Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Many foreign nationals use the nation’s highways on a daily basis, including British nationals
  • Drivers from the UK must meet certain standards before being able to drive legally in the US
  • Drivers from the UK who car insurance comparison shop for their coverage can save valuable time, money, and effort

The majority of the drivers who make use of US highways on a daily basis are also US citizens. There are also a significant number of expats from other nations operating vehicles, including drivers from the United Kingdom (UK).

Whether vehicle operators are natives or foreigners, they will need adequate and affordable coverage in order to legally drive on US roads.

When it comes to finding affordable car insurance coverage, drivers from the UK face many insurance coverage issues that are unique to their special status.

This article will highlight some of these issues, and will also highlight how by simply using car insurance comparison shopping websites drivers from the U.K. can find superior policy options without breaking a sweat.

Enter your zip code into our free car insurance comparison tool above to get started finding the best rate for your insurance needs.

Car Insurance Considerations for UK Drivers in the US

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The United Kingdom encompasses the countries England, parts of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and many smaller holdings. The US hosts many citizens of the UK on its shores every year, and many of these British visitors need to drive while they visit.

That being said, these visitors from the UK must often jump through many legal hoops in order to secure the proper driving credentials. Some basic documents that they must secure includes:

  • The proper visas
  • The proper driving permits
  • The proper car insurance coverage

Visas are special documents provided to people who wish to visit the US. There are different visas for different purposes.

For example, someone who wishes to study at an American institution of higher learning would need a student visa, while another visitor who wishes to work in the US would need a visa authorizing them for work.

There are certain nations that have a special treaty with the U.S., called the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver program gives people from participating countries the right to visit the U.S for up to 90 days without a visa.

As luck would have it, the United Kingdom is a member of the Visa Waiver program, and thus travelers from the UK who will be staying for short time periods can do so without visas.

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Drivers from the UK who will be staying in the US for short periods of time will often need to acquire International Driving Permits (IDPs) before they can legally drive. IDPs are required by some states, but not all of them.

IDPs need to be secured before entry into the US.

Thus, people from the UK who plan on driving for short periods should contact the registry of motor vehicles in the state or states that they wish to visit and find out what their local IDP policies are before embarking on their journeys.

It bears noting that British nationals who plan on availing themselves of the IDP program will need specialized e-passports in order to get IDPs. E-passports are the apparent wave of the future and are characterized by the special microchips that are embedded in them.

In addition to this, drivers from the UK who will be staying for intermediate time periods may be required to get a more permanent driving permit in place of an IDP.

Once the proper driving credentials have been established, the last hurdle most drivers from the UK must clear is the barrier of car insurance coverage.

The sheer number of such providers can make finding the right coverage items a daunting task, but there is a tested method that many savvy car insurance shoppers take advantage of.

It’s called car insurance comparison shopping, which is the practice of using special car insurance comparison shopping sites to find coverage.

These sites have information about many companies on their pages and can save drivers from the UK time and cash.

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Car Insurance Coverage Options Useful for UK Drivers in the US

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In addition to the bread-and-butter personal and property liability coverage options, the following insurance policy items can be lifesavers for drivers from the UK who are operating on U.S. roads.

  • Roadside Assistance Coverage  In order to avoid being stranded far from population centers, drivers can include this item on their car insurance policies.
  • Short-term Insurance Coverage  Depending on how long they plan to stay, drivers from the UK may be best served by taking out short-term car insurance policies. These policies can run anywhere from hours to months and can provide the flexibility that foreign visitors may need.
  • Comprehensive With Theft Endorsement  British drivers who are visiting as tourists may have many valuable personal items to bring with them. By including theft coverage for their personal items, they can give themselves extra protection.

Finding the Best Coverage

There is no doubt that drivers from the UK may face a lot of red-tape as they strive to acquire adequate car insurance coverage.

They may need to clarify their visa status, acquire special driving permits, and locate the right car insurance providers.

Fortunately, drivers from the UK who make use of powerful car insurance comparison shopping websites can at least locate the right providers, and locate the cheapest prices as well.

Use our free comparison tool today to find the insurance coverage you need at a good price.