You might assume your UK motor insurance and breakdown cover automatically protect you for driving in Europe. But you could be in for a nasty surprise if you have an accident or break down. Always check your policies before setting off.
Insurance: the good news is you have basic cover in the EU
If you've got valid UK car insurance, you've also got the legal minimum cover in any EU country. But this can be very basic - in some countries you're covered for even less than UK third party insurance meaning theft and damage from vandalism isn’t included.
For peace of mind, it’s a good idea to contact your insurer before you travel. They will be able to advise whether you have the same level of cover abroad as you do in the UK.
How long are you covered for?
Some insurance policies provide cover automatically but check because they can just be for very short periods at a time or there might be a maximum number of days abroad each year. If you exceed these you won’t be covered. Other insurers will provide short-term cover for a fee. Or there are companies that may provide the extra cover for less than your insurer.
Do you have European breakdown cover?
The costs of repair and recovery can be much higher in Europe. It's not unusual for recovery costs to top £1000 and they can be as much as £2000. Parts can often be more expensive too - especially if they're different between right and left-hand drive vehicles.
If your policy doesn't cover you for breakdowns abroad and you do need to claim, there's a long list of expenses that could be coming your way:
- Roadside assistance
- Recovery - getting your car home could be very pricey
- Accommodation if you need to break your journey while your car is repaired
- A hire car to get you around
- Legal costs if there's another driver involved
Where are you going?
Make sure your policy covers you for all the countries you're going to visit - including those you're only going to be driving through on the way to somewhere else. Some policies will only cover you in the European Union. Remember that doesn't include Switzerland and Norway.
Get covered in Europe
With our Euro Plus annual cover, you’ll get both our 5* rated UK cover and cover for Europe, with up to 40% off when you buy online.