Five questions: Taking your car abroad

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The Independent Online

Is my car insured if I take it abroad?

Research for moneysupermarket .com found that 32% of drivers assume that if they have fully comprehensive car insurance in the UK, they'll receive the same cover elsewhere in Europe. That isn't always the case.

What cover will I have?

Many insurers automatically downgrade the level of car insurance to the minimum required by law in the country where you are driving. In many countries this is third party, which means your own car is not covered in the event of an accident.

Are there any other differences?

The length of time you are covered varies, and it may not last the whole holiday. Swiftcover, for example, covers you for just three days – adequate for a weekend in France, perhaps, but not enough for your summer holiday.

How can I ensure I have adequate insurance?

Call your insurer to check what cover you have. You should be able buy an "add-on" if needed.

Anything else to remember?

Breakdown cover is essential, and it needn't be expensive.

Clare Francis,