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Extended holiday, what to do about car insurance?


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Hi everyone

This is my first post and I was hoping to get some advise and a few pointers.

My partner and I are planning to take an extended holiday/career break in the South of France next year starting January/February time. We will be driving down with our two small pug dogs.

I have worked near Beziers, on the coast for PGL children's holidays back in the late '80s and we've also been on holiday to Marseille and Bandol recently. We would like to be near the coast if possible and are looking at an out of season let. This part of it looks to be relatively straight forward (is it?) but things like car insurance and bank accounts etc worry me.

Has anyone driven over with their UK car insurance (mine goes up to 90 days in Europe) and stayed for longer? If so what is the best thing to do insurance wise whilst in France? We were only planning to be away from the UK for 3 to 6 months but I am now thinking that we may not be allowed to stay for longer than the three.

Also for this shortish amount of time, would it be wise to get a French bank account or not really worth it?

Apologies if these seem like daft questions but this is all new to me.

Thanks

Andrew
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Contact your insurance company is the easy answer, some will extend it but if they don't, remember under EU law, yes it still applies, your company has to give you the minimum cover, i.e. third party for as long as your policy is valid. As for 3 months, your info is incorrect it's allegedly 6 months and a day. A French bank account? as you are only here for a limited time why bother. We have one as we have a holiday home; so it's good to pay standing orders etc. Apart from that we just use ATM's for cash and credit cards for shopping and fuel. If you want a recommendation for a bank we have used La poste for 12 years, excellent and low charges just a few euros a year.
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As said, as long as you're insured it will cover third party damage even if your insurer won't extend it to all risks beyond the 90 days. Plenty of insurers offer longer EU cover than that so if it's important to you, change insurers.

As for bank accounts, they are not fee free in France and most banks charge around 50€ to issue a bank card. I don't see why you would want to do that when you don't need to. Also it can take quite a while and a shed load of paperwork to open an account, and as long again to close it if you don't want to keep paying bank charges after you go home. Spending your holiday sorting out red tape seems a waste.
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Hi Nick

Thanks for that. I'm about to renew my car insurance so I'll ask Hastings about dates as we would like to stay in France longer than just three months if possible. Obviously we would love to stay even longer but we only have enough money for a few months or so and our holiday French is not good enough to get jobs in what would probably be any good at. Anyway, holidays and real life are very different beasts of course.

Thanks again for the advice,

Andrew
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Hey thanks for the advice.

I don't think that we'll bother with a bank account as you say, it does seem a lot of unnecessary bother for what is essentially a long holiday (life reset really).

We're checking with Hastings who we insure with and see where we get to with cover etc as we're about to renew.

Thanks

Andrew
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