Our Guide to Car Insurance

Originally posted on & updated on 2nd June, 2024

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to car insurance in France. If you’re a car owner driving in France, protecting your vehicle and liability with the right insurance coverage is essential and mandatory.

Driving in France, whether on the scenic coastal routes of the French Riviera or the country lane of Normandy, brings a touch of adventure to your life. But with it comes the responsibility of protecting your vehicle and yourself. That’s where French car insurance comes in. Firstly, it’s essential to understand that car insurance in France is mandatory for all car owners and drivers.

Why is Car Insurance Mandatory in France?

All car owners in France must hold a “contrat d’assurance automobile” (car insurance). This covers basic risks such as accidents, theft, and damage. This insurance covers damage to your vehicle and liability (”responsabilité civile”) for any injuries or damages caused to third parties.  Choosing a policy that covers both the vehicle and your personal needs is important. When selecting a car insurance policy and buying a car in France, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

Level of Insurance Coverage

When selecting an insurance policy, it’s important to carefully consider the coverage for both your vehicle and personal needs. Take into account the current value of your car, potential repair costs, and the level of liability coverage required by law. Additionally, think about additional options such as roadside assistance, legal protection, and personal accident coverage to ensure comprehensive protection in various situations.

Our online forms make it easy to get a quote and purchase insurance from the comfort of your own home. Plus, our English-speaking insurance experts are based in France and can answer any questions you may have. They have worked with expats for over two decades and understand the many challenges foreigners and their families may encounter when owning a car in France.

Here are some advice and useful tips for getting the most out of your car insurance in France:

Keep an Eye of your Car’s Condition

In the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim, it’s important to have a detailed and comprehensive record of your car’s condition. This will help ensure that you receive the full coverage value that you are entitled to.

Regularly Review your Policy

Regularly reviewing your insurance policy is crucial to ensure that it continues to meet your specific needs. If you have made significant changes to your vehicle or driving habits, such as modifications to your car or a change in your daily commute, it is essential to update your policy accordingly. By doing so, you can guarantee that you have the appropriate coverage in place.

Take Steps to Prevent Damage

To safeguard your vehicle, it’s essential to take proactive measures. These include parking in well-lit and secure areas, maintaining regular mechanical maintenance, and practising defensive driving techniques while on the road.

Insurance Coverage to your Needs

While basic coverage is mandatory, you can customise your policy with various add-ons to protect your car and yourself. Common add-ons include:

  • Roadside Assistance: Provides help in case of a breakdown or flat tyre.
  • Legal Protection: Covers legal fees in case of a dispute or legal action.
  • Personal Accident Coverage: Provides financial compensation in case of injury or death.

French Insurance Terminology

Navigating French insurance terms can be tricky. Here are a few key terms to know:

  • Deductibles: A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford in the event of a claim.
  • Exclusions: Make sure you understand what is not covered by your policy. Common exclusions include damages caused by natural disasters, wear and tear, and intentional acts.
  • Franchise: This is the excess amount you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • La Vignette Verte: This is the insurance certificate, also known as vignette verte, it was a document that proves a vehicle is insured. Since the 1st of April 2024, French insurance companies have stopped posting the small paper green cards and their plastic wallets. Instead, France is switching to a digital system that automatically identifies uninsured vehicles, you’ve been warned!

Importing a Car from a non-EU Country

Importing a foreign car or collectable can be an exciting experience, with a wide range of options unavailable in Europe. However, it’s essential to understand the financial aspects and requirements for importing a car from the USA and non-EU countries into France.

At My-French-House, we Make Car Insurance Easy

Understanding French insurance doesn’t have to be a headache. Our team of English-speaking insurance experts based in France is here to guide you every step of the way. We offer a user-friendly website with online forms for car owners to obtain quotes and manage their car insurance policies quickly and easily.

Benefits of Working with our Insurers in France

Expert Advice

Our partners have a profound understanding of the intricacies of the French insurance market, including the diverse range of products and services available. They can tailor insurance policies to accommodate your specific requirements and financial constraints. Whether you seek comprehensive coverage or a more specialised policy, we have the expertise to create a solution that aligns with your needs and budgetary considerations.

Multilingual Support

We understand the challenges of navigating a new system in a different language; it’s not easy, especially when you first arrive and have a long list of administrative tasks that you need to complete. Get assistance from our team of English-speaking insurance experts in France.


Our online forms enable you to request quotes and manage your policy from the convenience of your home, no matter where you are located. Please let us know if you would rather receive a form in Word format via email. We understand that not everyone may have the time or necessary documents to fill out details online when they are not at home.

By following these tips and working with insurance experts, you can ensure you have the right coverage to protect your vehicle and yourself. If you have any questions or concerns about your car insurance in France, don’t hesitate to contact us and our English-speaking insurance experts. They are based in France and will gladly assist you and your family with your insurance needs.

Apply for a free car insurance quote today; you will receive a personal quotation in English in your inbox, usually within 24 hours.

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