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Ask The Expert: Will My Overseas Driving Experience Count In Ireland?

Monday, July 31, 2017


Ever wondered whether or not your overseas driving experience will count towards lowering your insurance claim in Ireland?

Question: I have recently moved back home to Ireland after 10 years in the States. When I was living there I drove periodically – by which I mean I moved around a lot, so while I drove for the last two years when I was living outside Boston, I hadn’t been driving for the previous three years while living in New York. I’m unsure what impact this will have on getting insurance in Ireland. Do the two countries share no claims bonus and other driving data etc?

Answer: From Managing Director Jonathan Hehir.

There is no one answer to this question as the various insurance providers will look at applications on a case by case basis. In the main, many insurers in Ireland favour driving experience gained in Ireland or the UK, but some will recognise experience from other countries, so be sure when you are getting a quote to inform the agent of all your driving experience. All insurers are likely to request evidence of driving experience so it’s important have all the relevant paperwork such as proof of your no claims bonus/driving experience, to make things easier.

There are two other important issues to consider when it comes to driving in Ireland. The first is the type of car you buy – this will directly impact the cost of insurance. If possible, try to purchase a relatively new car – five years old or younger would be ideal. Keep the engine size low. Best practice would be to get the registration of the car you are looking to buy and get quotes then before buying any vehicle, as there is no point in buying a car you will be unable to get insurance on, or on which the insurance would prohibitively high. The second consideration is licensing – if you have an American license, you would be able to drive in Ireland for up to 12 months on this license. However, after the 12 month period you must change the license to an Irish license. You will need to go through the full driver license procedure to do this, including taking 12 hours of lessons, which can be very costly, both financially and timewise.

You may wish to engage the expertise of a broker – they will know which insurers are more likely to offer you better cover at a better rate. They will also know which insurers are likely to give you the best discounts. Motor insurance premiums in Ireland are at an all-time high, so you are going to want to do all you can to get the best rate available.

Source: The Irish Times

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