Accidents in Europe are on the rise for UK motorists


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We offer top tips for drivers who plan on taking their car to Europe

As the summer has now ended and many motorists aren’t travelling nearly as much now, Admiral’s research now suggests that more UK motorists than ever took their cars overseas this past summer. Because of this, it also means that more people had an accident on European roads as well.

Looking at data from around 8,000 accidents that occurred on the continent over the last ten years, Admiral has seen the highest number of claims from its customers driving in Europe this August. In fact, the number of accidents in Europe rose 14% when compared to last year, which is six times higher than ten years ago.

Which months see the most accidents in Europe?

Admiral’s data shows that the summer months of June, July and August account for almost half (48%) of all the accidents its customers have had while in Europe over the last ten years. The months of March and November saw the least number, both only accounting for 4% each.

Lara Connelly, head of Claims at Admiral, said, “We’ve definitely seen more of our customers taking their cars to Europe in recent years. Using your own car saves the costs of hire cars and package holidays and offers more freedom.”

With more UK motorists heading to Europe on holiday in their own cars, this means that there’s also an increase in overseas accidents on the roads.

“However that’s also meant more UK motorists are having accidents on European roads, and this August we saw a record number of customers contacting us from mainland Europe following an accident.”

France sees the most accidents

By a considerable amount, France is the country where UK motorists have the most crashes. Over the last ten years, 47% of all the overseas accidents Admiral has handled have happened in France. In a distant second place is Germany with 9%, and Spain is in third place with 7%. The furthest from home a customer has crashed their car? Turkey.

Countries with the shortest road networks also seem to cause a problem for UK motorists. Admiral found that in the last ten years, its customers have had 24 accidents in Luxembourg, 8 in Malta, 4 in Monaco and 2 in Andorra.

Close to half of the accidents involving Admiral customers on European roads had circumstances where the British driver was at fault, compared with a third where the other driver was at fault. This suggests that driving in an unfamiliar country and on the opposite side of the road may cause problems from some UK motorists.

Top tips for taking your car to Europe

Are you planning on taking your car overseas? Follow these top tips to make sure you’re prepared in case the unexpected happens:

  • Be prepared. Take all of the documentation you need, including: your certificate of motor insurance, your driving licence, the vehicle registration document and the Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident (a European accident form).
  • Make sure you have sufficient travel insurance for you and your family as many insurance policies only cover the car and not onward travel for you and your luggage

Should you be involved in accident, keep in mind to do the following:

  • Make note of where the accident happened, including the date and time. If you’re unsure, use your smart phone to see the exact location and take a screen shot
  • Take pictures of the accident from a safe distance, including all of the vehicles involved and their registration numbers on the front and back
  • Take all witness details, names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses • Don’t sign anything unless you know what it is you are signing
  • Ask the local authority to recover the car if you can, and make sure you have their address and contact details so you know where they are taking your car
  • Most importantly, remain calm, stay safe and phone your car insurer and travel insurer if you need onward travel

Lara Connelly offers some helpful advice as well, “Don’t be put off by our statistics, the vast majority of people experience hassle free motoring and don’t have an accident. Taking your own car is a great way to experience Europe at your own pace and is cheaper than hiring an unfamiliar car. We just want people to be prepared before they go and if the worst should happen.”

Looking for some additional useful information on taking your car to Europe? Check out our helpful guide.


(Data based on 7,546 claims made by Admiral customers driving in Europe between September 2006 and September 2016)

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