Car accidents abroad are on the rise

Motorists are being urged to drive safely abroad this summer as surge in claims is revealed

Admiral has seen a 160% increase in the number of overseas insurance claims it has dealt with in the last five years, it has been revealed today.

The new information comes as part of Admiral’s summer campaign to ensure British motorists stay safe on the roads while abroad, which includes advice and tips for those who drive abroad.

The study of Admiral insured drivers analysed ten years of motor accidents abroad, and showed Londoners aged 30-39 and driving a VW Golf in France as the most likely group to experience an accident.

France, the UK’s closest European neighbour, came out as the destination where an accident was most likely to occur with an overwhelming majority of 46% of claims, with Spain and Germany failing to come close.

European destinations where drivers were most likely to have made a claim:

1. France 46%

2. Spain 9%

3. Germany 7%

4. Republic of Ireland 7%

5. Belgium 5%

August was identified as the month when most accidents occur and BMWs were the cars most likely to be caught up in a claim, 11% of claims abroad were for a BMW. Volkswagen and Audi were just behind with 9% of claims attributed to each.

Cars most likely to have a claim abroad:

1. BMW 11%

2. Volkswagen 9%

3. Audi 9%

4. Ford 8%

5. Mercedes 7%

Drivers between the ages of 30-39 are most likely to report a car insurance claim while abroad, accounting for 30% of incidents. This was followed by those aged 40-49, who accounted for 24%. Interestingly, drivers aged 20-29 were responsible for a comparatively low 19%.

Commenting on the figures, Lorna Connelly, head of Claims at Admiral said: "Driving abroad is a great way to have the freedom to explore new places, without the cost of flights. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be a really enjoyable experience, but just as accidents can happen at home, they can happen abroad too, and different laws and languages can cause additional stress.

"To ensure an accident doesn’t ruin your holiday we’re calling on all drivers to make sure they’re well informed, so if the worst should happen, they are properly prepared. You can do this by having the right documentation on you, by being aware of the rules of the road in the country you’re visiting and finally by knowing what to do and where to report details of any accidents."

Admiral’s advice if you experience an accident abroad

1. Take your documentation including your certificate of motor insurance, driving licence (including the paper part) and the vehicle registration document abroad with you.

2. Take a copy of the Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident with you (a European accident form which goes by different names in different countries). You can find a copy of this in English at

3. Ensure you save the contact details for your insurance company into your phone. Admiral’s number, if calling from abroad is +44 29 2060 1294.

4. Make sure you have sufficient travel insurance for you and your family as most motor insurance policies will only cover the car and not onward travel for you and your luggage.

5. If you are involved in an accident, make a note of where the accident happened, including the date and time. Use your smartphone to see the exact location and take a screenshot.

6. Take pictures of the accident at a safe distance. Also take photos of the vehicles involved; make sure you have a good photo of the registration number on the front and back of all vehicles.

7. Take all witness details, names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.

8. Don’t sign anything unless you understand what it is you are signing. In European countries you will be presented with the Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident. If you are involved in an incident with another driver they will present you with the form, it is split into two sections and each driver involved is expected to complete it with their version of events. The English language version you take with you is for translation purposes only, it will help you understand each section of the form the other driver will give you.

9. Ask the local authority to recover the car if you can. Make sure you have their address and contact details and make sure you know where they are taking your car.

10. Perhaps most importantly, remain calm, stay safe and phone your car insurer, and your travel insurer if you need onward travel.

For more information, check out our guide to driving in Europe.