Driving to Europe this summer? Check your car insurance covers you

19 July 2017

Nearly a quarter (23%) of holidaymaking motorists that plan to drive their cars in Europe this summer admit they don’t believe they’re covered or don’t know if they are.

Data from M&S Bank also found that one in three (34%) Brits who plan on taking their cars abroad this summer have no idea if their car is adequately covered against breakdown on European roads, or know they wouldn’t be covered but don’t plan to do anything about it.

If you’re taking your car across the Channel this summer, check your policy and ensure you’re covered for breakdowns and other emergencies. Also, be aware that while many policies offer cover when driving in the EU, the level of protection may be lower than when driving in the UK.

Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank, says: “As British holidaymakers get ready to take to Europe’s roads this summer, it’s important that they check whether they have adequate car insurance, but also breakdown cover in place, before they go on holiday, as some policies don’t offer like-for-like cover outside of the UK; only then will they have total peace of mind, should the worst happen.

“As part of their research, drivers should also consider the length of time they will be away; while some insurance policies include extended EU travel cover as standard, drivers should not assume this is always the case.” 

Familiarise yourself with the road rules

M&S Bank’s research also found that more than a quarter (26%) of Europe-bound motorists are not familiar with their destination’s road rules, or don’t intend to learn them.

This is despite the fact that rules vary from country to country. Austria, Croatia and France, for example, require first aid kits to be carried in the car, along with items such as a warning triangle and high-vis vest. Meanwhile, in French cities such as Grenoble, Lyon or Paris, failure to display a “vignette” sticker in the windscreen, recently introduced to low-emission zones, can result in a fine of up to €135 (£120).

Mr Stokes adds: “Self-drive holidays are a popular option for many British tourists, so we would urge motorists to do some research into the driving laws of all the countries they will be travelling to before setting off.”

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