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
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
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).
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, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, 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.