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ilesmark 6 Jul 2008 17:28

European car insurance
Hi all

Currently I am in Russia in my UK registered Toyota Landcruiser and nearing the end of my 18 month trip. Soon I will leave Russia and enter the EU - most likely at the Latvia/Russia border - to drive back to the UK. I'll need a month of 3rd party insurance that covers me for the EU. EU law, as readers are no doubt aware, means that insurance bought in any EU member state provides 3rd party cover anywhere else in the EU - the Green Card system. UK insurance isn't a option I want to pursue as my MOT and road tax have expired and can't be renewed until I get the car back to the UK and drive straight from Dover ferry port to a pre-booked MOT.

So how can I get EU insurance? Can it be bought at the border, or online? I have heard comments that there is a wide variation in the cost of 3rd party insurance between different EU countries - eg Polish is far cheaper than German. Am not bothered which EU member state I buy the insurance in. Have looked online, but none of the sites seem to be in English apart from UK ones.


RogerM 6 Jul 2008 21:07


Originally Posted by ilesmark (Post 197384)
EU law, as readers are no doubt aware, means that insurance bought in any EU member state provides 3rd party cover anywhere else in the EU - the Green Card system.

I'm almost positive that the same EU law requires proof of the vehicle registration for the insurance to be valid. Every insurer will take your money and give you a green card - but if anything causes a claim you'll be left with no insurance cover.

ilesmark 7 Jul 2008 07:07

Well - my car is still UK registered. I haven't declared it permanently exported or anything like that.

I'd find it hard to believe that other overlanders in UK registered vehicles haven't faced - and dealt with - the issue of insurance when crossing the EU to return to the UK after an extended overland trip.

roamingyak.org 7 Jul 2008 09:26

Ring up your normal UK insurance company and buy 12 months of insurance as you normally would. It should give you 30-90 days of European cover and your away.

Don't mention long trips or anything of the sort. It will cause confusion.

Before you get back to the UK ring up and book under your name a MOT test for the day you get back or the next day. From the ferry drive straight to the MOT test and legally your fine.

There are other longer threads on this....

ChrisC 7 Jul 2008 09:51

You take yer chances!!

if you are driving within the EU without a valid MOT etc, then technically you are uninsured/driving illegally. However, if you manage to get some insurance/green card somewhere out east then as long as you avoid any 'difficult' situations you should be ok. Of course should you get stopped and you can't produce a current MOT you could be in trouble.
If that situation arose, I would look stunned and say I must have lost it/left it in ????? where/when I last showed officials my paperwork.

Good luck

ilesmark 9 Jul 2008 10:10

I'd sooner not involve my UK insurance co as a) I don't plan on keeping the car for very long after I return to the UK and b) a lack of current UK MoT/Road Tax would probably cause more hassle with a UK insurance co than it would with a European one and c) UK 3rd party insurance is quite a bit more expensive than that in other EU states.

Regarding lack of UK MoT/Road Tax, DVLA advised me that this would technically be an offence in each EU member state I passed through, but it would be up to the police in that country to catch me while I was on their territory - once I'd left, that would be the end of it. Passing through other EU states minus UK MoT/Road Tax would not be an offence in the UK until I set tyre on UK roads.

So if anyone can let me know the contact details of some companies for EU insurance, please let me know.

I also looked at this thread

and emailed ARISA insurances, but haven't had any answer as yet.


ilesmark 21 Jul 2008 12:29

Just in case this is of use to anyone else -

Having not had any response from Arisa or AXA, I got a bit worried towards the end of my time in Russia. I had got a German friend to check with the ADAC, who said they could provide Green Card cover within the EU to a UK-registered car (but it would be expensive). I then spoke to a Latvian insurance company, who said that only Latvian or 3rd countries (non-EU) citizens could buy insurance on the Russian/Latvian border. They said they used to sell insurance to cover ALL EU nationals as well as non-EU, but had to stop as of November last year as they were advised it was 'against the law' - whether that was Latvian law or EU law I don't know, but my understanding is that EU law means members of every EU member state should able to buy EU car insurance anywhere in the EU, so if that insurance company is following Latvian law in precedence over EU law on this then it may be wrong to do so. Nevertheless, the British Embassy in Riga also confirmed what the Lativian insurance company had said.

I also tried AIG's office in Moscow – they provide Green Card cover from Russia for EU countries only for Russian-registered cars (although readers may like to note that Russia will be joining the Green Card scheme on 01.01.09, so buying Green Card cover from Russia will be just the same as it should be from anywhere else in the EU).

I really couldn't understand what the problem was with me not being able to get Green Card cover at the Latvian border, so I took the number of the ADAC with me to the border, ready to call them to activate cover if I got refused by the Latvians. But would you believe it - I went to the booth, showed them my UK registration certificate and passport and they sold me a 1 month Green Card policy!

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