Does my policy cover me to drive abroad?
We provide automatic cover for your car when it is being driven within most parts of Europe for up to 90 days for any one trip. We would always recommend that you ensure you have enough Miles available to cover your trip before leaving and, if not, top up your mileage to ensure you have adequate cover throughout the duration of the trip.
Please note: in the event of an accident courtesy cars are not available abroad and repairs undertaken abroad are not guaranteed as they are not carried out by our approved network of repairers. Please see your Private Car Policy Document for details; this can be found online via Your Portal.
Do I need a Green Card?
Your Certificate of Motor Insurance takes the place of an International Motor Insurance Card (Green Card) and is evidence that the insurance extends to include the compulsory motor insurance requirements of any member country of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Liechtenstein.
Guide to driving in Europe
You must keep a self-test breathalyser in your car. It has to be unused, in date and show the French certification mark (NF).
You must not carry any device in your car that is able to detect speed cameras. So if you are planning to use a Sat Nav device, make sure you disable camera alerts if necessary.1
There is a list of items you are required by law to have in your car, and if you are missing any you may receive an on-the-spot fine. Here’s what you need:
- 2 red warning triangles
- Headlamp beam deflectors
- Spare tyre or tyre repair kit
- Reflective jackets
Any gadgets with a screen that could distract the driver (except Sat Navs) must be placed out of the driver’s sight. There’s also a fine of €200 for using earpieces or headphones while driving.3
There are very strict drink driving laws for new drivers: the permitted blood alcohol level is 0% for both drivers aged under 21, and for drivers who have held a licence for less than 2 years.4
When using a roundabout, you shouldn’t indicate as you enter but you must use your indicators when leaving the roundabout.5
If you are caught speeding between the hours of 10pm and 7am, your fine will increase by a third.
Some major towns have traffic limitations, indicated by a sign saying ‘zona traffico limitato’. This means that only residents are allowed to drive there – if you enter the area by car you could get a fine in the post.
- Make sure your passport is valid; some countries require passports to be valid for a full 6 months from the date you travel and also require you to carry your passport with you when driving.
- Don’t forget travel insurance to make sure you and your belongings are covered.
- Get a free European Health Insurance Card before you travel, which gives you reduced-price or free access to state-provided healthcare service in all countries within the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
- Watch out for speed limits as they’re often higher than in the UK, and make sure you are aware of the most recent driving laws for the country you’re driving in.
- Check your breakdown cover; we can provide three different levels of breakdown cover as add-ons to your insurethebox policy and they do not all include European cover.