French Car Insurance

Expats can face 3 major issues when insuring a vehicle in France:

  • Driver license acceptance
  • Insuring a foreign registered vehicle (waiting for it to be imported)
  • Converting the foreign insurance history into its French equivalent.

Driver license acceptance:

Non-EU licenses can be an issue and very often a source of confusion. British licenses issued (or renewed) after the 1st of January 2021 are seen as non-EU licenses, before that date they’re processed as EU licenses.

The confusion comes from the fact that you may be allowed to drive in France (legally) but, even with an international license, your driving “allowance” is only temporary (usually 1 year). For that reason, French insurers should not allow you to get a permanent policy but only temporary ones (which are very costly). If you are a permanent French resident, you’ll need to convert your license eventually so we can get you insured on foreign licenses for up to 12 months until you can get your French license. The main requirement to be insured is to be legally allowed to drive in France.

Top Tips:

Don’t wait too long to start the conversion process as it can be quite a long process (9 months is not unusual). You should also check that your country or state have agreements with France as you may be required to pass the test all over again.

Foreign registered vehicles:

Legally speaking you need to import your vehicle to France if you are driving a foreign registered vehicle. Make sure you get started asap as it can take a little while to complete. To start the import, you’ll need to show proof of insurance and some French insurers are able to get you insured waiting for the vehicle to be officially imported under French plates. This is a cool option as you get a permanent policy which will be amended once you get your French plates. We can do just that.

Converting your foreign insurance history:

France has standardized the insurance history which is not the case is most English-speaking countries where it’s mostly a commercial thing. But you can usually convert your foreign history into its French equivalent to avoid starting all over again (and the expensive premium that goes along no discount).

The conversion process depends on your history, where you come from and many different factors (claims made, insurance gap, etc.) so it’s best to seek advice with an insurer or a broker that is used to dealing with this. We’re battle tested and deal with hundreds of policies a year so you’re in good hands with us.

Content provided by: Healey Fox Ltd partner insurance broker, licensed and registered in France.

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