How do I insure my car for the whole of Europe??
May 3, 2007 7:03 PM   Subscribe

How do I find a cheap but good insurance company for my car for a trip through Europe?

My friend and I are travelling through Europe in a few months in his car. He is currently insured in the UK but paying a huge amount (it seems that's the way it is over there) whereas, I'm used to pretty good premiums in Australia.

I want to know how do I make sure we are covered for driving through Brussels, Germany, Amsterdam, Italy, Greece, Croatia, France etc and how do I do it for a reasonable cost?
posted by moocheen to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Best answer: NB: IANAEuropean.

Auto Europe and some other companies have a program where, through a loophole in French law, you can basically lease a brand new Peugeot or Citroen or Renault or something and give it back to the dealer at the end of your trip for less than the cost of a rental.

Here's a link to a few of the companies who do it.

It's also worth noting that you'd be driving on the (forgive me) wrong side of the road were you to bring the car over to The Continent.

Oh, and this article talks about one guy's experience with the program. Since you're Australian, presumably this would be on your dime as non-EU citizens resident in the EU (your friend?) wouldn't qualify.

Should all that seem like a lot of hassle, I checked with the RAC website and got a quote for about 140 pounds for something called "single trip European breakdown," which would cover you for a month's trip to all the countries you mention ("Zone 1" and "Zone 2", according to them) in a three-year old car with two people traveling.
posted by mdonley at 8:15 PM on May 3, 2007

Also: could you call the insurance company and see what they'll offer? Maybe try to bargain them down on the phone? Dunno.
posted by mdonley at 8:19 PM on May 3, 2007

mdonley, breakdown isn't the same as insurance. Breakdown, as the name implies, covers you for the car breaking down. Insurance, at a minimum, covers you for crashing into something.

Most UK insurance policies cover the policy holder for driving in Europe. I'm not sure, but I think it's a legal requirement that a EU insurance policy covers the minimum requirements for driving in any country in the EU. That will usually cover you for collision, but nothing more. As I recall, from various booze cruises, it's just necessary to notify your insurance company. They'll then send you the necessary documentation to show to the gendarmes if you're stopped.
posted by veedubya at 9:00 PM on May 3, 2007

Ok, just checked my car's insurance policy. This is what it says:


Continental Use/Compulsory Insurance Requirements

In compliance with EU directives this insurance provides the minimum cover that is required to enable YOU to drive YOUR CAR in the following countries:

+Any country which is a member of the EU.
+Any country which the commision of the EU has made arrangements to meet the requirements relating to civil liabilities arising from the use of a motor vehicle.

In addition to this cover we will extend the cover shown in the schedule to the following countries for up to thirty days in any one insurance year.

+Any member of the EU.


If you take your car abroad

Al countries that are members of the EU and those listed above have agreed that an International Motor Insurance Certificate (Green Card) is no longer necessary for cross border travel. Your policy, SCHEDULE, and certificate of motor insurance should therefore provide sufficient eveidence that YOU are complying with the relevant laws relating to compulsory motor insurance in any of the countries that YOU visit. You should also remember that it is a legal requirement that YOU carry the registration document with YOU when taking YOUR CAR abroad.

Basically, under EU law, if you're insured in the UK, you automatically have the minimum required insurance to drive anywhere else in the EU. However, a specifically noted limitation in my policy is that I must notify my insurance company if I want my EU cover to extend beyond 30 days in any one insurance year.
posted by veedubya at 9:24 PM on May 3, 2007

Good to know, veedubya - I thought the quote sounded weird.
posted by mdonley at 12:31 AM on May 4, 2007

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