Holidaymakers urged to check their car insurance before driving abroad this summer

28 May, 2015

M&S Bank is urging British motorists to check their car insurance policy before hitting the roads this summer after research revealed that nearly  one  in  ten (nine per cent) are planning to drive their car in the European Union (EU) over the next 12 months.

The M&S Bank research  revealed that of those that are planning to drive their car in the EU, more than two in five (41 per cent) will do so for a holiday,  nearly a third for a mini-break and 18 per cent to visit friends or family.

However, more than a quarter of those planning to drive their car in the EU either aren’t, or don’t know if they are covered to drive in the region.  When it comes to breakdown cover in the EU, more than two in five aren’t, or don’t know if this would be covered under their car insurance policy.

In addition, nearly a third aren’t planning to take the time to  familiarise themselves with the driving laws of the countries they are travelling  to.  More than one in ten said this was because  they believed it was the same as driving in the UK, while nine per cent  said  they  didn’t  have  time  to  familiarise  themselves  with any differences.

In most European countries, drivers  are  required to have photographic identification  on  them  at  all times and the use of dipped headlights is compulsory  in  poor  daytime  visibility.  However,  there  are  also more specific  laws  of  the  roads  across  different  European countries which drivers  should  be  aware of. For example, in France, vehicles must always carry a breathalyser certified by French authorities, while in Germany, at certain times of the year, it is illegal to drive without winter tyres.

When covering  long  distances, such as with  self-drive holidays, it’s important  for motorists to consider breakdown cover that includes both the policyholder  and  the car across the region. While some insurance policies
will come  with  EU  travel  already included, and for extended periods of time, drivers should not assume this is always the case and check that they are covered before they travel.