Where To Get The Best European Car Insurance Cover?

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on July 23, 2020

With so many stunning countries just the other side of the English Channel, it’s no wonder so many Brits take to the roads to see what beautiful places Europe has waiting just hours away.

While driving across the water does offer a lot more freedom with your adventures, you need to make sure you’re doing properly.

In today’s guide, we’re going to explore everything you need to know, including what you need to look for, what sort of prices you can expect, and how you can have the best insurance experience while on a driving adventure in Europe.

Stay tuned!

Is my car insurance valid in Europe?

Yes. All UK insurance providers provide a minimum of third-party insurance cover while driving in Europe, and include this with their standard UK car insurance policies.

However, there are some variables you’re going to want to be made aware of. This includes how long you’re covered for in terms of days, how long a single trip can be, and what kind of protection and situations you’ll be covered for.

The differences in European driving insurance policy and what you’re covered for will differ depending on which provider you go with, so make sure you’re researching beforehand to guarantee you’re going to be covered with what you’re looking for.

What is European Car Insurance?

As the title suggests, European car insurance is a type of insurance term policy that covers you and your vehicle while you’re driving in European roads. All standard UK car insurance policies offer the minimum of third-party cover for car insurance for Europe, but this doesn’t mean you’re covered to a fully comprehensive level.

When you’re driving in the EU, whether you’re on holiday or driving for business, you’re going to want to ensure you’re covered.

There’s nothing worse than being involved in an accident and then having to deal with everything yourself without the help of an insurance company who knows what they’re doing. It’s much easier, and more cost-effective, to get yourself a fully comprehensive european cover car insurance policy.

If your current insurer does give you European car insurance cover with your UK policy, you’ll need to make sure you’re provided with a green card and accompanying documentation. This proves your car is insured while driving in the EU, but more on that later.

A green card is a term referring to how insurance companies will prove a UK driver and car is insured while driving in the EU after Brexit. Read on to find out more!

It’s worth remembering that while all UK insurance providers will grant car insurance with European cover included, if you’re looking for a specific form of cover, or a certain type of protection, there are some dedicated, short-term European car insurance providers you can look into. These include;

  • Insure Daily
  • Day Insure
  • Insure 4 a Day
  • Keith Michaels
  • Sterling Insurance.

Where To Get The Best European Car Insurance Deal?

There are plenty of places you can get yourself a comprehensive European cover car insurance deal. The best place is to look online (read on to see our best comparison of the best European car insurance policies), but it’s important to make sure you’re doing your research to ensure you’re finding the best deal for you.

However, there are a few other things to consider when looking for cheap European car insurance.

As above, you may get a third-party or even fully comprehensive level of European cover on your existing car insurance policy, so it’s always worth checking. Some of the best European car insurance cover providers will offer European driving cover within their terms and conditions.

You will find below a comparative table of some of the best European car insurance deals you could get in the UK.

ProviderPriceFeatures of PolicyOpinion
logo aa£348.66 per year
  • Allows for European driving on the green card scheme when Brexit is in effect with no transition or effort needed on your behalf
  • No need for a green card until Brexit is in effect
  • Offers breakdown cover as an extra you need to pay for from prices starting at £15
  • Fully comprehensive car travel insurance Europe in both the UK and the EU if you purchase a fully comprehensive policy
  • Courtesy car and personal accident cover as standard
  • Add motor legal protection as an optional extra.
  • New customers to the AA get to add roadside cover for just £15 (limited time offer)
  • Multiple voluntary excess amounts possible
  • Offers protected no claims discounts
  • One of the most used insurance providers in the UK.
logo quote me happy£353.78 per year
  • Personal accident cover, motor legal protection and courtesy car cover included as standard
  • You can add breakdown cover to your policy for an extra cost per year
  • You can drive up to 180 days per years in the EU with their fully comprehensive policy, but no single trip can be longer than 90 days
  • You only need to take your insurance certificate with you when you go abroad; no need to tell the provider.
  • Completely self service your insurance policy through the website or through the app
  • No admin fees on the purchase of any policy
  • Provides a 24-hour claim line you can call for assistance at any time
  • Offers a multi-car discount to help you save money.
logo general accident£361.36 per year
  • Personal accident cover, motor legal protection and courtesy car cover included as standard
  • You can add breakdown cover to your policy as a purchasable extra
  • If you have a fully comprehensive policy, you’ll be fully comprehensively covered in the EU
  • If you have a third-party, fire, and theft policy, you’ll be covered to this level in the EUDrive in the EU for 180 days, but no longer than 90 days on a single trip
  • No amendments needed to your policy when heading abroad, just take your insurance certificate with you.
  • Suitable policies for anyone between the ages of 17 and 80 years old
  • Doesn’t insure on vans or other larger vehicles - cars only
  • Cannot be used to insure a car worth over £70,000
  • Offers access to a 24-hour claim and support team available at any time
  • Can customise your quote and price to suit your specific policy requirements.
logo one call insurance£407.05 per year
  • Personal accident cover, motor legal protection, breakdown cover, and courtesy car cover included as standard
  • Access all your insurance documentation online at any time
  • Offers an uninsured driver promise to always have your back
  • Provides access to a 24-hour claims and support line with call centres based in the UK
  • Receive multi-car and multi-driver discounts.
  • Manage all aspects of your policy online, no matter where you are in the world
  • Offers flexible deposit options to suit budgets
  • Comes with a range of bonus extras included as standard without having to pay extra costs
  • Used by over 22,000 drivers across the country
logo rac£407.61 per year
  • Personal accident cover, motor legal protection (free for the first year), and courtesy car cover included as standard
  • Add breakdown cover to your car insurance europe policy as an affordable extra (add for European from as little as £6)
  • Offers dedicated temporary insurance policies to cover you when driving in the EU
  • Access all documentation and make any changes to your policy online or via the app
  • Vandalism protection promise that protects your no claims discounts
  • All car insurance europe cover unlimited policies (premium) come with an uninsured driver protection promise
  • Manage every aspect of your policy 24-hours a day
  • Rated with a five-star Defacto rating
  • Offers a full variety of policies from third-party to fully comprehensive
  • Car insurance provider award winner of the year 2019
logo ms£431.44 per year
  • Personal accident cover and courtesy car cover included as standard
  • You can add breakdown cover and motor legal protection to your policy for a small fee
  • Will have access to your own personal claims manager to ensure you’re never passed from person to person
  • Premier or standard insurance options, both with their own price ranges and benefits
  • Guaranteed replacement car policy
  • Comes with uninsured driver protection guarantee
  • Offers european car insurance over 90 days
  • Covered with your full policy when driving in the EU up to 90 days of travel per year
  • Uses approved, high-quality repair garages to ensure you get a satisfactory experience
  • Receive a £50 voucher to use in store with every policy taken out
European car insurance providers and features

Prices are given based on a standard Vauxhall Corsa of a 30-year-old man. Your own prices will differ based on your driving history, personal information, and the vehicle you’re insuring. Prices are subject to change and should be used as a guideline only.

Always make sure you’re checking to see how long any included car insurance European cover lasts on your existing policy. In most cases, you’ll receive 30 to 90 days of cover, if any at all. If you plan on driving in the EU over these time durations, you’ll need to invest in a dedicated policy. 

What’s included in European car insurance policy?

What’s included with your car insurance in Europe policy will solely depend on the provider you opt for. There are many providers that will offer various extra features to your policy, some will be included for free, and some you’ll have to pay for.

This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re researching providers to see which is best for you.

However, some of the key features to look out for include;

  • European breakdown cover
  • Lock replacement and key loss cover
  • Gadget and personal belonging covers
  • Courtesy car cover
  • Windshield cover
  • Legal assistance and compensation.

If you require long term European car insurance, contact your car insurance provider to see what they can offer you.

How much is European car insurance?

Averagely, you’re going to be looking around the £400 mark for a fully comprehensive car insurance for driving in Europe policy.

This is a policy that will cover you comprehensively in both the UK and the EU, and comes with all the features and policy extras you can add as required.

What is a green card for insurance?

While looking for the best European car insurance policy, the chances are you’ve seen a mention of the ‘green card’, but what is this and how does it affect you?

In short, a green card is a clause that will allow UK drivers to drive in the EU after Brexit has happened. This green card will be provided by your insurance company and will prove your insurance policy is up to date and valid for use in EU countries. It basically just ensures everything is legal while you’re driving around.

Will Brexit affect car insurance?

Hand in hand with what we’re explaining above, with the terms of Brexit unconfirmed, yes, Brexit will affect how car insurances work, but this is uncertain how. However, regardless of what happens, the Association of British Insurers has confirmed that, in most circumstances, the changes should be very minimal.

In the vast majority of Europe, unless there is a no-deal Brexit, you’ll be able to drive, just like you can now, and without a green card. Only in a selection of countries will a green card be needed. These countries include;

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

According to what’s currently known, you’ll need a green card, plus specialist insurance policies to cover you when driving in the following EU countries;

  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Kosova
  • Northern Cyprus
  • Kazakhstan

This information is correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change as the UK government and EU decide on how Brexit is going to be implemented. Always research countries you’re travelling to before you take your trip to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information.

Do you need to increase your car insurance policy when driving in Europe?

If you’re driving in the UK with third party insurance, you may start considering whether you want to bump this up a level to fully comprehensive for when you travel into Europe, but this is completely up to you. However, as a rule of thumb, yes; you’ll want to upgrade your insurance simply for peace of mind.

When driving in Europe, you’re going to be driving on roads you don’t know, potentially on the other side of the road, trying to read road signs in foreign languages and stay within the boundaries of foreign road laws.

This, all added together, means you may be more likely to be involved in an accident, which is why having fully comprehensive is a good idea to ensure you’re covered for everything. Always check to make ask does uk car insurance cover Europe so you stay legal!

What do I need to check before taking a car insurance to drive in Europe?

Now you’re nearly ready to fully head out and take your driving trip around Europe, you need to make sure you do your final checks to ensure you’re going to be driving legally in whatever country you’re going to, and you’re covered in the event you do find yourself in a situation.

Here are some quick-fire points you’ll need to remember;

  • The level cover needed - No matter what of cover you want and what benefits you’ll want access to while driving abroad, make sure you’ve got the insurance policy to cover you. Third-party, third-party, fire and theft, or fully comprehensive, it’s up to you!
  • Check you’re insured in the right countries - As we mentioned above, most EU countries you’ll be able to drive in without needing to do anything and won’t even need a green card, but there are some exceptions. Make sure you’re checking for the most up-to-date information to ensure you’re driving legally. Check out our reviews.
  • The length of the policy - Always check how long your insurance provider is covering you for while driving in Europe. This can range from 90 days to 180 days, but the average trip duration is 90 days. Be clear on this before you leave.
  • Make sure you have access to documents - It’s vital that you have access to your insurance documents at any time while driving in the EU, so the best course of action is to print off copies and take them with you. You’ll also want copies of your driver's license, national insurance number, and your passport, just in case you need them.

To ensure you always have access at any time, you may want to use a provider that allows you to access your policy documents online.

  • Valid tax and MOT policies - You won’t be able to have a valid insurance policy if you don’t have a taxed vehicle or a car that doesn’t have an MOT. Before heading out on your trip, make sure you have both of these, and that the tax and MOT will last the duration of your EU trip.
  • Follow country-specific laws - It’s essential you research the driving laws of the countries you’re planning to drive through on your trip. For example, in France, it’s the law you have a breathalyzer device, a high-visibility jacket, and a hazard triangle in your car and easily accessible for if you’re in a road accident event. Failure to apply to these rules can leave you with hefty fines, and maybe even prosecuted.

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms.

As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.