Many clients ask ‘Why do motor insurance premiums seem more expensive than UK and go up every year?’

When one is used to premium levels applicable in UK, it may seem that French motor insurance premiums are higher. In fact they may be, although the difference has narrowed over the years, and in some cases French premiums may even be lower.

But one needs to compare like for like, which is extremely difficult as the two insurance systems are completely different. To start with, in UK one takes insurance for the car one will drive and any other drivers must be stated. In France, as motor insurance is compulsory, cover is attached to the car as Insurers may NOT exclude any drivers.

French insurers may only apply a restriction on third party liability such as an excess for young drivers or drivers with a bad claim record. Thus anyone can drive a car, and be insured, as long as the person remains an occasional driver. All passengers in a car, apart from the policyholder, are considered as third party, even family members. Tax levels are also higher, 35 percent for example on liability coverage. These are only a couple of reasons.

Premiums go up each year depending on motor insurance technical results (the ratio of premiums to claims), but also take into account costs of repairs amongst other factors. Between 2017 and 2021 there was a 25 percent increase in the price of spare parts, 21 percent for repairs, 16 percent for labour, and 15 percent for paint (source SRA).

For French motor insurance, please contact Eric Blair: