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Car Insurance with Long Stay European Cover

Cheap ways of insuring your car when going to Europe for longer than a month. Make sure you get covered by the right insurer at the time of your renewal.


Car Insurance with European Cover

Car insurance policies issued in the UK automatically offer the minimum insurance for EU countries, (and Norway, Switzerland and Iceland). This is not something we think should be relied upon. Minimum insurance normally covers third party risks only, and therefore, to avoid a potentially large bill if you are involved in an incident on the continent, a car insurance policy which offers the same protection as the policy you have in the UK is recommended.

If you are moving out of the country either on secondment or becoming an ex-pat please refer to our separate article on Car Insurance for Ex-pats, Secondments and those moving or living abroad. This also includes information for those moving to the UK.

Find Car Insurance with European cover

The Co-op Car Insurance is one definitely to consider. They will cover any number of trips to Europe in a year as long as none are individually longer than 90 days. To obtain this level of cover you get a standard Co-op Insurance quotation and then add on their 'Extended Foreign Use' option which costs just £30 p.a (this is a flat fee that applies no matter when the cover is added to the policy, or the number of trips you make through the year. Their base premiums are competitive with the company offering up to 70% No Claims discount.

If you are looking for a policy that will cover you for 180 days in a year, but no individual trip will be for more than 90 days look at Aviva Car Insurance - they can be really competitive, offer up to a 20% online discount, and have extra discounts for experienced drivers, couples who live together and for low mileage motorists. Multi car discounts are also offered. You will find you get an initial quotation, followed by a series of optional add ons - including the driving abroad option for £26.50.

Our car insurance comparison service has a number of companies who offer good quality EU cover within their comprehensive policies (although do check the small print - as companies do change their policies!). Some of those offering more than a months cover are detailed below.

  • Admiral - Policies automatically includes a FREE International Motor Insurance Certificate for a maximum of 30 consecutive days in any one trip up to a maximum of 90 days in a year.
  • Budget - car insurance policies provides EU cover for up to 60 days - normally can be extended by calling the company.
  • Diamond - Policies automatically includes a FREE International Motor Insurance Certificate for a maximum of 30 consecutive days in any one trip up to a maximum of 90 days in a year.
  • Endsleigh - includes cover in EU for up to 90 days.
  • Elephant - includes cover in EU for up to 90 days with a maximum of 30 days per trip.

Another popular insurer who offers good long term cover (up to 90 days in a policy year) is John Lewis. John Lewis have worked out that their insurance is taken by those more likely to tour Europe, and therefore offer extended cover automatically. They also offer options for long term European breakdown cover.

Want cover for over 90 days and are over 50?

A great place to start is with Saga Car Insurance.

The front page of their car insurance website says: "Cover in the European Union - you can drive in the EU for an unlimited period, for no extra cost"

When running a quotation though make sure that your quotation is presented in a similar fashion to the image below.

get a saga quote

We have learned that in some cases, where Saga cannot cover you under their standard policy, they offer a different policy badged Saga Select via a broker panel. If this is the case check carefully the European cover being provided as it may differ from the standard offer.

Keeping you car abroad - Local Regulations

If you are planning to take you car abroad for any significant period it is also worth checking the regulations that apply in the country you are visiting. All countries have a time period which means, once this has expired, your car will require to be taxed, insured and MOT'd in that country.

Borrowing a car? Need Temporary Insurance or Short Term Cover for Europe?

Both Day Insure and TempCover offer comprehensive short term car insurance for European driving (be aware that other short term insurers only provide minimal cover).

This information is based on journalistic investigation and research at the time of going to press as a service to our readers. It does not offer either financial, legal or any other advice that should be followed without your own enquiries. Any information should be considered in regard to specific circumstances. Any suggestions followed up are done so at your own risk and your own research is key.

This content was last reviewed on 02/11/2016