Moving to the UK from Australia? Keith Michaels can help
Within our 30 years of experience, we have covered expats from across the world as they’ve moved to the UK, ensuring simple car insurance that meets their needs. Whilst you don’t have to get used to driving on the left-hand side, there will be road etiquette and procedures that differ from everyday Australian life.
If the UK is now your permanent home, or you’re visiting on a longer-term work contract, you’ll need to arrange car insurance to legally use the roads in the UK. Just like in Australia, cars are used as the main mode of transport in the UK, so having access to an insured vehicle can be essential.
No History of Insurance in the UK? Not a problem
All you’ll need is a valid driving licence, full transparency about any previous motoring convictions or accidents in Australia, and details about the car you’re looking to insure. We’ll also take a few additional details down that help us to understand and assess any individual risks.
Many high-street car insurance lenders might charge higher premiums or dismiss your quote altogether. That’s why you need a specialist car insurance company, like Keith Michaels, that provides bespoke insurance policies. We’ll review your case and see if there’s an insurance policy that offers you peace of mind whilst you’re in the UK.
Import Car Insurance for Your Australian Car
Moving to a new country can feel strange, so bringing a piece of home with you can help you settle in. At Keith Michaels, we’ve been practising and providing import insurance for over 20 years, working with various connections in the import industry to build up experience.
Typically known as parallel imports, your Australian car will offer specification that is very similar to those within the UK domestic market. Many insurers decline to offer a policy on parallel imports because they believe they pose a greater risk than UK-based cars. At Keith Michaels, we can support you with your import and locate an insurance policy that works for you.
or call us on 0208 329 1150
The Keith Michaels Difference
- 30 years’ experience
- Every customer is treated as an individual, not a policy number
- We are a UK-based office, not a call centre
- We are completely independent from any insurance company
- All policies are looked at on their own merits to find you the best policy available
Why Choose Keith Michaels For Car Insurance?
This Scheme is Perfect for:
- People expatriating from Australia to the UK
- Australian residents with long-term work placements
- Cars imported from Australia
- Previous driving discounts
- Multi-car policies
- Priority claims management
- Staff have over 20 years of import experience and 10 years of expat experience
- Foreign NCB accepted
- Policies available to non-resident clients
Effortless process and wonderful service. Their tailored expat products take all the heat out of something that other insurance companies seem to want to over complicate. Cannot recommend highly enough.
A human voice answered the phone straight away and gave me a competitive quote quickly and efficiently, which I accepted. Confirmation processed quickly too. Efficient use of their time and mine.I am a new customer so time will tell whether I remain satisfied!
Excellent service, after returning to UK after a long period away, they took care of my insurance needs in a very professional and efficient manner as well as being very competitively priced.
I've been insuring with Keith Michaels for quite a few years now & have been very satisfied with the service. They have been very helpful & give a very personal service. Even after shopping around each time, (as we are all told to do!) Keith Michaels prices are still very competitive & hard to beat.
Spoke to a helpful Chap called Matt Moody (great name by the way), who was anything but what his name suggests. He was patient with me and found me a really competitive quote. Would recommend!
Can never fault these guys. Renewed for the 3rd year running as they've great price and amazing customer service!
As an expat with a home in the UK it was great to find a broker who had insurance companies on the books who were willing to recognise No Claims gained in the EU
Honest guys. Very straight forward.
Get in Touch for A Car Insurance Quote Today
or call: 0208 329 1150
Australian Immigrant & Long-Term Resident Car Insurance FAQs
Do Australian Drivers Need to Apply for a UK Licence?
If you’re applying for permanent settler status, or plan on staying for more than 12 months, you’ll need to swap your Australian licence for UK version. You’re safe to drive in the UK on an in-date, valid Australian licence for up to 12 months. After this point, you’ll need to apply for a UK licence.
As the UK and Australia have an existing driving licence exchange agreement, you won’t need to take a British driving test. Instead, you’ll need to apply for a UK licence via GOV.UK and check the forms you need to fill out. You’ll then send back the following:
- D1 application form
- Passport, travel documents or identity cards (this will be returned)
- Passport-sized colour photo
- Driver’s licence (this won’t be returned)
- A fee
What Australian Cars are Banned in the UK?
It’s worth noting that there are no specific cars banned in the UK. Instead, your vehicle must follow a rigorous set of testing requirements that identify its roadworthiness.
If you are planning on importing your car from Australia, you’ll need to complete an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test before it can be driven in the UK. Any security faults or features, especially if it has been modified, that do not meet safety criteria will need to be addressed before it is resubmitted.
Otherwise, all domestic vehicles should be marked as safe to drive by checking all windows and mirrors are clean, and that the lights and brake lights work. Drivers can be pulled over by the police if vision is obscured or lights are not working. You might be given a vehicle defect rectification notice in which you have 14 days to fix the issue and prove this to the police.
I am planning to import a modified car, can you assist?
Yes. At Keith Michaels, we are specialist import insurance providers, and work to arrange insurance that meets your needs, including track days, meets and specific requirements you may have. Keith Michaels also offers insurance for many other types of specialist cars, including supercars, modified cars, company cars and more. No matter your circumstances, we work hard to offer you the best cover for your situation.
What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Australian Car Before Importing to the UK?
You don’t need to make any modifications or changes to your car before it leaves Australia. Any changes could cause an increase in your insurance policy before you’ve even sorted it. Additionally, any modifications made will need to comply with UK legislation and road safety measures. This could include tinted windows or modified exhaust. You will need to make changes when your car reaches the UK though.
Within 14 days of your car arriving in the UK, you’ll need to notify HM Revenue and Customs and pay any VAT and duty required. You may also be required to complete an IVA. At the same time, you’ll need to notify the DVLA so you can get number plates made up for your car. It’s worth noting that the process can take up to 6 weeks. Once the plates arrive, you’ll need to attach them to your vehicle.
What Do I Need to Do Before I Can Drive in the UK?
Providing you’re leaving Australia with a full licence, you’ll need to ensure the following steps are done before you can legally drive in the UK:
- Hold a full Australian driving licence
- Enquire with a specialist insurance company about a policy
- Depending on whether you’re importing or purchasing a car within the UK, you’ll need to establish the car’s roadworthiness through:
- A valid MOT certificate (for cars 3 years old+)
- An IVA (if imported and required by the DVLA)
- Once a suitable car is available, you’ll then need to ensure you have completed the following:
- Registered the car in your name
- Acquired valid insurance, with any convictions from Australia disclosed
- Paid road tax on the car
I Have a Good No Claims Discount with my Australian Insurer. What happens to it?
We are one of few insurers in the UK who recognise no claims bonuses from insurers across the world, so if you have a good bank of time it’s not wasted.
If you want to ensure your no claims bonus is considered, you’ll need to have evidence of it. Additionally, when you speak to one of our team, they’ll be able to determine your situation.
You can also temporarily add someone to your insurance and it won’t affect your no claims bonus.
Can a Family Member Drive on My Policy?
It’s always important to disclose whether you want a second driver added to your policy or not. Depending on the person and their driving history, it could make insurance policies cheaper or more expensive. Although it might not always be feasible, it’s worth asking your insurer.
Visiting family may also be able to join your cover on a temporary basis, especially if they are visiting for a few weeks. We partner with TempCover who can arrange for short insurance policies for visiting family. They’ll need to hold a valid licence to be considered.