European Breakdown Cover FAQs

If you have a question about European Breakdown Cover we should have the answers below. However, if you can't find the answer to your question or if you want to buy RAC European Breakdown cover please call us on 0333 202 301 and we will be able to help.

If you want advice about driving abroad you will be able to find a lot of useful hints on our advice pages so please make sure you have a look through before you travel.

Buying European Breakdown Cover

If you are planning to take your car across the channel and holiday in Europe, it is important to be prepared and check your breakdown cover. Never assume your vehicle has the same level of breakdown cover abroad as it does at home. You need to review your policy carefully before you set off and check that it covers you in the countries you are visiting and that the standard of cover is adequate too.

If you don’t have cover for your driving holiday, you can buy standalone European breakdown cover or you may be able to add European cover to your UK breakdown policy.

Q. How much is European Breakdown Cover?
Q. How soon can I get my policy documents after purchase?

RAC European Breakdown prices will alter dependent upon the level of cover chosen and your travel circumstances to ensure you are only paying for what you need. These circumstances include how long you are travelling for, vehicle age, how many people are travelling in the car, whether you are towing and which countries you will drive through. Other European Breakdown cover provider’s prices and the way they calculate them will be different.

If you are travelling abroad more than a few times a year it may be worth quoting for annual cover just in case this will work out cheaper. If you are thinking of becoming an RAC UK Breakdown cover member or already are it may work out more economical if you add European cover to a UK breakdown cover policy.

In order to find out more about our prices for each cover level, please get a European Breakdown quote. If you are interested in adding European cover to your RAC UK policy please speak with one of our customer advisors on 0800 015 6000.

0800 calls are free of charge from all consumer landlines and mobile phones. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded.
Q. Can I buy European Breakdown cover if I've already left home?
You should receive your documents in the post within five working days. If you buy on-line and provide an email address you will receive your documents soon after your purchase via email. Please remember that you need to be in the UK still when buying RAC European Breakdown cover. See the following link for European Breakdown Cover Terms and Conditions (PDF).
Q. Is it cheaper to get RAC European Breakdown cover for Ireland?

Yes, but please note you can only buy cover from the RAC website if you are in the UK. If you are already abroad then you will not be able to buy cover for that specific trip. If you do buy on-line before you travel abroad and you provide us with your email address you will receive your documents soon after your purchase so you have easy access to them.

Get a European Breakdown quote now.

Q. Do you offer worldwide breakdown cover?
Yes, when you only travel to Ireland it is a bit cheaper than if you travel to other parts of Europe if you go for more than one day.  

RAC European Breakdown Cover

This is one of the most common questions we get. A lot of the time we can help; however French motorways are privately managed so help will be arranged for you by the motorway breakdown company that is operating in that area. Costs of the tow from the motorway can be claimed back within your European Breakdown Cover policy limits so please make sure you keep your receipts. Once you have been safely towed from the motorway please call us for further help.
Q. Do RAC patrols operate in Europe?
Our RAC vans do not operate in Europe so instead you’ll will be assisted by the external service providers and partners that we have chosen to work with.
Q. Can the RAC help translate in a breakdown situation?

The RAC will be able to help translate with service providers that don’t speak English. With up to 18 languages spoken at our European contact centre at any one time we should be able to help. We will also help organise towing services, alternative transport or accommodation dependent upon the breakdown cover level you choose. This service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  

Where possible, we'll allocate a dedicated and experienced case manager to manage your incident from start to finish. We also have technical experts on hand during normal working hours to help you wherever possible.

Q. What countries are covered?
A lot of countries are covered by RAC’s European Breakdown cover. The amount of countries you are covered by will depend on what you select when getting cover: Republic of Ireland only, Zone 1 or Zone 2. For the full list of countries covered in each zone please look on our countries covered page.
Q. How many days European Breakdown cover can I buy?
You can buy Basic single trip cover for up to five days. Comprehensive single trip cover is available for up to 180 consecutive days. Annual Comprehensive provides cover for one year but each journey must not exceed the maximum period of up to 90 days.
Q. Are there any vehicle and caravan (trailer) restrictions when applying for European Breakdown cover?

In order to qualify for RAC European Breakdown cover, your vehicle must:

  • Be registered in the UK
  • Be less than six years old at the start of the journey. Vehicles six years old and over may be covered on payment of an additional premium.
  • Have a maximum legal laden weight of 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes). This weight is called the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
  • Have maximum overall dimensions of: length 7m; height 3m; width 2.5m (all including any load carried).

The cover is only valid when the journey commences from the UK territory and returns to the UK territory.

For a full list of vehicle restrictions for RAC European Breakdown cover, please see European Breakdown Cover Terms and Conditions (PDF).

Q. Does an RAC European Breakdown cover policy cover luggage, bicycles and items on or in a trailer or caravan?
Any luggage, personal affects, goods, bicycles, items on or in a trailer or caravan are not covered by your policy. These remain your responsibility at all times. They must be covered by other types of insurance such as personal travel insurance. This includes when your items are being carried by a recovery or replacement vehicle.
Q. What happens if my vehicle breaks down and there are a lot of people in it?
If there are quite a few of you we may need to organise more than one recovery vehicle or hire car dependent upon policy level. Don’t worry though if you have asked for this number of people within your cover we will try and make the whole process as seamless as possible.
Q. Can I claim more than once?
You can make one claim with a Single Trip policy. The Comprehensive Annual policy allows you to make up to two claims per year. The total amount you can claim will depend upon the cover level you buy.

RAC UK Members

European Cover isn’t available to members who pay for their membership on a monthly basis, as membership can be cancelled at any time during the year. Potentially, members could use the service in the first few months and then cancel their membership before the full premium has been paid. Due to the high costs involved in providing service abroad, it doesn’t make financial sense for us to do this.

RAC contact options

It’s often quicker to get the help you need online. To see all the latest help and information regarding your breakdown membership you can visit our Member query pages:

Contact us

Customer Service

0330 159 0740

Mon-Fri 8am to 7pm, Sat and Sun 9am to 5pm, Bank holidays 9am to 5pm.

Membership Team

0330 159 0739

Mon-Fri 8am to 7pm, Sat 9am to 5pm, Bank holidays 9am to 5pm.

Sales Team

0330 159 1236

Mon-Fri 8am to 7pm, Sat and Sun 9am to 5pm, Bank holidays 9am to 5pm.

Email us your query by clicking here