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Do any UK car insurers take US driving experience into account?
August 25, 2011 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Do any UK car insurers take US driving experience into account?

My wife has eight years of experience driving in the US. We've recently bought a car, and the plan is that she'll be driving it under an international license while she studies for a UK one. We were surprised to find that most insurers will only quote her as a brand new driver, even though she has never made a claim of any sort.

Are there any insurance companies that will take her US experience into account? In the US she was a named driver on her mother's insurance rather than an independent policy holder, which unfortunately further complicates things.
posted by piato to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
We had the same problem, but going the other way from UK to Canada. My best advice is to phone around a lot, and try and speak to brokers. I sometimes get the feeling that brokers, while sometimes more expensive, can really help in odd situations to get something passed through the side door.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:04 AM on August 25, 2011


hmm. i just noticed she wasn't a policy holder. that could be the death nail, because they'll likely need to see policy paperwork from previous years. Get on to her mom's insurance and see if you can get something in writing from them showing she was on the policy and has no claims against her. good luck.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:06 AM on August 25, 2011


We were surprised to find that most insurers will only quote her as a brand new driver, even though she has never made a claim of any sort.

This forum thread suggests that it makes a difference, if you have good documentations, but perhaps only if the policy's in your own name. Based on my own experience, the front-line customer service isn't properly equipped to deal with expat situations, and you'll need to escalate until you find someone who understands.
posted by holgate at 10:12 AM on August 25, 2011


I once heard that US citizens in the UK can get policies out through GEICO through a concession on the USAF base at Lakenheath in Norfolk. Sounds too good to be true, and I never followed it up, but I throw it out there just in case.

I would try talking to an independent insurance broker specialising in motor insurance; the drones on the phone at the majors or comparison sites just can't deal with anything out of the ordinary at all. My gut says that named driver thing is likely to be a problem though, whatever happens.
posted by cromagnon at 12:29 PM on August 25, 2011


In the reverse situation I was expecting no credit for my UK driving record, and to my surprise the insurance agency I spoke to told me the insurer they worked with would credit my clean U.K. record.

So perhaps the thing to do is as cromagnon says, speak to an insurance agent -- the brick and mortar, local kind -- and see if they are familiar with the problem. Where I live there are a lot of temporary foreigners around and the local agencies must get the request a lot.
posted by galaksit at 3:15 PM on August 25, 2011


Towergate Wilson deals a lot with expats and diplomats. Might be worth checking out. We used them for the duration of our posting to the UK.
posted by smcniven at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2011


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