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European Breakdown Cover in Germany

Complete peace of mind when driving in Germany

Breakdown cover in Germany

If you’re driving to Germany, having European breakdown cover can make it much easier to get the help you need. For example, if you get a flat battery while you’re away, you can call our English-speaking helpline and we’ll arrange assistance for you. Plus, if you have breakdown cover in Germany, you’ll be covered for the cost of roadside assistance in Germany and get a contribution towards labour costs at the garage.

You should keep in mind that UK breakdown cover doesn’t usually cover you in Europe (unless you’ve bought European breakdown cover as an add-on). You’ll need to buy a separate European policy to make sure you have breakdown cover in Germany.

24/7 English-speaking helpline

European roadside assistance in 48 countries

Five star Defaqto rated cover


For £4.17 a day

Roadside Assistance in Europe

We’ll pay up to £150 towards garage labour costs. Provided repairs are completed on the same working day

Get 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 it’s not beyond economical repair

If your vehicle can’t be fixed before you’re due to return, we’ll help get you and any passenger's home up to £1,500

Get 2 days’ UK Roadside Assistance before you depart, for all breakdowns over a ¼ of a mile from home

24/7 English-speaking helpline

FREE European Legal Care

Replacement train/ferry ticket for up to 1 missed connection, if the delay is caused by a breakdown

Best cover you can get1 – Comprehensive Plus

For £6.83 a day

Roadside Assistance in Europe

We'll pay up to £1,000 towards garage labour costs. Provided repairs are completed within 7 working hours

Up to £1,200 accommodation expenses and/or up to £3,000 to continue your journey

We’ll cover all costs to get your vehicle to get it back to the UK, providing it’s not beyond economical repair

If your vehicle can’t be fixed before you’re due to return, we’ll help get you and any passenger's home up to £3,000

Get 7 days’ UK Roadside Assistance before you depart, for all breakdowns over a ¼ of a mile from home

24/7 English-speaking helpline

FREE European Legal Care

Replacement train/ferry tickets for up to 3 missed connections, if the delay is caused by a breakdown

Above prices are based on European breakdown cover for a 14 day trip, in a vehicle up to 1 year old, travelling in zone 1.

What happens if I break down in Germany?

If you break down in Germany, what you do next depends on whether or not you have European breakdown cover. 

If you have RAC European Breakdown Cover:

  1. Call the RAC’s English-speaking helpline on 0033 472 4352 44 – lines are open 24/7
  2. Our team will arrange roadside assistance for you
  3. When help arrives, they’ll fix your vehicle at the roadside or tow you to the nearest garage for further repairs
  4. Depending on what level of cover you have, we’ll also pay towards garage labour costs, onward travel expenses and accommodation fees while your car’s being fixed

If you break down on the motorway (‘Autobahn’) in Germany, you need to call the Autobahn Administration first. Find out more.

If you don’t have European breakdown cover:

  • You’ll need to find a recovery company to come out to you and tow you to a garage if needed
  • If your car needs repairs at a garage, you’ll have to find a garage nearby
  • In addition, you’ll have to pay all recovery and labour costs yourself

What to do if you break down on the motorway in Germany

If you break down on the motorway (‘Autobahn’) in Germany, call the Autobahn Administration first using one of the emergency telephones at the roadside. These are positioned along the Autobahn – just follow the arrows on guideposts, which will direct you to the nearest one. The phone number for emergency services is 110

Here’s a step-by-step guide for what to do if you break down on the motorway in Germany:

  1. Don’t call the RAC – instead, use one of the emergency phones at the roadside
  2. If you can’t get to an emergency phone, call the emergency services on 110
  3. The emergency services will send help and you’ll be towed to safety
  4. Once you’ve been towed to a designated safe area, call the RAC on 0033 472 4352 44
  5. We’ll send assistance and talk you through next steps

Find out more about driving in Germany.

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Important contact numbersIf you’re driving to Germany, keep important phone numbers stored in your contacts, including:

RAC European Breakdown from anywhere in Europe

British Embassy in Berlin

British Consulate Munich

British Consulate Dusseldorf

British Consulate Hamburg

Emergency Services

Here's a really important bit of knowledge. You can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting. Operators can answer your call in their native language, English, and French. 

You should also store contact details of your accommodation and onward destinations. Then if your plans change because of a breakdown, or you know you’ll be delayed for a long time, you can call ahead and let people know.

If you’re travelling to Europe for a short trip, check out our single trip European breakdown cover product today.

Preparing for your visit to Germany

In Europe, it’s important to have the right driving kit in your car. You could be fined up to €530 for not having the right items with you. Before you set off, check what you need and buy a European Driving Kit from us to make sure you don’t run into trouble.

Even though you have breakdown cover, you can reduce the risk of a vehicle breakdown or needing roadside assistance in Germany by following these easy steps:

Check the condition of your tyres

This is one of the most important maintenance tasks you can carry out on your car. Look for any signs of wear and tear. Check the depth of the tyre’s tread. Worn tyres are dangerous – so if any are in poor condition, get them replaced.

Check oil and coolant levels

Check the levels of coolant, oil and screenwash in your car. Also carry extra to top up levels during your journey, especially if you’re driving long distances or over a longer period of time.

Inspect windscreen wipers

If your windscreen wipers have any tears in them, they won’t operate properly and will affect your driving. Check the blades for any damage and replace prior to travelling, if necessary.

Fill the tank up with fuel

Fill your vehicle up with fuel before leaving the UK. There are service stations in Germany, however filling up your tank before travelling means one less thing to worry about.

Book your vehicle in for a service

Before you travel, book your vehicle in for a service – a professional can check for any issues and fix them ahead of your trip to Germany. Find your nearest RAC approved garage today.

Read more about driving in Germany with our country guide here.

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What our members are saying

Have been a member for over 50 years covering the UK and Europe and have never been let down despite needing the service in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.

Mr Holmes

RAC said they would be there within the hour and they were. They gave me regular updates before their arrival, and, after fixing my puncture, phoned ahead to a local garage to check they had the correct tyre available. Excellent, friendly, efficient service. Thank you.


Very honest and quick service from first taking my call, right through to recovery. Very polite and information was spot on. I have been with RAC for about 25 years and this is the first time I needed them, glad I renewed my membership.

J. Bohacz

What are the driving rules in Germany?

In Germany, the rules of the road are different. Certainly in comparison to the UK anyway, if not the rest of Europe. It’s every motorist’s responsibility to be aware of these regulations and laws before driving, so that you understand and abide by them.

Such rules include:

  • You should drive on the right side of the road – the opposite to the UK – and overtake other cars on the left.
  • Vehicles coming to an intersection from the right have right of way unless stated otherwise. This means you should give way to vehicles approaching from the right.
  • Seat belts must be worn by everyone in the car, or you face an on the spot fine.
  • The legal limit for drinking and driving is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, maximum – which is less than the UK.
  • Speed limits vary according to the type of road – and they are in place on the autobahn, contrary to urban myth. The limit on the autobahn is 80mph.

You can read more about driving in Germany and specific speed limits here.

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Things to carry in your vehicle

Vehicles in Germany are required by law to carry the following items. You could be issued a hefty on-the-spot fine for not carrying specific items.


  • Reflective jackets
  • Warning triangle (Compulsory for vehicles registered in Germany)
  • Headlamp beam deflectors (Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)
  • First aid kit (Compulsory for four-wheeled vehicles registered in Germany)

Our European driving kit has all the essentials for people driving in Germany.


  • Safety helmets are compulsory for drivers and passengers of mopeds and motorcycles
  • Motorcycles and mopeds must always be ridden with their passing lights on, even in daylight

Other considerations before your Germany holiday

You might have the driving side of your holiday covered, but before you head off to Germany it’s important to be prepared in other areas too.

Before going aboard, it’s important to have travel insurance in place. RAC offers travel insurance across a range of destinations, giving you complete peace of mind while you’re away. Your travel insurance must cover the dates of your travel and any specifics of your holiday. You should declare if you’re going to be involved in any adventure sports or planning to ski, for example.

Let your bank know that you’re away, too. You’ll probably need to use your debit card and/or credit card while in Germany, and they will need to know that they’re likely to see some unusual transactions.

Most mobile phone providers allow for usage in Europe but it’s worth contacting yours to double check that you can use your phone, as usual, while away. 

Stay prepared all year round with European breakdown cover.

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Driving in Germany FAQs

When driving in Germany, make sure you’ve got your:

  • Passport or ID card
  • Driving license
  • Motor insurance certificate
  • V5 registration document
  • UK sticker
  • Reflective jackets
  • Warning triangle
  • Headlamp beam deflectors

If you’re driving in wintry conditions, you’ll need winter or all-season tyres, and if your car’s registered in Germany, you’ll also need to carry a first aid kit.

Our European driving kit has most of the essentials you need (except winter tyres).

Read more about driving in Germany.

Having a European driving kit helps make sure you’ve got everything you need when you’re driving in Germany. You legally need to carry a warning triangle, reflective jacket and headlamp beam deflectors if yours can’t be adjusted manually. And a UK sticker if your numberplate doesn’t say UK on it. An RAC European driving kit includes all of this, and other important things like a first aid kit.

You can still drive in Germany after Brexit, you’ll just need to have the right insurance as well as your driving license, passport and V5 registration form. It’s also worth getting European breakdown cover so you can get help if you need roadside assistance.

Yes – as long as you’ve got another form of ID (like your passport), your insurance documents and a V5 registration document.

If your number plate says GB on it, you’ll need a UK sticker when you’re driving in Germany – but if it says UK on it already, you don’t need one.

This depends on your level of cover and where you’re intending to drive. RAC European Breakdown Cover in Germany covers Zone 1 in Europe, so unless your policy also covers countries in Zone 2, you’ll be restricted as to where you can drive – and still be covered in the event of a breakdown. You’ll be able to drive over to Zone 1 countries France, Luxembourg and Belgium. But Italy and Spain are in Zone 2.

You can keep a car in Germany for up to 6 months in a year.

Germany is well-known for having convenient, well-maintained roads, which makes driving very easy. But as with other European countries, you’ll need to get used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, and following different road laws.

If you have a full UK driving license issued in mainland Britain or Northern Ireland, you don’t need an international driver’s permit (IDP) to rent a car in Germany. But if you don’t have a British or EU driving license, or you have a driving license issued in the Isle of Man, you may need an IDP.

You don’t need a green card to drive in Germany – a UK driving license is fine. But remember to bring another form of ID (like your passport), your insurance certificate and V5 registration document.

Speed limits vary depending on what type of road you’re driving on. The speed limit on much of the autobahn is 80mph.

For more information, please refer to our driving in Germany guide.

Germany Breakdown Cover FAQs

No, breakdown cover isn’t a legal requirement but it’s worth having European breakdown cover in case your car breaks down and you need roadside assistance.

Some European breakdown cover packages include the use of a replacement vehicle. RAC Comprehensive European Breakdown provides a hire car for up to six days, while RAC Comprehensive Plus European Breakdown Cover provides a hire car for up to 23 days. Terms and conditions apply.