Continental car trouble can cost you big

  • One in four motor insurance policies only include 3 days free foreign cover
  • 25 insurance policies offer no free foreign cover

Holidaymakers planning to take their car abroad this summer could find themselves stranded without insurance, warns

Research* from the independent financial comparison site reveals that a quarter of all comprehensive motor insurance policies limit cover to only three days outside the UK or won’t cover drivers outside of the UK at all – unless you pay extra.

The figures show that the average period of free foreign cover across all comprehensive motor policies is 56 days. However, some of the UK’s major providers prefer to limit that period to only three days, meaning many holidaymakers could be without cover for three quarters of a two week trip.

Providers that limit free motor insurance cover abroad include Direct Line, Egg, Esure, Halifax, MBNA, Sainsbury’s Bank, Sheila’s Wheels, Tesco and Virgin.

And says there are a further 25 policies on the market that don’t cover you at all if you take your car out of the country, meaning drivers will have to fork out for an upgrade.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of, said: "The exodus to France and Spain is part and parcel of the British summer, and many holidaymakers prefer to drive. If you are planning a road trip to the continent you can’t take it for granted that your car insurance will cover you abroad.

"Many of the biggest names in car insurance will only cover you for a couple of days. That might get you to the Costa Brava and back but it certainly isn’t enough for a decent holiday.

"There’s no need to get caught out as there are a number of comprehensive policies on the market which will cover you without a charge. The key is to check before you buy."

Around 47 policies on the market – one in five – have no limit on the number of days you can spend in Europe and won’t charge extra for it.

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* research

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