Driving Abroad – Are You Covered?


All of us have witnessed or experienced the recent floods in the UK. It is hard to imagine the suffering of families who have lost their homes, cars, or running water for another week, when they see the floods and cars submerged in water. Insurance policies cover the most basic losses and the emotional distress. What about your international driving insurance? You might find yourself in a similar flood situation on your summer vacation. But if you could look out from your villa balcony and see your car in the torrent waters, you would be much happier knowing that you had carefully planned your car insurance.

Many of us make an effort to get the best insurance for our UK homes and vehicles, but there’s a lot more confusion about what to do when we travel. It may seem like the ultimate adventure, packing your car and heading off on a road trip through Europe. It shouldn’t, and there are no excuses for it not to be. Just make sure you verify your insurance coverage before you leave on your trip. You may think that your UK car insurance policy will cover you if you drive your car overseas. Most policies do not cover overseas travel. You would not be covered in the event of theft, fire, or damage. You would also not be covered for legal costs arising from an accident in your car.

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A ‘Green Card’ is a permit to drive abroad. This document is internationally recognized and proves that you have the minimum amount of insurance required in each country. However, the key word is “minimum” – although this card will serve as proof of your basic coverage, you will still need additional insurance to provide comprehensive protection.

It is easy to get the same insurance coverage as you have in the UK for travel abroad. If your current insurer does not offer this coverage, you can ask them to add it. This extension may result in an additional premium depending on the location and length of your trip. This may also be an opportunity to look at the car insurance market – it’s worth checking out if you plan to travel frequently with your car. Ask your insurer about Green Cards. Although you don’t need it in EU countries anymore, it is still useful proof of basic insurance and you will definitely need one if you travel outside the EU. You should ask your insurer to assist you in obtaining one.

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Green Card coverage is a type of insurance that some insurers offer. While Green Cards do not provide insurance, they can be used to extend your UK insurance coverage overseas. No matter what kind of coverage you choose or whether you have a Green Card, make sure you bring your insurance documents along with you. This will allow you to be ready in case you need them. Don’t leave such paperwork in your car. If you are faced with a UK-style flood situation, all your organization and paperwork will be lost.

Your breakdown coverage may be something you might want to think about. You can either purchase separate car breakdown policies or combine your holiday insurance. This coverage may also be offered by your motor insurance. This insurance may cover you for the cost to hire a car while your car is being repaired, roadside assistance, emergency repairs, returning your car to the UK, sending out spare parts or even accommodation if your vehicle is damaged. The price of your policy will depend on the level of coverage you need. However, it will provide great peace-of-mind, especially for those who drive long distances.

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These general tips can help you plan the driving trip of your dreams.

  • Before you leave for your holiday, make sure you have your vehicle serviced. Also, ensure that you comply with all vehicle regulations in the country you’re visiting.
  • Don’t forget your motor insurance certificate and Green Card (if you were issued), details of any breakdown or travel insurance, and any emergency numbers. Your registration document, driving licence, and passport are also important. You may be required to obtain an International Driving Permit for certain countries. Check your destination in advance.
  • For your vehicle, get a first-aid kit and tool kit. These items may be required in certain EU countries.
  • Keep a spare set in your car and make sure you have it!
  • Before you travel, familiarize yourself with the road signs and rules of the country.
  • Don’t forget your passport, driving licence and registration document. You should also check the destination to determine if you will need an International Driving Permit.

This planning might not be the best option if you want to speed into the unknown with your car and the road ahead. A little planning ahead will help you make the most of your road trip.

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