Car insurance protects Brits abroad

24 June 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
More than 4.3million British motorists plan to head across the channel with their cars this year, but they shouldn't forget to check their car insurance cover, Sheila's Wheels is urging drivers.

Research from women's_car_insurance provider Sheila's Wheels has found that as British households tighten their budgets, nearly half of all motorists intend to travel abroad by car instead of flying this year because it's cheaper.

However, the survey also found that of the 4.3million Brits intending to drive abroad this year, 84 per cent break European driving regulations, in part because almost half are unaware of the foreign speed limits.

While 18 per cent of drivers check their insurance documents to see if they are covered in the EU, and a further 10 per cent call up their insurer to check their cover, more than 15 per cent of drivers assume that they are automatically protected abroad by their comprehensive car insurance.

The things that most concern motorists when driving abroad include being involved in an accident, driving on the opposite side of the road, not being able to ask directions in a foreign language, getting lost, and unfamiliar traffic rules and regulations.

"When planning to take a car to Europe, it is crucial for motorists to call their insurer and tell them that they want to extend their level of cover for driving abroad." said Jacky Brown at Sheila's Wheels Car Insurance. "It is also vital that motorists understand the basic rules and regulations for driving on foreign roads and be fully prepared by planning their journeys, carrying the essential equipment and giving their car a maintenance check before setting off."

Sainsbury's Bank, which found that almost half of those taking their cars abroad will be clocking up as many as 1,000 miles on foreign soil, has also warned motorists not to drive abroad while underinsured.

Joanne Mallon, manager of Sainsbury's Car Insurance said: "When going on holiday, most people will remember to take travel insurance but we are concerned that some motorists are overlooking the need to ensure that their car journey is fully covered. Having an accident anywhere is bad enough but when abroad it can be compounded by a lack of local knowledge, to then find that the other party's damage is covered but not your own, is surely a blow worth avoiding."

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