Citizens of the EU and EEC have the right to drive in the UK, and as such can purchase car insurance in the UK (provided the car to be insured isn't an unusual one (a 1930s Lancia Lambda would be out of the question!) without the need to exchange their licences for UK equivalents. This right to drive on EU/EEC issued licences is applicable to drivers until they reach the age of 70 or for 3 years if this would take them over the age of 70. This applies to the 29 countries which share common rights within the EU.
Car insurance is compulsory in the UK; there is more information about this on this UK Government website.
There are a variety of different insurance options available, which should cover every eventuality .
What level of cover is available to those seeking insurance with an EU licence?
There are 3 levels of cover available in the UK, and a brief summary of those is as follows:-
- Third Party Only: This is the minimum legal level of cover required. This cover offers protection only to others in an accident where YOU are found to be liable. This will not cover any damage caused to the policyholders vehicle or property, however it was caused
- Third Party Fire & Theft: This provides cover as above, with the addition of cover for fire and theft on the policyholder's vehicle. There is no provision for accident damage to the policyholder's vehicle
- Fully Comprehensive: This is the most common policy in the UK and provides full third party cover as described, in addition to full cover for the policyholder's vehicle and property within
So, now that you have decided on the level of cover required, we need to look at the different policy types available. These are annual policies and short-term policies. A good start in finding would be to visit BIBA, the British Insurance Brokers' Association.
These policies are available to any person wishing to drive on an EU licence in the UK, so long as they satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- The driver must own the vehicle being insured and it must be registered in the policyholder's name
- The driver must have held a full EU licence for at least one year
- If bringing their own vehicle to the country, any such vehicles must be re-registered with DVLA, and have the appropriate MOT certificate in force
For drivers who satisfy this criteria, then an annual policy will provide the best level of cover, and will be the most cost effective option.
Short Term Insurance
Many drivers will not fulfil the criteria for an annual policy, or perhaps just don't need an annual policy. Short term insurance policies are available to most EU licence holders and cover a wide range of needs.
- Driving someone else's car, which you don't own
- Only visiting the UK, and planning on driving for a few days or weeks
- Living in the UK, but only need to drive for a few days
In those circumstances and a variety of others that cover just about every possibility, a short-term policy will provide the cover to drive legally. Insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, and must not be taken lightly. These policies can be very cost effective compared with the alternatives. For example, many people think they will be able to be added to their friends policies for a few days to drive their vehicle. Very few UK insurers will allow this, and it is a very expensive option if they do. To find out just how cost effective it can be for those EU licence holders to use short term insurance, simply click here and our insurance partner will impress you with their choice of policies and prices. Insurance is only a few clicks away.
Which countries are part of the EU/EEC?
The following countries make up the EU/EEC and drivers of those countries are all eligible for the policies above:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Cyprus