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french vehicle insurance

Posted by katiemaix - Created: 3 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Reveuse-918439 - 3 years ago

 "DEFINITION of 'Lapse'

The cessation of a privilege, right or policy due to time or inaction. A lapse of a privilege due to inaction occurs when the party that is to receive the benefit does not fulfill the conditions or requirements set forth by a contract or agreement."


Not sure what ratcatcher is trying to say but French insurance policies don't lapse. They don't cease due to time or inaction, they remain in force until one party actively cancels them using the correct legal procedure. It's good because it means that you can't inadvertently end up uninsured because you forgot to renew your policy, but it does tend to catch out unwary Brits who aren't aware and think that if they ignore the notice telling them what the next year's premium will be, the policy will lapse. Then six months later when they get chased for the premium, they're shocked to discover that policy has remained in force because they didn't cancel it, and they have to pay.

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Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

Having read Reveuses's response, one comment. The policy does lapse after the stated period, but if you have not informed them in the required period (30 days I believe it is now,) it will automatically be renewed, and you will be billed for it.

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Posted by Rat Catcher-10052281 - 3 years ago

The EU directorate is very clear: any car insurance policy will cover you for the legal minimum in every other EU country. for as long as the policy lasts. (1)

The minimum cover is either: that which you have in your country of registration and insurance, or that required by the other member country, whichever is the highest. (2)

However, any additional cover (e.g fully comp, f&t, etc).that you have, and desire to continue in other EU countries means that you will have to abide by the requirements of your insurers for that extra cover to apply within the time constraints placed by your insurers.


1 Notwithstanding the local requirements for registration of vehicles, etc. i.e., in UK if you are using your vehicle for longer than 6 months without the exemptions applying (e.g. mobile workers etc.) could potentially render your insurance invalid. Or UK registered for residency may not be eligble for driving foreign registered vehicles. (Again a confusing area)

2. I think this refers to the limits of cover rather than the type, e.g. 120,000 for liability being the maximum that your insurance covers for whatever, but the local requirement is 150,000 means that the 150,000 limit applies.


So ex-pats registered in France (for residency) can, without fear, drive foreign registered vehicles (any EU registered vehicle) for up to 6 months in UK, although their insurance may cover them for more extended periods, depending on their status. This is not at the discretion of the insurance company. It is a EU directive. However, it may only cover you for the local legal requirement. e.g. third party.


Having said that, if an ex-pat. registered in France was in the UK for more than 6 months on a temporary basis, it would be nonsensical to consider re-registering for residency. The rules on residency are not that simple.

There is also some leaway or confusion on vehicles in the UK for longer than 6 months, e.g. mobile workers, workers regularly crossing borders , etc.


Referring to the OP's subsequent comment re: are French insurers the same.

I would suggest that, in general French insurance is about the same cost as UK insurance but, in genral more open, e.g spouse cover automatic, other member countries cover automatic..

But there are some differences, e.g. A French registered vehicle must be insured at all times, even when it is off the road. e.g. SORN'd. Legally, even if it is in the garage with the axle on the floor it should still be insured.

My understanding is that in France, it is the vehicle that is insured not the driver.

On another tack, I think that you'll find that there are grey areas in more fields than motoring.

Welcome to the world of ex-pats. There are many other differences in other fields which will cause you to research the various legal requirements.

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Posted by Reveuse-918439 - 3 years ago

katie - no, French insurance policies are different from UK policies in many ways. They usually cover the car not the driver; they don't lapse at the end of the year; they include breakdown cover; and they may or may not have restrictions on driving outside of France, many don't.

Forget how things work in the UK when you move here, it'll only confuse the issue. Never make assumptions that it'll be like it was in the UK, start from scratch and find out how things work in France, and that applies to all kinds of things, not just car insurance ;-) not being patronising here, just trying to give sound advice.

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Posted by NellP-986196 - 3 years ago

Regardless of. "attitude" a common sense question would be - why are you asking a dozen or so UK insurers when the car is registered and insured in France?

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Posted by katiemaix - 3 years ago

Sometimes the attitude does put you off asking stuff

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Posted by katiemaix - 3 years ago

Thanks tom.

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Posted by katiemaix - 3 years ago

Because were not there yet. Ive contacted over a dozen uk insurers and they all say your not insured (except 3rd party) after 30 days. As were moving to brittany next march and want to return to uk on a regular basis, i wanted to know if french unsurers were the same

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Posted by ropeyxxx123 - 3 years ago


driving in uk on french insurance    6 months



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Posted by fortnum - 3 years ago

It's just a question   ---- get off those high horses folks