Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • Your rates will depend on whether you are purchasing your insurance locally or internationally
  • If you are someone who lives outside of the US and you are in need of international insurance, then the costs will vary depending not only on your driving record and the type of vehicle that you drive, but also upon where you plan on driving
  • There are many US-based auto insurance companies that will write an international auto insurance policy for you
  • unfortunately, international auto insurance is more expensive than auto insurance from the state that you currently live in (Wondering which states have the cheapest auto insurance? Check out our piece on cheap auto insurance by state)

The cost of international auto insurance is much like buying local insurance, it depends on a number of factors and no two people are going to get the exact same rates.

In addition to the different things that the insurance company considers, it will also depend on whether you are purchasing your insurance locally or internationally as well.

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In addition to these factors, if you are someone who lives outside of the US and you are in need of international insurance, then the costs will vary depending not only on your driving record and the type of vehicle that you drive but also upon where you plan on driving.

The reason that this is important is that because in some states your rates will depend on how many years you have had your US driver’s license.

If you are just coming to the US and you are trying to get US insurance in NC, for example, then your auto insurance rates will compare to those of a teen driver because you don’t have a US license.

If, however, you are looking for temporary insurance that will cover a broader driving base, then your insurance rates will be far different than if you were considering something state-specific.

Who might need international auto insurance?

The truth is that most people won’t require any international auto insurance unless they are planning on moving to another country and taking their personal vehicles with them.

This might occur for work or personal reasons but, typically, this type of move is for business reasons.

Another reason that you may require international insurance is if you are working in another country for a limited period of time and don’t intend on getting a driver’s license in that country.

Even if you aren’t driving your personal vehicle, you may be required to carry international auto insurance for your vehicle while you are driving in that country.

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What other costs are involved?

Shipping a vehicle to the UK, for example, can be expensive. Prices start at around $800 for a small car and can be around $2000 for a van or SUV.

If you are shipping a vehicle to Australia, your prices will be even higher with compact cars starting at almost $3000.

You will also have to consider the cost of getting your vehicle to a port that can ship it overseas. The above prices do not include transport to a port, you will have to manage that on your own or hire a mover to do it for you.

In addition, there will be port fees and taxes both in the US and whatever country you are shipping your vehicle to.

What’s more, if you have a vehicle from the US, it is possible that your vehicle won’t meet the safety standards required by other countries, such as the UK.

Before you can drive you vehicle there, you will be required to modify your vehicle to meet their safety and emission standards.

This is not meant to deter you from taking your car with you when you travel, only to remind you that there are other fees to consider when making your budget.

Where can I purchase international auto insurance?

There are many US-based auto insurance companies that will write an international auto insurance policy for you; however, they will not, usually, underwrite those policies.

Instead, they find an underwriter for the policy, often choosing between several different sources to get you the lowest price.

If you know you are going to be in a foreign country for an extended period of time, you may want to consider an insurance company that specializes in international insurance.

In this case, you would choose a company that sells international policies in the country that you are visiting.

In order to determine your best option, you will want to compare the rates for both types of companies and from multiple companies as well. This will ensure that you get the lowest rates possible.

Can I expect to pay what I am paying for my local auto insurance?

No, unfortunately, international auto insurance is more expensive than auto insurance from the state that you currently live in.

The reason for this is that when you drive in a foreign country, you are driving in new territory with different laws than you are accustomed to.

What this means is that you will be a higher risk driver than someone who is local to the area in which you are driving.

As time goes on, for example, if you are going to be in one place for more than 6 months, then you may get lower rates as you maintain a good driving record; however, there is no guarantee of this.

Your best bet is to get the lowest rates possible from the beginning so you don’t break the bank.

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