Just one more call to book your holiday properly

Carbon-emissions awareness and airline fuel surcharges have made Brits look again at driving holidays abroad.

Motoring across another continent can offer some real experiences away from a resort-based vacation, but Brits are failing to notify their car insurers of their plans in advance, amongst the other preparations – and can leave themselves with expensive bills as a result.

It is often the case, for example, that fully comprehensive policies become third-party once the car has left UK shores.

Joanne Mallon, Sainsbury’s car insurance manager, said: "When going on holiday, most people will remember to take travel insurance but we are concerned that some motorists are overlooking the need to ensure that their car journey is fully covered.

"Having an accident anywhere is bad enough but when abroad it can be compounded by a lack of local knowledge, to then find that the other party’s damage is covered but not your own is surely a blow worth avoiding."

By contacting your insurer in advance, they can also provide motorists with details translated into other languages as well as giving advice on low-emissions zones in Germany, headlight and other car-specific regulations for other countries and helping with ways in which breakdowns have to be dealt with – for example, in Spain, drivers must carry a spare wheel, a spare fan belt and a full set of spare bulbs plus the tools to change them. You could also be charged an on-the-spot fine if you do not carry two red warning triangles to put in front and behind your car if you have an accident or breakdown.

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