Car Insurance for International Licence Holders

Compare car insurance quotes for international licence holders online today.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner

Are you an international licence holder looking for car insurance in Australia? Navigating the insurance landscape isn't always easy, but it’s important to know that there are options available to protect yourself on the road. When it comes to finding the best option for your needs, comparing quotes online can help. Considering coverage options, pricing and policy features you find the best possible car insurance from our partnered insurers. Get started with us today with a free, no-obligation quote!

Can international licence holders get car insurance in Australia?

International licence holders can take out car insurance in Australia, provided they satisfy their insurer’s terms and conditions. Some companies may offer car insurance policies specifically designed for international licence holders, allowing them to legally drive on Australian roads and protect themselves financially in case of accidents or damages. However, provided you qualify for coverage, you can generally take out the same type of insurance as any other Australian driver.

When applying for car insurance, international licence holders may face slightly different requirements compared to Australian licence holders. This is because insurance companies consider factors such as driving experience, driving record and familiarity with Australian road rules when determining premiums.

It's also important for international licence holders to disclose accurate information about their driving history, including any accidents or claims, as this can affect the cost and availability of insurance coverage.

Because of this, it's important for international licence holders to shop around and compare car insurance quotes from different insurers to find the best coverage options and pricing. Using an online comparison tool can simplify the process by allowing you to compare multiple quotes side-by-side and choose the policy that suits your needs and budget.

What are the requirements for car insurance as an international licence holder in Australia?

The requirements for car insurance as an international licence holder in Australia may vary slightly between insurance providers. However, there are some common requirements that you can expect when applying for car insurance:

  • Valid international driving permit (IDP) or recognised foreign driver's licence: insurance companies require you to have a valid IDP or a recognised foreign driver's licence which allows you to drive in Australia. Make sure your licence is current and not expired.
  • Valid visa or residency status: you’ll need to have a valid visa or residency status in Australia to be eligible for car insurance. Different insurers may have specific requirements regarding the type and duration of the visa.
  • Disclosure of accurate information: it's important to provide accurate information about your driving history, including any accidents, claims or driving offences which may have occurred in your previous country of residence. Failure to disclose relevant information may result in your insurance being voided or claims being denied.
  • Additional documents: some insurers may require additional documents to verify your identity, address, and driving experience. This may include proof of identity (such as a passport), proof of address (such as utility bills or rental agreements) and evidence of driving experience (such as a driving record or a letter from your home country's licencing authority).
  • Compliance with Australian road rules: as an international licence holder, you’re expected to comply with Australian road rules while driving. Insurance companies may assess your familiarity with Australian road rules and driving conditions when determining premiums.

It's important to note that these requirements may vary between insurance providers, so it's worth contacting insurance companies directly if you’re unsure about whether you can or can’t be covered.

How do I find the best car insurance for my needs as an international licence holder?

Finding the best car insurance for your needs as an international licence holder in Australia involves following a few key tips, including:

  • Research and compare: start by researching different insurance providers and their policies. Look for insurers who can cater to international licence holders and compare the coverage, benefits, exclusions and pricing of different policies on offer.
  • Understand coverage options: consider the coverage options available to you. Evaluate whether you need comprehensive coverage or a TPFT or TPPD policy.
  • Consider optional extras: determine if additional coverage options, such as roadside assistance or cover for personal belongings in your vehicle, are necessary for your circumstances.
  • Think about excesses and your budget: examine the excess amount (the portion you're responsible for paying if you make a claim) and the corresponding premiums. A higher excess can result in lower premiums, but ensure it’s an amount you can afford to pay if you need to make a claim.

By following these steps, you can increase your chances of finding the best possible car insurance policy for your needs as an international licence holder in Australia. Remember to read the policy documents carefully, ask questions to clarify any doubts and ensure you understand the terms and conditions before making a final decision.

How long can I drive in Australia with an international driver's licence?

If you’re visiting Australia, you may be able to drive with a valid international driver's licence for a period of up to three months from the date you arrive in the country. However, it's important to note that the specific rules and regulations may vary slightly between different states or territories, with some allowing you to continue driving on your current licence as long as it’s valid. It’s worth familiarising yourself with the driving laws of the particular state or territory where you plan to drive to ensure compliance with local requirements.

If you’re living somewhere with a three-month cap (or another cap) which applies, you may need to obtain a driver's licence from the state or territory you’re residing in if you wish to continue driving in Australia. The process for converting your international licence to an Australian licence will depend on the specific rules of the state or territory. Generally, it involves providing necessary documentation, passing a knowledge test and, in some cases, a practical driving test.

Types of car insurance you can choose from

Frequently asked questions about car insurance for international licence holders

Is car insurance more expensive for international licence holders in Australia?

Car insurance premiums for international licence holders in Australia can vary depending on factors such as driving experience, age, and claims history. It's important to compare quotes from different insurers to find the best coverage for your needs at the most competitive price.

Can I use my Australian driver's licence overseas?

Your Australian driver's licence may be valid for driving in certain countries. However, it's important to check with the specific country's authorities and follow their requirements, such as obtaining an International Driving Permit if necessary.

Can I add additional drivers to my car insurance policy as an international licence holder?

Adding additional drivers to your car insurance policy as an international licence holder may be possible, but it’ll depend on your insurance provider's terms and conditions and whether your added drivers qualify for coverage. Read your insurer’s PDS if you’re unsure about whether you can add new drivers.

Do I need to buy car insurance if I’m renting a vehicle?

If you're renting a vehicle in Australia, it's important to check with the rental company regarding their insurance policies. Rental vehicles typically come with basic insurance coverage, but they may have limitations or exclusions which you’d prefer to have covered. Additional rental car insurance can provide extra protection and peace of mind during your rental period.

Can I take out temporary car insurance in Australia?

There aren’t any specific temporary or short-term car insurance products available in Australia, but there are some options available to you as an international driver:

  • Elect to pay your premiums monthly and cancel your policy when you no longer need it (although fees may apply)
  • Be added as a driver to an existing car insurance policy
  • Rent a vehicle and use the insurance offered by your rental company
  • Take out a pay-as-you-drive policy and only pay for the small amount of driving you expect to do
What is compulsory third party insurance and why do I need it in Australia?

Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance can cover compensation for injury or death in an accident with your vehicle. This type of cover is mandatory for all vehicles driven in Australia and can be included in your registration costs in some states and territories.

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