Can You Drive In Britain Using A Spanish Driving Licence?
If you are a British expat living in Spain you may have had to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one. Alternatively you may be a Spanish national visiting Britain for a holiday, work or business. Either way the problem is, as you may already have found out, that UK car insurance companies either refuse to accept Spanish licences, or charge consideraby more for anyone wanting to insure a car with a non-UK licence. The answer may be: short term car insurance.
How can short term car insurance help me?
If you are vising the UK you may need a car. Rather than going to the huge expense of hiring one, why not borrow one from a friend instead?
Insurance will be necessary of course - it is illegal to drive on a UK public highway or even a public car park without at least basic, third party only insurance. However with a panel of insurers who may offer you online quotes for insuring that borrowed car comprehensively, for anywhere between a day and 28 days; and sometimes a lot longer that that; the total cost of borrowing is likely to be far less than car hire. Plus, if you need a car for a longer period there is no reason why you can't apply for another policy as a current one is coming to an end.
Is it difficult to apply?
Getting a quote can take literally seconds. You just need to answer a few simple questions and if you qualify you would be provided with your quote, or quotes, instantly online.
To buy a policy online would then take just a couple more minutes or so; you would need the registration details of the car you was going to borrow, the name and address of the owner, your passport and driving licence details and, of course, a credit card. Job done and you could be very quickly insured for the dates you have chosen.
Please bear in mind that occasionally you may not be able to actually buy a policy if you are not in the UK at the time; this is often a privacy and security requirement but you should still be able to buy your policy as soon as you arrive in Britain.
Would I get an insurance certificate?
You could ask for one to be posted to you but in any case a copy would be available online. If you was unlucky enough to be stopped by the police for any reason it would be as well to have either a hard copy (you can print one out yourself) or your mobile phone handy for the first couple of days or so until your policy details are recorderd on the Motor Insurance Database (MID).
What is the Motor Insurance Database?
This holds records of every car insurance policy and the police check it to make sure that cars are insured innumerable times every day. Once you have bought a policy the details are sent to the MID by close of business that day but the insurer has no way of influencing the speed at which the database is updated and it can sometimes take a day or two for this to happen. This is why it is a good idea to carry proof of your policy for the first couple of days, just in case.
You can check whether or not the details have been updated to include your policy by visiting the mib.org.uk website.
Would I qualify for a short term car insurance policy?
Each insurer has different acceptance criteria depending on factors such as your age, driving record, type of car etc but generally expats will need to be aged between about 20 and 75 with at least 3 years' driving experience. However if in doubt, apply for a quote, and you will soon find out whether or not you can get a policy, and what the pemium would be.
You are under no obligation whatsoever when getting a quote, and you would only be asked for credit card information when you accept a quote and buy a policy.
Any other queries? see our Frequently asked Questions page. Otherwise just click on the link and see how little a policy will cost you!