Is it possible for a non-UK resident to obtain car insurance?
Absolutely. In fact, driving on UK roads without insurance is illegal, and as a non-UK resident, you might need to engage a specialist provider. However, be prepared for potentially higher costs compared to those with a UK license. This is because international drivers, unfamiliar with UK roads and left-hand driving, may be perceived as higher risk.
Adhering to UK regulations, your car must be registered in your name, taxed, and possess a valid MOT (if the vehicle is over three years old). If you reside in the UK and hold an EU, European non-EU, or international driving license, you can compare car insurance options.
Planning to borrow a car?
Temporary car insurance, ranging from one hour to 30 days, is an option. Expect higher premiums than those for UK residents, even with a good driving record abroad. Alternatively, the car owner can add you as a named driver, though this might incur additional costs.
Renting a car typically includes insurance in the price, but it’s advisable to check the coverage and consider extra protection if necessary. For your own car, temporary or expat car insurance provides comprehensive coverage without the need to modify your existing policy or commit to an annual one.
Bringing your own car to the UK?
Your existing insurance may cover at least third-party damage if your country belongs to the Green Card insurance scheme. However, consider upgrading to comprehensive coverage for better protection. Obtain a Green Card from your insurance provider to validate your coverage.
If your country isn’t part of the Green Card scheme, you’ll need to insure your car in the UK. Expect higher costs for international car insurance with a foreign license, even with a clean driving record. Other factors influencing costs include personal circumstances, driving history, UK address, car details, estimated mileage, and overnight parking arrangements.
Considering exchanging your foreign license for a UK one?
It could lead to lower insurance costs, broader coverage for company cars, and the convenience of using your UK license for various purposes. Non-EU license holders can drive in the UK for up to 12 months before needing to exchange it for a UK license.
Certain countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland, allow drivers to exchange their licenses for a British one. An international driving permit isn’t necessary for driving in the UK; a valid driving license, insurance, and ID (e.g., passport) are sufficient. For details on international permits for UK residents, refer to our guide on driving abroad.