Car insurance claims from Brits driving abroad jump 160% in five years

By Bob Atoo
July 6, 2017

According to the latest figures, motor insurance claims from Brits driving their own cars abroad have risen 160% in the last five years.

driving on road on holiday

New research from motor insurer Admiral shows that the most common circumstances for making a claim for an accident abroad are if you are a 30-something Londoner, driving a Volkswagen Golf in France.

Where are you most likely to be involved in an accident leading to an insurance claim?

A runaway “winner” in terms of the number of claims made by UK motorists for accidents on their roads in the last five years is, unsurprisingly, our close neighbour, France, with 46 percent of all claims made. A distant second place goes to Germany at 9 percent and the bronze medal goes to Spain, at 7 percent.

The Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Poland and Italy each account for 5 percent of claims made over the last five years.

Percentages of claims 2011-2016 Percentages of claims 2016 only
France 46% France 46%
Germany 9% Spain 9%
Spain 7% Germany 7%
Republic of Ireland 5% Republic of Ireland 7%
Belgium 5% Belgium 5%
Poland 5% Poland 5%
Italy 5% Italy 5%

The data shows that accident claims are on the increase in Spain and Republic of Ireland, and on the decline in Germany whilst remaining consistent elsewhere. In addition to the data above, in 2016 Netherlands and Romania were at three percent each, with Switzerland at two percent.

Who is most likely to be involved in an accident abroad?

An Admiral spokesman said: “Londoners aged 30 to 39 and driving a VW Golf in France are the most likely to have an accident whilst driving overseas.”

The data shows that Londoners and those from the South East are the most likely to make a claim for a motor accident abroad, making up 41 percent of the total claimants (23 and 18 percent respectively).

The most claims made by an age group are motorists aged 30-39 with nearly a third of all claims at 30 percent, followed by motorists aged 40-49 accounting for nearly a quarter of all claims with 24 percent and younger drivers aged 20-29 making 19 percent of all claims.

Most likely to be involved in an accident abroad are BMW drivers at 11 percent, followed by Volkswagen and Audi drivers at nine percent each and then Ford drivers at eight percent.

Car brands most likely to be involved in an accident:

1. BMW 11%
2. Volkswagen 9%
3. Audi 9%
4. Ford 8%
5. Mercedes 7%
6. Land Rover 6%
7. Vauxhall 5%
8. Volvo 4%
9. Toyota 4%
10. Peugeot 4%

The most common month for overseas motoring accidents is August with approximately 25 percent of claims made during that month, and more than half of the total claims, 51 percent, were the fault of the Brit.

What can I do to avoid having to make a claim abroad?

Lorna Connelly, head of Claims at Admiral has said: ‘Driving abroad is a great way to have the freedom to explore new places, without the cost of flights.

“There’s no reason it shouldn’t be a really enjoyable experience, but just as accidents can happen at home, they can happen abroad too, and different laws and languages can cause additional stress.

“To ensure an accident doesn’t ruin your holiday we’re calling on all drivers to make sure they’re well informed, so if the worst should happen, they are properly prepared.

“You can do this by having the right documentation on you, by being aware of the rules of the road in the country you’re visiting and finally by knowing what to do and where to report details of any accidents.”

What do I do if I am involved in an accident abroad?

Before you even set off there are some things you should do to prepare in case of an accident:

  • Make sure you know the rules of the road for any countries you will be driving in
  • Take your documentation with you – your certificate of motor insurance, your driving licence and the vehicle registration document
  • Go to and get an English copy of the “Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident” form which is used across Europe in multiple languages – just in case you need to use it to for translation purposes
  • Make sure you have saved your insurers details in your phone/have some additional documentation with their details on with you
  • Check you have adequate travel insurance – most only cover the car itself, not onward travel for you and your luggage

If you are involved in an accident, be sure to do the following:

  • Keep calm and keep safe!
  • Use your smartphone to take photos of the location, including a screenshot of your exact location on a map. Keep a note of the date and time
  • Take photos of the accident aftermath from a safe distance – taking photos of all vehicles involved, including number plates
  • Take all witness details, names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses
  • You will be presented with the “Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident” form in the language of the country you are travelling in – this is where your English language copy of the form will come in handy. Never sign anything that you don’t understand
  • If the car is undriveable the local authority may recover the car – make sure you have addresses and contact details and know exactly where the car is going
  • Get in touch with your motor insurer and your travel insurer if you are in need of additional assistance.

Read more…

Car hire excess cover – how to make sure you don’t get ripped off

Top 10 travel apps

Car insurance deals

Get a free quote and save money on car insurance with Bobatoo

Get a Quote

Or see:

Best car insurance comparison sites

Best car insurance companies NOT on comparison sites