Can I Insure A Car in the UK if I live Abroad?

By law you must have at least a third-party car insurance to drive on the UK roads, even if you’re visiting for a short time.

What insurance can I get to drive in the UK?

If you plan to borrow a car from families or friends while you’re here, you could get car insurance that is temporary. Short term policies are also available from one hour up to 28 days. However, you may be required to pay a higher premium than UK residents as you’re considered a higher risk, even if you have a good driving record abroad.

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Car owners can add you to their policy as a named driver, that’s another option for the car owner. Though they have to pay extra to do this.

If you are hiring a car, you won’t have to bother about insurance as it is included in the price. However, it is important to check what is covered in the rental agreement and consider assigning extra cover if needed.

For your own car or longer-term car insurance you can also get a car insurance. You may need to use a specialist insurance as a non – UK resident.

Can I get car insurance with an international license?

With an international license, it is possible to get car insurance. It may cost you more than if you have a UK license and you may have to use a specialist provider. Lack of familiarity with UK roads means there is a higher risk of non UK drivers being involved in accident and having to make a claim.

I’m coming to live in the UK. Can I get car insurance?

If you plan to buy a car to use while studying or working in the UK, you can get a car insurance. It is even a crime to drive in the UK without an insurance.

You will also need to follow UK rules, which means your car must be:

  • The car must be registered in your own name
  • Taxed
  • Insured
  • Your car must have a valid MOT (the official department for transport test of vehicle safety, road worthiness and emissions) if the car is more than three years old.

I’m bringing my car to the UK. Will I be covered?

For at least third party damage, when bring your own car into the UK, you may be covered by your existing insurance policy, provided you’re from a country that is a member of the Green Card insurance scheme.

You might want to increase your level of cover to comprehensive even if you have third party insurance, so you and your vehicle are protected financially. Before you start driving, you should check to see what cover you have.

You should ask for a green card from your insurance provider. This green card proves that you have a valid insurance in case you have an accident.

You will need to insure your car in the UK if you are not from one of the countries that are part of the Green Card Scheme.

There are additional information on driving and insurance requirement in the UK from the UK government’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and it’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Can I drive in the UK with an international driving license?

 With a valid international driving license, you can drive in the UK for up to 12 months. After that:

You can continue to drive in the UK until you’re 70 and your license expires if you have an EU driving license. However, if you stay in the UK as a resident, you can choose to swap your EU license for a UK one for a small fee without needing a test.

You will have to exchange a driving license from a ‘designated country’ for a UK license. When you apply within five years of becoming a resident in the UK, you won’t have to take the UK driving test.

You will need to apply for a provisional driving license and pass the full UK driving test if your driving license was issued in the US, a non-EU or non-designated country.

If you want to exchange your foreign license in Northern Ireland, thr process is different.

How much is Car Insurance for International Drivers in the UK?

If you are on a foreign driving license, you should expect to pay more for your insurance thank someone who has a UK license, even if you’re driving record is impeccable.

Due to the lack of experience on UK Road, most insurance providers consider drivers from overseas face a higher risk. There’s a chance of getting involved in an accident and having to make a claim, so you may be charged a higher premium to reflect this. Finding a provider that will accept a no-claims discount may be difficult.

Factors that could affect the cost of your UK car insurance include:

  • Your UK address
  • Model, make and age of your car
  • Estimated mileage
  • Where you will be parking your car overnight.
  • Your personal circumstance and driving history.

Should I change my foreign license for a UK one?

It might be worth exchanging your foreign driving license for a UK one because:

  • You could pay less for a car insurance when you have a UK license as you fit more neatly into insurance providers various risk profiles.
  • Most cars owned by companies are covered by fleet insurance, which excludes non-UK licenses.
  • Your UK driving license can be used as an ID. Having an ID is useful for everything from buying a pint in the pub to joining the local library.

You can only drive in the UK on a foreign license for up to 12 months unless you’re an EU license holder. So if you plan to stay longer than a year, you’d have to exchange it for a UK one anyway.

Find out more about exchanging a foreign driving license at GOV.UK

Do I need an international driving permit?

You won’t need an international driving permit to drive in the UK, what you will need to drive in the UK is:

  • A valid driving license
  • Insurance
  • ID – for example, your passport
  • Breakdown cover is optional, but it could prevent you from being stranded at the side of the road.


What types of car insurance are available in the UK?

In the UK, there are three level of cover available;

  • Third-party auto insurance: the third party car insurance is the most basic level of protection required by law. It covers damage you cause to other people and their car but not your own car.
  • Third Party, fire and theft car insurance: this third party cover includes covers if your car is stolen or damage by fire.
  • Comprehensive car insurance: the comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of cover. It includes third-party, theft and fire. It can as well protect you and your vehicle, even if the accident was your fault.

Can I use my no-claims discount from overseas?

You may be able to negotiate a discount here in the UK if you can get a certificate from your usual insurance provider proving your no-claims bonus abroad. However, not all UK insurance providers do accept an overseas no-claims discount, so you may need to shop around to find one that does.

If you are a resident in the UK moving abroad, ask your insurance provider to give you a certificate you can take with you.

How long can I drive my foreign car in the UK?

If you decide to stay in the UK for longer than six months within any 12-month period or you become a UK citizen- no matter whether it is in w single stay or several shorter stays – you will have to register your foreign var and pay road tax (VED) to continue driving it on UK roads.