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Old 15.11.2011, 08:58
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UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

Hi,

I am a UK national who has been resident in Switzerland for four years and who therefore holds a Swiss drivers' licence. I regularly return home to visit my elderly parents and when I'm there I use their car, as my mum had simply renewed the policy unchanged since my time as a UK resident.

However, my parents recently changed their car and when it came to changing their insurance, the insurance company told them I could not be added to the policy as I have a Swiss drivers' licence.

Is there any way a Swiss-licence-holder can obtain car insurance cover for regular but short stays in the UK? My parents do not drive much any longer and look forward to my visits home as an opportunity to get out in the car, so this is a very frustrating issue for me.

Thanks for any advice!
Trainspotter
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Old 15.11.2011, 09:43
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

My GF is a named driver on my UK insurance for my UK registered car and she has a Switzerland driving licence and lives in Swiss.

An insurance company can put a foreign licence holder on if they want to, so either the person you spoke to didn't know this or the company don't insure foreign drivers.

There are insurance companies that do.
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Old 15.11.2011, 09:53
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

Hi Cran,

Thanks for your response. I've been on to a call center in the UK which checks several insurance companies and they've insisted it's not possible, but I also find that hard to believe, so I will have to phone around other companies. Could I ask which company you are with?

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Old 15.11.2011, 10:49
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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Hi Cran,

Thanks for your response. I've been on to a call center in the UK which checks several insurance companies and they've insisted it's not possible, but I also find that hard to believe, so I will have to phone around other companies. Could I ask which company you are with?

Trainspotter
It's not legally possible. I have also tried using a big London broker, it can't be done. You will have to buy a car here and drive over, or hire a car there.
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Old 15.11.2011, 10:50
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

When we moved here my wife left her car to our daughter who remained in the UK. She now insures it and they will not let my wife drive as a named driveer on the policy because she has a Swiss licence.

I think it's quite common.
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Old 15.11.2011, 10:50
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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My GF is a named driver on my UK insurance for my UK registered car and she has a Switzerland driving licence and lives in Swiss.

An insurance company can put a foreign licence holder on if they want to, so either the person you spoke to didn't know this or the company don't insure foreign drivers.

There are insurance companies that do.
Which one please? Are you sure she is legally able to drive your UK car in the UK? It really IS best to check this out before she has an accident. You the owner and her the driver would both be in a lot of trouble!

There is an old posting from an ex-employee from Norwich union, about 4 weeks ago, he said they had a department for refusing policyholders' claims.

EDITED
Just adding this link, it is not the thread I was looking for, but useful!
Short term car insurance for expats in UK?
Post #5 (Quote: I used www.tempcover.com and I think it cost me about 5 or 6 pounds per day).

Last edited by Sbrinz; 15.11.2011 at 11:10.
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Old 15.11.2011, 13:14
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

Hi all,

First of all, thank you for your replies to my original post.

I have just called tempcover.com, and they said they cannot provide insurance cover to anybody who has not been permanently resident in the UK for the past 12 months.

It seems ludicrous that Swiss licence holders cannot be added to UK policies, when EU citizens can.

I'm now going to explore the options at this end, i.e. try to obtain cover from my Swiss car insurance provider.

Thanks,
Trainspotter
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Old 15.11.2011, 13:30
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

My insurance policy covers me for occasionally driving 3rd party's cars. I asked them ifit covers me in the uk. He said yes. I even got a letter stating this.

I'm with axa winterthur
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Old 15.11.2011, 13:43
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

Try these guys stuart@collinsinsurance.demon.co.uk

They were able to offer me a policy for a car in the UK even though I live in Switzerland. They are specialists in non-standard policies.

STUART COLLINS & CO
114 WALTER RD
SWANSEA
SA1 5QQ

PHONE 00 44 1792 655562
FAX 00 44 1792 651126
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Old 15.11.2011, 13:57
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

In Ireland (which takes it's lead from the UK in many things) it is possible.. to an extent. I don't know about adding me permanently to the named drivers but I was added temporarily (week) to the named drivers list of a car (with my Swiss licence). It cost €20 and I was given a special printout to carry with me along with the regular insurance papers.

That said, this was Ireland so things may be different in the UK.
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Old 15.11.2011, 14:10
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

I had the same problems last week when I was in the UK. What really annoyed me is that my family keep a second car which is mainly used only when one of us visit from abroad. Previously we have taken a temp. extension to the cover whenever needed (being a permanent named driver is not allowed as we are non resident). However, the underwriter has changed the terms and we can no longer be insured. Tried calling around, including Stuart Collins, but they told me they don't do temporary cover. In the end I was quoted by Saga (policy holder would be my mother) but it was not worth taking by that point. Also, swiss licence does not count as european, so many who will consider european licences will not cover it. The combination of a non-european licence and non-residence makes it very difficult.
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Old 15.11.2011, 14:22
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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It's not legally possible. I have also tried using a big London broker, it can't be done. You will have to buy a car here and drive over, or hire a car there.
My brother has no problem, he lives in the UK & CH, has a CH license & pays tax in both countries. It's a non standard risk, but cover is possible, what is not allowed is driving the UK car in CH, his wife does that!
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Old 15.11.2011, 14:35
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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My insurance policy covers me for occasionally driving 3rd party's cars. I asked them ifit covers me in the uk. He said yes. I even got a letter stating this. I'm with axa winterthur
I also have an occasional 3rd party insurance policy, but if I read the policy it will only pay for any no claims bonus, and any claim the car insurance will not pay.

It does not cover me to drive another "uninsured car", it is cheap and only pays the claims not covered by the owner's Swiss insurance. I don't think it will cover you to drive a UK car belonging to a friend, as the basic "any driver cover" is not usually present; the UK cars are usually only insured for certain drivers.
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Old 15.11.2011, 14:38
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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My brother has no problem, he lives in the UK & CH, has a CH license & pays tax in both countries. It's a non standard risk, but cover is possible, what is not allowed is driving the UK car in CH, his wife does that!
.
Exactly; he is resident in both countries, most of us after 6 months are not.
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Old 15.11.2011, 21:26
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Exactly; he is resident in both countries, most of us after 6 months are not.
Why would you want to insure a car in a country that you don't live in? It seems unlikely that you have really left the uk and are also dual resident and liable to uk taxation.
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Old 16.11.2011, 11:59
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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Hi Cran,

Thanks for your response. I've been on to a call center in the UK which checks several insurance companies and they've insisted it's not possible, but I also find that hard to believe, so I will have to phone around other companies. Could I ask which company you are with?

Trainspotter
LV we just phoned them up when she changed her UK licence for a Swiss one.
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Old 16.11.2011, 12:08
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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I also have an occasional 3rd party insurance policy, but if I read the policy it will only pay for any no claims bonus, and any claim the car insurance will not pay.

It does not cover me to drive another "uninsured car", it is cheap and only pays the claims not covered by the owner's Swiss insurance. I don't think it will cover you to drive a UK car belonging to a friend, as the basic "any driver cover" is not usually present; the UK cars are usually only insured for certain drivers.
I'm only telling you what axa told me. They gave me a letter saying such as well.
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Old 16.11.2011, 12:23
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

Trainspotter, how exactly was the question asked?

If it was "do you have a valid UK driving licence?" then I imagine you can just answer yes... as I don't think the CH driving licence supercedes the UK one.

My sister was asked that question when she was arranging car insurance for me to drive her car this year, and I felt it was OK for me just to confirm I had the UK one without going into more detail.

But if the question was more about what licence is most recent, where do you live, what side of the road are you most comfortable on etc then I can see why some insurers might have an issue.
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Old 16.11.2011, 14:02
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

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Trainspotter, how exactly was the question asked?

If it was "do you have a valid UK driving licence?" then I imagine you can just answer yes... as I don't think the CH driving licence supercedes the UK one.

My sister was asked that question when she was arranging car insurance for me to drive her car this year, and I felt it was OK for me just to confirm I had the UK one without going into more detail.

But if the question was more about what licence is most recent, where do you live, what side of the road are you most comfortable on etc then I can see why some insurers might have an issue.
They can check with DVLC that your licensed to drive & entitled to a UK license. Keep a photocopy of your old one, they may ask if there is an accident!
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Old 16.11.2011, 14:19
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Re: UK car insurance with Swiss drivers' licence

I have full cover on my fathers van in the UK. We sent a copy of my licence to the insurance company - they are happy I live here - and happy to fully cover.

On the flipside they are milking us for £675 for a years cover - and considering the small number of miles it is a no brainer for them!!
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