Things to Know when Driving Abroad

 Things to Know when Driving Abroad

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in the UK, the comparison site mustard.co.uk can help you find quotes from leading insurers. Their Cheapest Price Guarantee* is also a promise to beat any other online quote, so you can be confident about getting value for money too.

But that’s not the only thing mustard.co.uk can help you with. In fact, their handy guides can help you answer all sorts of questions you might have about cars and car covers. Here, they share advice on what’s good to know when driving abroad.

Can I drive abroad using my UK car insurance?

Yes, all UK car insurance provides you with third party cover while driving in the following places:

  • The European Union (EU)
  • Ireland
  • Andorra
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland

Remember that even if you have comprehensive car insurance in the UK, the cover you get while driving in another country will still only be third party. This means your insurer will pay to repair other people’s property, but won’t cover the cost of damage to your own car.

If you want to increase your level of car insurance while driving abroad, speak to your insurer. In most cases, they’ll be able to extend your level of cover for a small increase in your premium.

If your policy includes other features (for example, legal expenses or breakdown cover) check whether you can make a claim for these while driving abroad.

Do I need a UK or GB sticker to drive in Europe?

Since the UK left the EU, the old GB stickers are no longer valid as a country identifier. Instead, if you’re travelling to the EU, you must use a ‘UK’ sticker on your car. If you don’t, you could be denied entry at European borders.

In a statement, the Department of Transport said that switching from GB to UK was to show “unity as a nation” as it includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Whereas GB only refers to England, Wales, and Scotland.

What documents do I need when I’m driving abroad?

Most countries will have tourist information readily available online so it’s a good idea to check what you need specifically. If you’re driving within the EU, you can also find information on the European Commission website page for transport and road safety.

Otherwise, you should keep to hand:

  • Your full and valid UK driving licence.
  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Proof of ID, for example your passport.
  • V5C vehicle logbook.
  • Travel insurance documents.

What is a car insurance green card?

A green card is proof that you have car insurance. Your insurance provider can issue you with a green card for free if you need one. Most insurers will either post you one (which could take up to six weeks) or they’ll email you one you can print off.

The good news is that you don’t need a green card when driving within the EU, Ireland, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland. If you’re driving in other parts of Europe, you might need a green card so always double check each country’s travel information.

Don’t forget, if you’re towing a trailer or caravan, you may need to arrange insurance and a green card for them too.

Do I need an international driving permit?

If you’re driving in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you won’t need an international driving permit (IDP). However, if you’ve still got the old-style paper driving licence or your licence was issued in the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or the Isle of Man, then you may need to arrange an IDP but check each country’s embassy website.

There are three different IDPs (1926,1949,1968) and you can find out which one you need at GOV.UK, international driving permit.

What equipment do I need when driving in Europe?

As well as making sure you have a valid driving licence, car insurance and vehicle documents, you’ll need to prepare any necessary equipment; this could include:

  • Safety items such as a hi-vis vest or jacket and warning triangle.
  • Headlight converter stickers.
  • Emission permits for some cities.
  • First aid kit (which you must have by law in Austria, France, and Germany).

If you’re driving in winter, it’s vital to check rules about winter tyres and snow chains for wherever you’re going. In some countries, you must have winter tyres at certain times of the year and snow chains are also compulsory in others when there is snow on the roads.

Compare car insurance for driving abroad

If you want to increase the level of coverage you have while driving abroad, speak to your insurer. Alternatively, if you need to renew your policy, you can speak to an expert on 0330 022 8812 or compare quotes from the comfort of home at mustard.co.uk.

Check out: Some Hidden Costs of Travel You Need to Remember

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