Five Questions About: Taking your car abroad

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The Independent Online

Is my car insured if I take it abroad?

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

What cover will I have?

Many insurers automatically downgrade the level of car insurance to the minimum level required by law in the country where you are driving. In many countries this is third party, which means in the event of an accident your insurance will only cover the damage to the other vehicle. Also, third party cover does not include protection against fire and theft. Not all insurers downgrade the level of cover. Admiral, Barclays, Endsleigh, Marks & Spencer and Post Office are among those that give customers the same level of cover in Europe as in Britain.

Are there any other differences?

The length of time you are covered for varies from insurer to insurer and it may not last for the entirety of your holiday. Esure, for example, will offer the minimum level of cover required in the country you are travelling in for up to 180 days. And while Admiral gives customers the same level of cover in Europe as here in the UK, it only covers you for 30 days.

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.

Is there anything else to remember?

Breakdown cover is also essential if you're taking your car abroad and it needn't be expensive – comprehensive cover is available for under £60.

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