European driving cover is an essential if you want to take your own vehicle to Europe and drive it there. There’s a lot of confusion around what is or isn’t covered, and how to make sure you’re fully protected when driving abroad.
So, what is European driving cover and does it vary from the regular cover you get as part of your specialist or classic car insurance?
WHAT IS EUROPEAN DRIVING COVER?
In essence, European driving cover is an extension of your UK-based cover, making your motor insurance valid in the majority of European countries. So, if you have an accident or your car is stolen while you’re traveling with it in Europe, you can still make a claim.
However, there are some caveats and it’s always sensible to tell your insurer when you plan to travel abroad, as they may only give you the legal minimum of cover unless they’re notified of the trip.
WHAT COUNTRIES IS EUROPEAN DRIVING COVER VALID IN?
Insurers have a list of European countries and principalities in which the UK-based motor cover they offer will be valid. In the main, these will be European Union members and countries which meet certain requirements of the Commission of the European Union.
The countries this currently applies to* are shown below:
* source: KGM, 2020. These may vary over time; we recommend checking your policy wording
DO I NEED AN INSURANCE GREEN CARD TO TRAVEL TO THESE COUNTRIES?
From 2nd August 2021, green cards are no longer required when driving in an EU country. You can read more about the change here.
There are other laws to watch out for when driving your own car in the EU. Those who have a paper driving license (these were issued before 1st April 1999), will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your local Post Office. There are 3 different types of IDP, all of which are valid for 3 years. Find out which type of IDP you need on the government website here.
HOW MUCH COVER DO I GET FOR DRIVING IN EUROPE?
We offer 90 days European driving cover as standard, meaning that if you’re driving in Europe for up to three months in the year, you’re protected by your car insurance with us. However, your cover level may vary depending on your insurer. Some will offer comprehensive cover, but for social domestic and pleasure use only. Some insurers will only offer RTA-equivalent cover unless you tell them you’re travelling; RTA (Road Traffic Act) cover is the minimum cover level required by law to drive in the UK.
You should always speak with your insurer before travelling to make sure you have the cover level that you require.
CAN I GET MORE THAN 90 DAYS EUROPEAN DRIVING COVER?
We do offer an extension up to 180 days on other policy types. It will depend on your insurer and where you’re planning to drive – it’s always best to speak with us before planning trips to make sure you’re completely covered. There is sometimes a cost to extend your cover beyond 90 days but not all insurers will charge for this.
For some motorhome policies, 180 days of European driving cover is standard.
DO I HAVE EUROPEAN DRIVING COVER AS PART OF MY POLICY?
European driving cover is standard with all our policies, so if you’re insured through us, you will do. To check the cover level and the time period of cover for European driving, take a look at your policy or give us a call.
HAVE QUESTIONS? CONTACT US HERE
If you have questions about European driving cover or anything else to do with your policy, get in touch below and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.
ADDITIONAL COVER OPTIONS HERITAGE INSURANCE CAN PROVIDE
Looking to add motor legal protection or personal accident cover to your policy? We offer a wide range of valuable extra cover options to help give you peace of mind. Choose the cover that suits your needs, or pick our package option, which can combine some of our most popular optional extras at a discounted rate.
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