Can I get car insurance in the UK with a German licence?

Because Germany is an EU member state, their licences can be used to drive, and indeed, purchase car insurance in the UK. There are a few rules in relation to using an EU licence in the UK, but these are fairly easy to understand. The most important of these are as follows:

•The EU licence may be used for 3 years or until the driver reaches 70 years of age. Whichever option allows the driver the longest period is the one that will apply
•For those taking up residency in the UK the licence may be exchanged for a UK one when the driver has been resident here for 6 months
•For drivers who exchanged another countries licence for an EU one, and where that country is NOT on the list of designated countries for UK licence exchanges, such individuals will only be permitted to drive for 12 months before being required to obtain a UK licence. A driving test will be required in order to achieve this.

What are the options for car insurance?

This mainly depends on the length of time the driver plans to stay in the UK. For example, if the driver is coming from Germany to live in the UK, and they will be bringing their own car or buying their own car on arrival, then an annual policy is going to be the best idea. Conversely, if the driver is visiting the UK, and plans to stay for less than one year then a short term policy will probably better serve their needs.

What is an annual policy

As the name would suggest, an annual policy is one which covers the driver and vehicle for one year. The benefits of these policies are:

•Annual policies are widely available, and using our comparison tool allows drivers to select the policy best suited to them from a wide range of leading insurers
•These policies generally offer the most cost effective prices, and allow the driver to build up a UK no claims discount for future policies
•Policyholders can choose to have more than one driver named on their policy, negating the need to buy multiple policies to cover others
It is important to note that these policies are ONLY available when the driver owns the car to be driven, has it registered in their own name and when the car has a valid MOT certificate if the vehicle is more than 3 years old. If the driver brings their own car to the UK from Germany then that vehicle MUST be re-registered for use in the UK with the DVLA.

Short Term Car Insurance

Many thousands of German drivers come to the UK each year for short periods of time. Whether visiting friends and relatives, having a vacation or coming here on business when the stay is going to be less than a year, then a short term insurance policy is probably going to be the best option.

For example, if such a driver wishes to drive their friend or relatives car, then while it is possible with a very limited number of insurers to be added to their policy as a named driver, most companies will refuse to do this, and those who do will be very expensive. In these circumstances, a short term insurance policy will provide better value for money. These policies offer the following benefits:

•Available for between 1 and 28 days meaning that drivers only need to pay for the time they are driving
•Flexible and instantly available to eligible drivers
•Cost effective and normally the cheapest alternative

These policies normally require the driver to have held a full licence in their own country for at least one year. Drivers using these policies are also required to have the full permission of the vehicle's owner to drive the vehicle