COVID-19 

Before travelling abroad, please check current Covid-19 rules for your country, and the country you intend to visit. Also check the requirements for re-entering the UK.  If you have RAC European Breakdown Cover  and need our help, we’ll rescue you as normal, but you may experience delays if local restrictions are in place. There may also be delays in sourcing hire cars, hotel accommodation and getting your car home if it can’t be fixed.


European Breakdown Cover


Don’t let a breakdown ruin the holiday you’ve been waiting for. Get the best European breakdown cover in the market, only from the RAC*

Breaking down in another country is the last thing you want. And with the current travel disruption, you might be feeling more nervous than normal. But with single-trip or annual European breakdown cover, rest assured help is at hand. Our 24/7 English speaking helpline makes it easy to get help quickly. Plus only the RAC include unlimited roadside assistance and a contribution towards garage costs as standard. And if you pick our Comprehensive Plus cover, you’ll be getting the best cover in the market*. Making your holiday memorable for the right reasons!

24/7 English-speaking helpline

Speak to an experienced case handler to manage your breakdown

Unlimited roadside assistance in Europe

Only the RAC covers all costs to get you to a garage – so you won’t have to shell out extra

Repatriation costs included

Can’t drive your vehicle back to the UK? We’ll cover the market value of your car or more to get it back

Comprehensive


From £7**

Unlimited roadside assistance in Europe
We’ll pay up to £150 garage labour costs2
Up to £500 accommodation expenses or up to £1,500 to continue your journey
We’ll pay up to the market value of your vehicle to get it back to the UK, providing your vehicle is not beyond economical repair
UK roadside assistance up to the value of £300, 48 hours before your departure date
24/7 English-speaking helpline

BEST cover*

Comprehensive Plus

From £9**

Unlimited roadside assistance in Europe
We’ll pay up to £1,000 garage labour costs1
Up to £1,200 accommodation expenses and up to £3,000 to continue your journey
We’ll pay to get your vehicle back to the UK if it can’t be fixed, providing your vehicle is not beyond economical repair
Unlimited UK roadside assistance, 7 days before your departure date3
Replacement tickets if you miss your pre-booked train or ferry^^
24/7 English-speaking helpline

Essential driving to Europe checklist

Following the Brexit trade deal with the UK, from 1 January 2021 you should make sure you have the following items before travelling to Europe: 

 
  • Insurance green card: contact your insurer to check if you need a green card which is an internationally recognised certificate of insurance. You'll need to carry multiple green cards if:
    • you have two policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews while you're away
    • your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan, you’ll need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer/caravan. You also need separate trailer insurance in some countries
    • you have fleet insurance – e.g. one green card for each vehicle
  • Vehicle log book: take your vehicle log book, known as the V5C form from the DVLA, if you have one to show you’re the registered keeper
    • In the event we need to bring your broken-down vehicle home we won’t be able to do this without a copy of the vehicle log book, so we recommend you take the original and a copy with you
    • If you’re using a hired or leased vehicle you’ll need the VE103 to show you’re allowed to use it abroad
  • GB sticker: display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle, even if the number plate has the EU symbol. This is not needed in the Republic of Ireland
  • International Driving Permits (IDPs): You'll only need to obtain an IDP if you don't carry a photocard driving licence, for example, if you only have a paper licence. You can obtain an IDP from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50. It’s important to realise that different countries require different types of IDP and you may need more than one type depending on which countries you plan to drive through. These should be taken alongside your paper GB or NI driving licence. Different rules apply for those with licences issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar
  • Trailer registration: some commercial and non-commercial trailers need to be registered before towing them to or through most EU and EEA countries. Find out more here
  • Pets: check and follow UK Government guidance for taking pets abroad

Visit RAC Drive for everything you need to know about driving in the EU post-Brexit. The full government advice can be found here

Why do I need European breakdown cover?

Suffering car problems is problematic at the best of times, but the situation can feel much worse far away from home. If you're driving outside the UK, you need to be covered for specific European vehicle breakdown, so that you can benefit from European roadside assistance and roadside recovery.

European breakdown cover provides you with complete peace of mind if your vehicle breaks down in Europe. With both levels of cover that we offer, we offer unlimited roadside assistance if you call us to attend your vehicle. If your vehicle isn’t able to be repaired at the side of the road, it will be recovered to a garage to be looked at. Depending on the level of cover you’ve taken out, we’ll cover any garage labour costs, either up to £150 (Comprehensive) or £1,000 (Comprehensive Plus).

Even if you have UK breakdown cover in place, you shouldn't just assume that your vehicle has the same level of cover abroad as at home. If you're planning on driving in Europe - taking a holiday in France or Spain, for example - you should make sure you have cover. If not, it's time to start looking up European breakdown policies. You can read more about the need for European breakdown cover here

What’s included in European breakdown cover?

Breaking down is the last thing you want when driving in another country - but taking out European breakdown cover brings peace of mind that help is at hand 24/7. It's good to know that you can call our English-speaking helpline anytime, so you can focus on what rally matters; enjoying your adventure.

We offer European cover for any vehicle – whether it’s a classic car, motorbike, minivan or minibus. And unlike other providers, it doesn’t matter how old your vehicle is – we’ll cover it regardless. You can take your pick from two types of cover, depending on how often you'll be driving in mainland Europe:

  • Single trip: This is short-term cover for a single trip from a minimum of just one day up to a maximum of 180 days cover.
  • Annual cover: This covers you for any trips you take to mainland Europe in a year. It can save you money if you’re a regular driver to Europe. 

If you want cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money or belongings you will need travel insurance. RAC members get 10% off***.


How much does European breakdown cover cost?

How much you’ll pay for your European cover can depend on:

  • Your level of cover: We offer 2 levels of cover: Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus. The higher the level of cover, the more protection you’ll have, and the more it will cost. 
  • How long you’re away for: Single trips costs less than annual cover4. But if you’re a regular driver in mainland Europe, annual cover can save you money in the long run.
  • Where you’re going: We’ve split countries into 3 zones and how much your cover costs depends on which zone (or zones) you’re driving in. Find out more.
  • Your vehicle: The age, make and model of your vehicle can affect the cost of your European cover. This is because of the cost of repairs and parts vary from vehicle to vehicle. 

Why the RAC offer the best European breakdown cover on the market*

We're the only provider to cover all costs for roadside assistance in Europe.

You'll get a hire car and accommodation while your vehicle's being repaired – and we give you more to spend on both than anyone else.

We're the only provider to cover all costs to get your vehicle back home (as long as it's not beyond economical repair).


What countries does RAC cover?

The RAC offers European breakdown cover in up to 49 countries across mainland Europe. These countries are split into Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, so you can easily select the right cover for you and your trip. This includes, FranceSpainItalyGermany, Portugal and Belgium, as well as the Republic of Ireland

We also cover a range of other countries, including Albania, Armenia, Gibraltar, Moldova, Macedonia, Serbia and many more.

Zone 1 (includes France & Germany)

We also cover the offshore islands of all the countries within this zone.

Show countries on a map

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Zone 2 (includes Spain & Italy)

We also cover the offshore islands of the countries within this zone, with the exception of Ceuta, Melilla or the Canary Islands (Spanish off-shore Islands).

Show countries on a map

zone-1.jpg


What happens if you break down without European cover?

If you break down without European cover, you’ll need to find a recovery company to tow you, and garage you can trust to fix your car. And you’ll have to cover all recovery, labour and repair costs yourself. If your vehicle can’t be fixed before you’re due to travel back to the UK, you’ll also need to cover the cost of getting you and your vehicle back home. And the further away from home you are, the more this will cost.
 


What to do if you break down in Europe

If your vehicle breaks down when you’re travelling in Europe, there’s no need to panic:

  • Get out of your vehicle. Keep a safe distance from moving traffic.
  • Pull over safely. Make sure you’re away from traffic or on the hard shoulder.
  • Call for assistance. Tell us your location and we’ll talk you through what happens next.

FAQs

Q. What level of European breakdown cover do I need?

If you're a regular driver in several different European countries, then you might consider taking out an annual policy which you can add as an optional extra alongside your annual UK breakdown cover. It's comprehensive, covering vehicles that have broken down at the roadside as well as being recovered to a nearby local garage - so that's European roadside assistance and European roadside recovery taken care of.

We also provide cover for short visits or day trips which you can explore on our single trip page

Q. What countries are included in RAC European breakdown cover?

You'll struggle to find many European breakdown policies that are as comprehensive in its coverage. This policy provides European vehicle breakdown cover in 49 countries in continental Europe.

Of course, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Belgium are included, as is the Republic of Ireland. But this policy also covers European breakdowns in a range of other countries, including Albania, Armenia, Gibraltar, Moldova, Macedonia, Serbia and many more. This means drivers will have access to European recovery services in virtually every country.

Q. Does the RAC offer cheaper European breakdown cover?

The RAC offer flexible options to suit your budget. ‘Comprehensive’ is our cheapest level of cover. It starts from just £7 for 1 day of cover**. The longer you go away for, the more your cover will cost. The price of your cover will also vary depending on how old your car is.

It’s worth knowing that single trip cover is cheaper than annual cover, as it only covers you for a one-off trip abroad. But if you travel to Europe regularly, annual cover can provide better value for money.

Q. Can I get one-off cover for a family holiday?

Yes, as cover is available on a single trip basis as well as annually. The RAC has two different policies, so you can compare European breakdown cover across these variations. Comprehensive is from £7 and the price of Comprehensive Plus begins at £9. Our RAC Comprehensive Plus policy has a Defaqto 5-Star rating, and includes garage labour costs up to £1,000 and unlimited emergency European roadside assistance and repair.

Q. Will European breakdown cover help to get my car back to the UK?

If required, our European breakdown policies can help to get your car safely back to the UK - or repatriation, in other words. Again, there are different levels of cover depending on your policy. Comprehensive has vehicle repatriation cover up to the market value of the insured vehicle, and Comprehensive Plus has unlimited cover. This is providing your vehicle is not beyond economical repair.

Q. What vehicles are eligible for European breakdown cover?

We cover all kinds of vehicles, of any age. This includes cars, motorbikes (49cc and over), minivans, campervans, light vans, motorhomes and minibuses (with no more than 17 seats including the driver) – as long as they meet certain criteria.

Any vehicle you want to cover must be:

  • a private vehicle (not a commercial vehicle)
  • permanently registered in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man
  • no bigger than 7 m long, 3 m high and 2.55 m wide (all including any carried load)
  • a maximum legal laden weight of 3,500 kg (3.5 tonnes). This weight is called the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)

If you have a motorhome or caravan over the limits shown above, you’ll need RAC Arrival.

Please read our terms and conditions for full details.

Q. Does my standard RAC Breakdown Cover policy cover me in Europe?

No. If you haven’t added European breakdown cover to your policy, your standard RAC Breakdown Cover policy will only cover you in the UK.

If you’re unsure, it’s worth checking your policy documents to see exactly what’s included in your cover. You can also log in to log in to MyRAC to check your cover.

Q. Will my European breakdown policy cover me in the UK?

With both Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus, you’ll have pre-departure cover in the UK before you leave for Europe. This means you can get roadside assistance before your trip and a hire car to get to Europe if needed.

What you’re covered for depends on the level of cover you choose:

  • Comprehensive: You’ll have roadside assistance in the UK up to 2 days before you’re due to leave the UK and a hire car for 6 days.
  • Comprehensive Plus: You’ll have roadside assistance in the UK up to 7 days before you’re due to leave the UK and a hire car for 23 days.

Q. Can I get a refund if I can’t travel due to coronavirus restrictions?

First and foremost, before you travel or purchase any European cover from us, we highly recommend that you check the latest travel advice from the Government.

If you can’t travel to travel restrictions relating to coronavirus, we guarantee to offer you a full refund for the cost of your European breakdown cover. There are no cancellation fees either. If this happens to you, please give us a call on 0333 202 301. We’ll be happy to help.

Q. Which countries am I allowed to travel to right now?

The Government has published a list of countries that you can visit without having to self-isolate when you come back to the UK. Before you come back to the UK, you’ll need to follow these rules and fill out a passenger locator form. You’ll have to show this when you arrive at the UK border.

Before heading off on your trip, please make sure you check the latest FCO advice. You should also check the Government’s general travel advice for more information.

Q. Am I still covered by my European breakdown cover?

If you’ve already bought European breakdown cover, don’t worry. You’re still covered. This is the case whether you have single-trip or annual cover. However, you should still check the latest travel advice from the Government before you travel.

If you break down in mainland Europe, we’ll do our best to rescue you as normal. Just keep in mind that our service may be affected by local restrictions. Ferry companies are also running a reduced service. So this may impact how quickly your vehicle can be recovered back to the UK.

Q. Can I get help if I break down abroad without European breakdown cover?

If you break down abroad but you don’t have European breakdown cover, unfortunately we won’t be able to help you get back on the road. That’s why it’s important to get it sorted before you leave the UK.

Instead of calling us for help, you’ll need to make your own arrangements. For example, you’ll need to find a local recovery company to rescue you, as well as a garage you can trust to fix your vehicle. You’ll also have to recover all these costs yourself.

Q. Can I get short-term car insurance to cover me for my trip?

Yes you can – RAC Temporary Car Insurance offers short-term insurance policies for trips of up to 30 days for cars, vans and motorhomes and allows you to extend this to cover driving in Europe - perfect if you’re borrowing a vehicle or sharing the drive and need comprehensive cover in place. Choose from between 1 hour and 30 days of cover, and you’ll be covered to drive almost instantly.

Find out more about this type of cover.

Q. Will my car insurance policy cover me for driving in Europe?

Some car insurance policies will cover you for a number of days driving in Europe, but it depends on your insurance provider. You should always check your car insurance policy documents before starting any trip to ensure you have the right cover in place.

You could choose to purchase a comprehensive short-term insurance policy and add additional European cover. Tailor your policy for up to 30 days of cover, purchase online, and you’ll be covered to drive almost instantly.

Read more about our Temporary Car Insurance.

More reasons to choose the RAC

We have been helping motorists in Europe for over 120 years so we know how stressful it can be when your car breaks down. It can be even worse when it is in a different country where you may not be able to speak the language. But don't worry, we're here to help.
An experienced case handler to manage your breakdown from start to finish
You'll only pay for repairs you need thanks to our technical experts
In France, we can get to you in just 44 minuteson average 
56% of all breakdown in Europe are dealt with on the same day
93% of all breakdowns in France attended within 60 minutes
We repair 55% of all breakdowns at the roadside in France

Things you need to know when travelling in Europe

There are a number of requirements that you may not be aware of when driving in Europe, so we’ve created article on all the things you need to remember to take with you in a handy checklist with 20 top tips to help you be prepared before you depart on your trip. 

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Driving post Brexit

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Driving in Europe checklist

This essential checklist will tell you everything you need to know for driving in Europe, from what to take with you to things to remember when you get there.

3rd Jan 2020

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10 lesser-known French road rules

To help you out, here’s an overview of the quirkier French motoring rules you might not know about.

29th July 2019