EU Drivers Car Insurance

You’ll need to show your European Union (EU) driver’s license to purchase auto insurance when visiting the U.S. Car insurance is required to drive a vehicle in the U.S., and non-citizens visiting the U.S. can purchase short-term auto insurance for foreign drivers. EU driver car insurance coverage can vary depending on the state you’re visiting and the kind of car you’ll be driving. Read our guide to find quotes for EU driver auto insurance in the U.S.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to know...

  • The driving laws in the United States vary from one state to the next, so it’s important to confirm these state requirements from the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state in which you will reside or intend to visit
  • You will need to show your European Union (EU) driver’s license in order to purchase an auto insurance policy in the U.S.
  • Car insurance rates for foreign drivers are more expensive than those offered to U.S. citizens
  • Many insurance companies in the U.S. cater to EU drivers with international driving licenses, and you may still be able to purchase a policy at a competitive rate

Anyone who wishes to drive on U.S. roads must hold a valid car insurance policy. Whether you are a foreigner or a U.S. citizen, you are legally required to be insured at all times.

According to U.S. law, anyone from the EU or a foreign country who arrives in the U.S. is entitled to drive on its roads.

If you are a foreigner, make sure you take the appropriate steps to ensure your insurance policy is extended to include the U.S., especially for the states you plan to visit since every state has its own specific driving laws and requirements.

Obtaining a car insurance policy for a non-U.S. citizen who is visiting the U.S. doesn’t necessarily need to be complex. You’ll only need some local knowledge regarding state law, and you’ll be all set for driving in the country.

As a visitor, it’s important to use your judgment to ensure you’re fulfilling the legal requirement to purchase a car insurance policy that meets your coverage needs without draining your wallet.

If you’re looking to visit the U.S. and you need car insurance, comparison shopping for an insurance quote is the first place to start. Use our free comparison tool above to find the right coverage for your needs.

What type of car insurance do you need as an EU driver?


The specific type of auto insurance coverage required by EU drivers depends on who owns the car as well as the value and type of the vehicle.

According to the law, every car must be insured by a policy that has, at minimum, liability insurance. There are also a number of additional coverage options such as:

  • Personal injury protection
  • Accident
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Willful damage

However, liability coverage is typically designed for private passenger vehicles, light passenger vans, and motorcycles. If an EU driver purchases a car, then the value of the vehicle will factor into the type of insurance the driver needs.

Along with the previously discussed coverage options, liability insurance is a way to protect your finances if you’re at fault in an accident.

On the other hand, if the value of the car is higher, then you will want to purchase comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your investment in your vehicle.

Even if you plan to rent a car instead of buying one, you will still need to purchase an auto insurance policy.

In addition to other coverage requirements that are mandatory in the state you are visiting, you’ll need to have collision and comprehensive coverage to protect you and your vehicle.

Should the EU driver borrow a car from friends or family, then the car’s value will also be taken into consideration.

If the owner of the vehicle has only purchased liability insurance for that specific car, it won’t be necessary to purchase a more comprehensive and, ultimately, a more expensive policy.

If the owner completely has a comprehensive insurance policy for the vehicle, it may be more cost-effective to add the EU driver as a temporary driver on the policy.

If you are a non-citizen and intend to drive in the U.S., it’s good to research the steps required to obtaining a car insurance policy prior to your arrival. If you don’t already have one, make sure you obtain an international driver’s license in your native country.

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How much does car insurance cost for EU drivers?

Fortunately, there are insurance providers in the U.S. that can provide car insurance policies to EU drivers. However, the downside is that international drivers will pay significantly higher premiums than U.S. drivers with a valid and reliable driving history.

These higher rates are due to a number of factors such as:

Credit History

Most insurance companies in the U.S. place some degree of emphasis on a driver’s credit history, also known as an “insurance score,” when they determine auto insurance premiums.

In states that place a lot of emphasis on credit history, foreign drivers will have trouble accessing the best rates since they don’t have this score.

Underwriting Requirements

Some insurance companies are more strict than others when it comes to new applicants. Underwriting requirements may include classifying an international driver as a driver with no experience since they do not have a valid or accessible driving history or record in the U.S.

Local Driving History Data

In order to calculate your premium, the insurance company needs your local driving record. Unfortunately, most insurance providers can’t verify or use your driving records from your native country.

However, there are ways that you can save on a car insurance policy in the U.S. as an EU driver:

  • Compare car insurance quotes from several different providers before settling on a policy to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the most affordable rate possible.
  • Establish a local license if you plan to permanently move to the U.S.
  • Learn the license requirements for the states you plan to visit and make sure you understand the DMV’s prerequisites for EU drivers.
  • Establish a credit history in the U.S. to obtain the best car insurance rates if you intend to stay for an extended period of time or become a citizen.

How EU Drivers Can Find the Best Coverage at Affordable Rates


As an international driver, it’s important to understand the regulations and rules that govern EU drivers in the U.S. You can easily find this information online or visit the U.S. embassy in your native country.

Although it can be difficult to get an affordable, comprehensive car insurance policy as a foreign driver, there are many providers who do offer these services.

For this reason, it’s important to shop around and compare a number of quotes before choosing the most competitive one. Find and compare quotes using our free tool below!

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