Foreigners: Car Insurance in the UK

One of the reasons the UK is so tough on foreign, international, and student drivers who have not been driving very long is easy to overlook: drivers in the UK must stay on the left. Insurance companies perhaps rightly consider anyone who is not accustomed to this basic and sententious difference to be instantly identified as a risk group.

How to Get Car Insurance

Driving in the UK for a foreigner must be set up right. Like all other drivers on the road, you must make sure that your insurance is both adequate and current in order to avoid any hassles in the event of an unfortunate accident. Cover in the UK is mandatory for all drivers, and that means that foreigners need to take steps to ensure that they are driving legally. Ironically, many insurance companies will not take on foreign drivers. The easiest way to drive legally in the UK is to drive your own vehicle with the insurance company you already have.

If this is not possible, you may want to obtain insurance by apply for an international driver's license. Getting the international license is actually easier than getting insurance in the UK. If you do find a company that will work with you, prepare to face higher rates. However, this still might be a better option if your insurance company will not cover you in the UK. If you have a company willing to cover your driving in other countries, it is best just to check with them. Otherwise, you may look into temporary insurance for visitors.

Unfortunately, if neither one of these scenarios fits your situation and you will be in the UK for an extended amount of time, you may need to become a resident in order to get cover. Before you can shop around for insurance companies, or even decide which cover you want, you will need to get the vehicle registered with the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency, or DVLA, and pay some road tax. If your vehicle is over three years old, it must pass a test called the MOT.

Short term car insurance

This is a subject all by itself, and you would be better visiting this site for more details

International Students

Being a student is hard. Being an international student is harder. Being an international student who needs auto insurance in the UK -- wow.

One of the best resources for any international student trying to find an insurance company is other students who have done it. Some companies will extend insurance, but you must be able to meet their criteria, which is variable. The one thing is certain -- driving uninsured in the UK is not worth it. The risk of being uninsured is actually higher than the drawbacks of finding insurance: hunting down the company, dealing with higher rates, etc. The best advice is to shop around, take notes, and try to see the situation from the insurers' point of view.

What about Expats?

Fortunately for the expat, there are insurance companies that specialize in dealing with this transition. With so many things to manage, getting car insurance should not take the top priority spot. One of the best routes to take is to purchase International Auto Insurance.

The policy is designed to have enough flexibility so that you can operate safely with cover in whatever country you plan to reside in. It is wise to have an insurance company that is knowledgeable about the requirements of your new home country, so that you can drive with peace of mind. It may not immediately occur to you that one of the main issues of an international claim might involve the way currency is valuated.


Peter Marsden 2010 All Rights Reserved