Posted on: 28/11/2014
Figures compiled by comparison website GoCompare found that one in six out of 245 policies would not cover you when travelling abroad unless you paid extra.
While these mostly offer third-party cover, they may not pay out if your car is involved in an accident or needs repairs. This means you face hefty charges to get your car home.
Policies also vary widely over the amount of time they will cover you while abroad. Some will offer you only three days per trip while others will cover you for as long as 180 days. Many policies that don't provide any cover are specialist policies for younger drivers. Trip preparation And disturbingly, more than a quarter of British drivers who take a motoring holiday on the continent do so without any additional checks or servicing to their vehicles.
Those were the findings of a web poll conducted by Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), who warn that drivers are risking expensive repair bills and ruined holidays by failing to prepare for their trip.
Why the confusion?
It boils down to history, as British drivers have historically needed a document, called a Green Card, as proof of their insurance overseas. With the advent of the single market in the early nineties some EU countries agreed that tourists need not travel with their green card documentation, but that was not universally applied across Europe.
The countries that do require a Green Card are: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Iran, Israel, Moldova, Morocco, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The countries that don't require a Green Card are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Here, your UK insurance certificate should suffice.
Thankfully, despite the number of drivers who take their vehicles abroad without extra checks or servicing, the IAM's poll revealed the 85 per cent do travel will full breakdown and medical cover.
Despite the popularity of European motoring holidays some 78 per cent feel that motoring regulations on the continent have become increasingly confusing and complicated over recent years.
The IAM survey also found seventy-eight per cent of respondents feel that regulations about the equipment that you have to carry in Europe have become more complicated in recent years. Here are some more key stats from the survey: Respondents felt that unforeseen circumstances (33 per cent) and cost (17 per cent) are the biggest disadvantages when thinking about going on a driving or riding holiday.
Of those who have been on a riding or driving holiday, forty four per cent of those drove and twenty per cent rode or drove from the UK. Forty-one per cent prefer to drive their own car abroad. Thirty five per cent of respondents would like to go on holiday for two weeks. Forty-three per cent of respondents favour France as a riding/driving holiday destination closely followed by Spain and Germany. Top reasons for a driving holiday are increased experience and exposure to local people and customs at destination (44 per cent) and adventure (28 per cent).
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