What do I need to consider when driving in Europe?


Over the past few years, driving your own car through Europe has become rather more complicated.

Following Brexit, we needed insurance green cards to prove the correct level of car insurance when travelling to Europe. This requirement was then abolished in August 2021 after the European Commission reviewed the law. However, if you have a paper driving licence (issued before April 1999) you still need to apply for an International Driving Permit.

Permits aside, the major thing to consider when driving in Europe is whether your car is as well-protected as when you’re in the UK. If you break down or are involved in a road accident, you need to be able to make a valid claim.

This is where European Driving Cover comes in – and is completely essential if you want to take your own vehicle to Europe and drive it there.

What is European driving cover?

European driving cover is an extension of your UK-based insurance cover, and effectively makes your motor insurance valid in the majority of European countries.

Typically, a car insurance policy with European driving included will give you up to 90 days of cover for driving on the continent. Not every policy includes European Driving Cover as standard, but classic car and multi car cover with Norton does. You can even extend to 180 days in some cases if you happen to be travelling more.

Read on for our 5-step guide to checking you have the European driving cover you need…

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Cars on Ferry travelling to Europe

5 things to think about when planning your driving trip in Europe

  • Where do you plan to travel? Ask your insurer to confirm the countries covered by your policy, or check the paperwork
  • You should always notify your insurer when you plan to travel abroad. This includes sharing your departure and return dates
  • If you’re unsure whether 90 days of cover will be sufficient, it’s best to extend it to be on the safe side
  • Make sure you’ve applied for an International Driving Permit (IPD) in plenty of time if you need one. You can find out which kind of IPD you require on the government website here.
  • Check the cover level provided in your insurance policy wording. Some insurers give comprehensive cover while driving in Europe, but others may offer a lower level. For peace of mind, speak with your broker.

If you’re taking part in any European tours with your local car club, collecting a car from abroad, or just heading over for a leisure trip, we recommend checking your policy to ensure your car is suitably covered.

If you are unsure or have any questions about your specialist vehicle insurance, your personal client manager or the team here at Norton will be more than happy to help.


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