Taking and driving your Messerschmitt abroad…

O
ver the past few years, driving your own car through Europe has become rather more complicated. Immediately following our departure from the European Union, we needed insurance green cards to prove the correct level of car insurance when travelling to Europe. This requirement was then abolished in August 2021 after the European Commission reviewed the law, but the rules still require holders of paper driving licences (issued before April 1999) to apply for an International Driving Permit.

Furthermore, travel restrictions were imposed from April 2020 until late 2021, as a result of the CoviD pandemic. Even now, problems continue regarding travel as a result of staffing issues, so you will need to book your crossing early and be prepared for delays.

These complexities aside, the major thing to consider when driving in Europe is whether your car is as well protected as when you're in the UK. After all, if you were to break down or be involved in a road accident, you need to be able to make a valid claim.

This is where European Driving Cover comes in – and is completely essential if you want to take your own vehicle to Europe and drive it there. European driving cover is an extension of your UK-based insurance cover and effectively makes your motor insurance valid in the majority of European countries.

Typically, a car insurance policy with European driving included will give you up to 90 days of cover for driving on the continent. Not every policy includes European Driving Cover as standard, but classic car and multi-car cover from some specialist Classic Car Insurance providers, does, and you can even extend to 180 days in some cases if you happen to be travelling more. You will need to check your documents and amend if necessary.

Gone are the days when I used to sling a tent, a sleeping bag, a change of underwear and a toothbrush into the back of the KR200, and set off for the ferry with my ticket, passport and a few French Francs, Belgian Francs, German Marks and/or Dutch Guilders, depending where I was heading (thank goodness for the Euro)!