Temporary Car Insurance in France & How to Get it

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Temporary car insurance in France

If you're moving to France and intend on driving while you're there, you should be aware that it is mandatory to sign up to car insurance for your car - whether you're in the country for a week, a month or more. So how do you proceed if you're only in France for a short amount of time, and won't fit a long-term insurance plan? You subscribe to temporary car insurance! Find out all about these plans below.

What is a temporary car insurance plan?

Temporary car insurance is intended for drivers who wish to be insured for a limited period, generally ranging from 0 to 90 days.

This type of contract is well-fitted for you if you find yourself in one of the following cases:

  1. You only rarely use your car
  2. Your unused car is generally left in a secure private car park or garage
  3. You're transitioning from one contract to another and are waiting for the new one to start
  4. You're going on holiday abroad, but your current policy won't cover your holiday destination (NB: here, temporary car insurance only works if you stay abroad for over 3 days)
  5. You've imported your non-French car from abroad (drove it through the Channel tunnel for example) to drive in France and are awaiting your final registration certificate

What does temporary car insurance cover?

The majority of temporary car insurance contracts are third party contracts and include:

  • Minimal coverage, known as civil liability -- your temporary insurer will cover damage that you could cause to a third party
  • Legal protection in the case of a dispute

This said, if you want more peace of mind or feel you need more extensive coverage, you can generally customise any formula to make it include additional guarantees. This will be especially interesting if you're about to go abroad for instance.

Such options include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistance in the case of a breakdown
  • Bodily guarantee for the driver, to cover medical costs in the case of injury during an accident
  • Guarantee in the case of damage caused to your vehicle

How much does a temporary car insurance plan cost?

Prices for temporary car insurance aren't a one-size-fits-all

Indeed, rates depend on quite a few factors: your car brand and its characteristics, how much you use it, when you got your licence and whether you've been given points on it, if you've even been involved in car accidents, for how long you need to be insured...

You'll also find price fluctuations from one insurance company to another and depending on the additional guarantees subscribed to.

Temporary car insurance will typically be more expensive than third-party car insurance, even for similar, basic coverage.

An example of a temporary car insurance quote

While it's hard to give an accurate estimate because of this, we can give an example of a typical quote for an average user.

In our example, we take a Peugeot 206 diesel, 1.4 HDI TRENDY 3P, 2010, with 3 doors, usually parked in a car park, used for work and leisure. The driver got their licence in the year 2000 and has a bonus balance of 0.50 (no previous accidents).

With this in mind, for basic third-party car insurance with legal assistance, we have the following price brackets:

  • For 10 days: typically €75 to €95
  • For 30 days: typically €140 to €175
  • For 60 days: typically €245 to €300
  • For 90 days: typically €360 to €390

Note that the prices given above are subject to change.

How to find cheap a temporary car insurance plan

The easiest way to find yourself the best-value plan is to compare temporary insurance offers and to get quotes. Here's how to.

Temporary car insurance quotes online

  1. On insurers' websites: for each site, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire on the vehicle to be insured as well as on you (background, profession, number of drivers, etc.). It is, however, a long and painful work since you will have to communicate the same information to each insurer.
  2. On online car insurance comparators: these comparators draw up several quotes based on information collected from partner insurers. You only have one form to fill out. Via this online simulation, you will get different car insurance quotes in a few clicks and in less than 5 minutes.

Temporary car insurance quotes by phone

You can also request a temporary insurance quote by phone. The principle is the same as for comparators: an adviser asks you questions about your profile and offers you quotes from partner insurers.

Temporary car insurance quotes in agencies

If you prefer to go directly to a car insurer's agency to establish car insurance quotes, this is quite possible.

It is a little more hectic than the two former ways of proceeding, because:

  • You will spend considerable time there
  • The richness of the offer will not be as important as with online home insurance quotes.

What documents to take out temporary car insurance?

To purchase term insurance, you must 1) be 21 or older, and 2) have been in possession of your driving license for over 2 years.

Provided that you fit these 2 criteria, you will then be asked to give the following supporting documents to your chosen insurer:

  • A copy of the registration certificate for the vehicle you wish to temporarily insure
  • A copy of your valid driver's license
  • A copy of your insured driver information statement. This document, essential to subscribe to an insurance plan, lays out your insured driver history (claims made, accidents, details of the old car insurance contract, etc.).

Buying temporary car insurance online immediately

Unlike traditional car insurance, all insurance-related procedures (declaration of a claim, request for a certificate, contract management, etc.) are carried out 100% online, directly on the company's website.

Benefits of online temporary car insurance

  • A subscription online or by phone: no need to travel, everything is done from your home. Even sending mandatory documents is done directly by email;
  • Immediate subscription: the insured only has to call the insurer online before getting behind the wheel and benefits from cover from the first minute;
  • Lower prices: online car insurance generally offers lower rates than traditional insurers;

Getting started with an online car insurance subscription

Once you've compared offers and set your mind on the best-fitted insurer, simply go to their website and sign your contract online or opt to be called back by an online advisor.

The information you entered when getting a quote is transmitted to the chosen insurer so that you can quickly benefit from the coverage of your choice. That is why it is important to give the most accurate information possible about your situation when filling out the questionnaire.