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Ein Autounfall im Urlaub – Was man tun kann um die Urlaubsstimmung nicht zu verderben, Bild: gpointstudio / shutterstock

Car accident on vacation

If you don’t pay attention once, and it’s done: A car accident during your holiday trip is probably pretty much the last thing you need. But if it has happened, you should first stay calm and get an overview of what is happening. We explain what to do in the event of an accident on holiday and what you need to consider if it is a leasing or rental car.


If you have an accident abroad, proceed in the same way as in the case of an accident in Germany:

  1. Keep calm and get an overview of the accident site.
  2. If possible, get out of the car carefully. Pay attention to the traffic and secure the scene of the accident with a warning triangle. Always keep an eye on the traffic so that further accidents do not occur.
  3. Make sure that your passengers and the other party in the accident are okay. If necessary, provide first aid and notify the emergency doctor. In any case, contact the police to prevent disputes about the course of the accident.
  4. Then make a note of the course of the accident, take photos and ask the other party for his contact details.
  5. Fill in the European Accident Report. The report is a uniform document throughout Europe. But don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
  6. Contact your insurance company and clarify the further procedure.

Accident with the rental car

If you have an accident with a rental car during your holiday trip, then proceed in the same way as described above. Contact the police, but also the car rental company immediately after the accident. If necessary, they will then receive a replacement car for the remaining time. Just like in Germany, the car insurance of the other party in the accident will pay for the damage to your rental car if it caused the accident. If you caused the accident, your liability insurance will cover the damage to the other person’s car, but not the damage to your rental car. Here you need comprehensive insurance.

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Therefore, take a close look at the insurance coverage of the rental car and the amount of coverage before renting a car. It is advisable to book full or partial comprehensive insurance in order to be covered in the event of an accident. If you then cause an accident, the comprehensive insurance usually covers the costs of repairing your rental car. In order for the insurance cover to take effect, you should notify the police. This is often also noted in the terms and conditions of car rental companies.

Accident with the leased vehicle

In the case of an accident with a leased vehicle , just like in an accident with a private car, the question of guilt must first be clarified. If you are at fault for the accident, your comprehensive insurance will pay for the damage to the leased car. In the event of a total loss, it pays for the replacement value. Often, fully comprehensive insurance is even mandatory for concluding a contract when leasing. Comprehensive insurance also covers personal injury. The lessor usually handles the repair damage. In the event of an accident with a leasing car caused by a third party, the motor vehicle liability insurance of the other party in the accident covers the damage to your leased car.

Before you drive your leased car abroad, first check whether this is contractually permitted. A trip to an EU country is often possible without consent. If an accident has occurred with the leased car abroad, then act in the same way as described above. In addition, complete the European accident report. Some car insurance policies are also valid in Europe and will cover the damage if you have an international insurance card.

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Does the insurance cover the costs?

If you have an accident abroad, report this immediately to your insurance company in Germany. If you are at fault for the accident abroad, your car insurance will pay for the damage to the car. Personal injury and compensation for pain and suffering are usually somewhat more difficult to settle and should be discussed with a lawyer. Contact the hotline of the Zentralruf der Autoverversicherungen if you need information about the liability insurance of the other party in the accident. You will forward these to the insurance representative. However, this is only the case if the accident occurred in Europe.

Remember to take the international proof of liability insurance (“Green Card”) with you on holiday, as well as a first aid kit, a warning triangle and high-visibility vests. If your holiday destination is not listed on the Green Card, you may have to take out border insurance.

If you have to seek medical treatment abroad after the accident, you should have international health insurance . This pays for the costs and, if necessary, also for the return transport.


A car accident on vacation can be quite the mind. The most important thing, however, is to keep calm and not hang your head. The further procedure can usually be easily arranged with the local police and – if it is a rental car – with the car rental company. If you are travelling abroad with your own car, don’t forget high-visibility vests, first aid kits and warning triangles, as well as the “Green Card”. If you have a rental car, it also makes sense to take out partial or fully comprehensive insurance so that you do not have to pay for damage to the rental car in the event of an accident that you are responsible for.