settlement for visiting drivers
  • compensation for local residents

Car Insurance for Driving Outside the EU

If you are looking to drive your car to a country outside the EU or not mentioned in our list above, you will require an International Motor Insurance Certificate, also known as a Green Card. Whilst it doesn’t provide you any extra cover, the Green Card is instantly recognisable and universally accepted all over the world by police forces and confirms that you have insurance in place.

A Green Card would be applicable for countries not part of the EU Directive including Albania, Belarus, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Russia, Serbia and Turkey. Simply speak to one of our advisers for more information.

Insurance for Driving Abroad from Call Wiser

If you are looking for insurance to drive abroad, we can help. Our team of insurance experts are based in Andover, Hampshire and waiting to take your call. Simply call us today on 0333 003 3270 to see how we can help.

We think its better to talk because it allows us to ask follow up questions and get to understand you and your requirements better. If you prefer, you can request a call back by requesting an online quote above.

Insurance for driving abroad can be tricky and the last thing you want is to be involved in a claim or have a broken down car thousands of miles away from home. By speaking to one of our friendly advisors, we can put your mind at ease and help you get prepared for your big trip – including insurance for mobile phones, contents and breakdown cover.

You may wish to switch drivers during the journey so having extra named drivers on the policy is something that we can set up too. We work with over 30 leading car insurance providers in the UK so no doubt we can find the best driving abroad insurance for you.

To reduce the risk of a claim when driving abroad, it helps to do a bit of preparation on the European road rules beforehand. Don’t forget that road signs will look different, various speed limits will apply and speed will be measured in kilometres per hour rather than miles. It will certainly help to get clued up on this kind of thing to ensure a smooth journey when you drive abroad.

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