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Insuring a car in the UK

Insuring a car in the UK

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Old Feb 18th 2017, 3:52 pm
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Default Insuring a car in the UK

We have a car in the UK that we own and that was bought last year when my wife was possibly moving back to the UK for a while. She decided not to.
Now that neither of us has a valid UK driving licence and are not living in the UK, we find we cannot insure the car.
No problems with hire cars and a Qatar licence as I'm sure you all know and I have had an annual excess top-up insurance cover that is cheap and has been very worthwhile. However, insuring a car we own is proving difficult.
Has anyone found a company that will insure in such circumstances?
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Old Feb 18th 2017, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Find someone else to insure it (a parent maybe) and put yourself as a named driver.

Why don't you have a UK licence any more though. They don't expire until you're old, so the one you had before should still be valid.
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by dominoman View Post
Find someone else to insure it (a parent maybe) and put yourself as a named driver.

Why don't you have a UK licence any more though. They don't expire until you're old, so the one you had before should still be valid.
If you go the named driver route you have to declare that you are a non-resident and then the added fee will be more than the cost of a hire car. My mother tried this a few years ago when I first came back and the additional fee was mental, even for just a short time.

If I remember rightly that as a resident of another country you should 'technically' relinquish your UK licence when you become resident elsewhere. No one ever does and most folk don't know they should but 'if' you were to have a crunch and the insurance companies start looking into it you 'could' find yourself uninsured and having a large bill to settle.

I'm also not too sure why you would want to use your UK licence. I always drive on my UAE licence when I get a hire car as it means speeding fines and points never get back to you.
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 4:26 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
If you go the named driver route you have to declare that you are a non-resident and then the added fee will be more than the cost of a hire car. My mother tried this a few years ago when I first came back and the additional fee was mental, even for just a short time.

If I remember rightly that as a resident of another country you should 'technically' relinquish your UK licence when you become resident elsewhere. No one ever does and most folk don't know they should but 'if' you were to have a crunch and the insurance companies start looking into it you 'could' find yourself uninsured and having a large bill to settle.

I'm also not too sure why you would want to use your UK licence. I always drive on my UAE licence when I get a hire car as it means speeding fines and points never get back to you.
It is now virtually impossible to add a non resident to a UK car insurance even for a couple of weeks.As jam25smack says, if you declare yourself as a named driver but tick the box to say you are UK resident , then god help you if you have a prang! not only will the insurance become invalid, you'll also get done for not having a UK licence - you said you were resident remember?
Best thing is to get rid off it, then if you do go back to UK buy another! If you rent then no problem as rent includes third party and you can top it up or use your top up insurance. I used to add my son to my insurance when he visited, cost about £20 for two weeks IIRC , but on his last visit before we moved they refused, so he hired a car. If you are not in the UK , assumimg you DID get cover, who would be driving it? There is nothing to stop you owning the car ,as the registered keeper - presuming you have a UK address at which to register it - and whoever is the driver gets his/her own insurance for the vehicle. Here, we insure the car and anyone can drive it with our permission, so long as they have a valid licence.
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

I had this predicament last year and as a non resident I managed to get get insurance. It was a bit of a farce and I'm not 100% sure how valid the insurance would be if I were to be involved in a crash but I have all evidence to back up my claim should the need arise.

I spent so much time speaking with the likes of Keith Michaels and others who offer insurance for expats but most of these seem to only be for expats in EU. I managed to speak wit 2 companies whose names escape me, but they both referred me to AXA. They insisted I go directs as they cannot be competitive in the market considering my circumstances.

I spoke with AXA and got it confirmed in writing regarding being insured as non resident. They said that under their policy you can be insured as non resident as long as you have been non resident for less that 10 years. When I questioned the fact that I now have a UAE licence effectively voiding my UK licence they said it doesn't matter as should I commit any driving offences my UK licence will still be used as my current active licence whilst driving inside the UK as long as I do not surrender it to the DVLA.

It's worth giving them a call to discuss either way.
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Old Feb 19th 2017, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by AdamLM View Post
I had this predicament last year and as a non resident I managed to get get insurance. It was a bit of a farce and I'm not 100% sure how valid the insurance would be if I were to be involved in a crash but I have all evidence to back up my claim should the need arise.

I spent so much time speaking with the likes of Keith Michaels and others who offer insurance for expats but most of these seem to only be for expats in EU. I managed to speak wit 2 companies whose names escape me, but they both referred me to AXA. They insisted I go directs as they cannot be competitive in the market considering my circumstances.

I spoke with AXA and got it confirmed in writing regarding being insured as non resident. They said that under their policy you can be insured as non resident as long as you have been non resident for less that 10 years. When I questioned the fact that I now have a UAE licence effectively voiding my UK licence they said it doesn't matter as should I commit any driving offences my UK licence will still be used as my current active licence whilst driving inside the UK as long as I do not surrender it to the DVLA.

It's worth giving them a call to discuss either way.
Wow, somebody joined just to give a helpful piece of information. Well done and thanks (even though it's not relevant to me)..

Please stick around. We need more contributors. Even if you know nothing on a topic it is absolutely no barrier to posting here...
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 1:58 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Many thanks for the responses.
I am aware that one cannot use a UK licence if one is either not resident or has another country's licence and would never take a chance in pretending otherwise.
I'll certainly try Axa again - I was fobbed-off by their web application site but perhaps a call to them would help.
Otherwise I'll have to sell a nice little car and go back to renting one for the eight weeks my wife spends in the UK each summer and the other assorted trips we make back during the year.
It seems absolutely nonsense that because I am not resident I am uninsurable in respect of my own car but can hire one at will and for 55 quid a year insure the excess that hire companies try and charge 6-10 quid a day to protect.
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
..... I always drive on my UAE licence when I get a hire car as it means speeding fines and points never get back to you.
I drive on my US license when I am back in the UK for the same reason, and while the points can't be applied to a foreign licence, the fines are levied on the car rental company, and buried in the small print of your rental agreement is the right of the company to charge fines to your credit card. The last time I rented in the UK, that clause was one of the things I had to initial against.
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I drive on my US license when I am back in the UK for the same reason, and while the points can't be applied to a foreign licence, the fines are levied on the car rental company, and buried in the small print of your rental agreement is the right of the company to charge fines to your credit card. The last time I rented in the UK, that clause was one of the things I had to initial against.
Yup, only owning a foreign car in the UK makes driving through speed cameras over the limit any fun.
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I drive on my US license when I am back in the UK for the same reason, and while the points can't be applied to a foreign licence, the fines are levied on the car rental company, and buried in the small print of your rental agreement is the right of the company to charge fines to your credit card. The last time I rented in the UK, that clause was one of the things I had to initial against.
Yeah, I'm aware that they would be able to recoup any fines, however, a fine on its own is much better than fines and points.

Saying that I've never had any come back on me in the last 10yrs of doing this and if I'm honest I pay very little attention to speed cameras, especially the average speed ones on the motorway.

Think I would be banned in a matter of weeks if I ever went back. They're everywhere now. Last year we drove up to the highlands and if you go north on the M80 out of Glasgow you have approx 90 miles of average speed camera zone.... I ended up coming off the motorway and going A roads instead. Was probably faster.
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
.... I ended up coming off the motorway and going A roads instead. Was probably faster.
No doubt more fun too!
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
No doubt more fun too!
Massively so! Love the Scottish country roads.
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Old Feb 20th 2017, 2:20 pm
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Originally Posted by quiltman View Post
It is now virtually impossible to add a non resident to a UK car insurance even for a couple of weeks...
Not so. I've been a named driver (as a non-UK-resident) on Bahtatgirl's (UK resident) car insurance for the past 8 years, through three different companies. Just declare everything, and make sure you keep a contemporaneous note of the conversation you have with the insurers. Currently with InsureAndGo, previously with Co-Op and Admiral.
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Old Mar 6th 2017, 4:48 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

Spent Friday calling various brokers and have drawn a blank. No one interested unless one is living in the UK for at least six months of the year. In other words a UK resident and able to hold a UK licence.
I even tried the 'named driver' route but as I originally thought, same rules apply.
Unless there are two companies called 'insureandgo' then the one I contacted only deals in travel insurance.
One specialist broker is looking into it for me but did not hold out much hope.
I'll update if I am succesful.
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Old Mar 6th 2017, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Insuring a car in the UK

I've been checking this out today as I am about to try and apply to be an Italian resident before Article 50 is triggered but need to spend a significant amount of time in the UK over the next six months. I'm told (by Co-op) I can be insured as a named driver in a car insured by my husband (UK resident) for an unlimited time as long as it is on my UK license.
I also just checked with DVLA and they've said there's no need to relinquish my UK license and should be able to drive in Italy using it until I decide to swap it for an Italian one.
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