European Breakdown Cover for Italy

European cover from just £7 per day

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Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 2

Breakdown Cover in Italy

If you’re planning a road trip to Italy, having European breakdown cover can make your holiday run smoothly. It means that help is at hand if you have trouble with your vehicle. For example, with the RAC you’ll have access to a 24/7 English-speaking helpline and we’ll cover all costs for roadside assistance in Europe. 

UK breakdown cover doesn’t usually cover you in Europe – unless you’ve bought European cover as an add-on. So if you need breakdown cover in Italy, you’ll need to buy a separate European breakdown cover policy.

Here’s a handy guide to help you prepare for your trip to Italy, including information about what to do if you break down. 


What to do if you break down in Italy
Important contact numbers
Preparing for your visit to Italy
Rules of the road in Italy
Things to carry in your vehicle
Other important considerations before travelling in Italy

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From £7**

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  • 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
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BEST cover*

Comprehensive Plus

From £9**

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  • 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
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What to do if you break down in Italy

If you break down in Italy, how you get the help you need 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 0800 942 044   – 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 the 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 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 you need repairs at a garage, you’ll need to find a garage you can trust 
  • In addition, you’ll need to cover all recovery, labour and repair costs yourself

Important contact numbers

It’s vital that you have all the contact numbers you need when driving in Italy, so you know exactly who to contact in the event of a breakdown or road emergency. Contact telephone numbers to store in your phone’s directory include:

RAC European Breakdown 0800 942044

Emergency Services 112


Frequently Asked Questions

RAC European Breakdown Cover operates according to zones, with up to 49 different countries coming under our cover. If you want to drive into another country from Italy, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered in the country you’re driving into. Italy is included in zone two, as is Spain; Germany and France are in zone one. However, you’ll also need to check the type of cover you have. If you took out single trip European breakdown cover, you will have specified the exact dates of travel, so you may not have such flexibility. The golden rule is always to check with the RAC first.
Will the RAC provide me with a replacement vehicle?
That depends on your level of cover, but both RAC Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus European Breakdown Cover will provide a replacement vehicle if you need it. RAC Comprehensive will provide a hire car whilst your vehicle is being repaired, and cover the cost of a hire car up to £125 per day, up to a maximum of £1,500; Comprehensive Plus extends the maximum costs covered to £3,000. Terms and conditions apply.

Preparing for your visit to Italy

Before you drive in Italy, it’s important to be prepared for your trip. As a motorist, you’ll be expected to be equipped with documents and in-car kit that you might otherwise not need when you’re driving in the UK. Here are the some of the things you’ll need to consider:

Documents and paperwork

When driving in Italy - as anywhere in Europe - you should carry a full and valid driving licence; passport; a copy of your car insurance documents and your V5C (vehicle registration) document. Note that garages are unable to provide an estimate for repair work without a valid V5 document, so make sure that you have this with you.

Vehicle equipment

You might be used to travelling light in the UK, but items that are optional at home are compulsory in many European countries. 

In Italy, you’re required by law to carry reflective jackets for all passengers if you break down, if you are not wearing a reflective jacket/waistcoat/braces you could be liable for a fine and penalty points on your licence.

You’re also required to carry a spare tyre; a warning triangle, again if you break down and need to warn other motorists that your vehicle is stationary, and beam deflectors for your car’s headlights. If you don’t have any of these items, take a look at our European Driving Kits, which include many of the must-have equipment you need.

Vehicle maintenance

Give your vehicle a thorough inspection before you start your journey to ensure it’s in good condition and ready for the road. Checks you should conduct include the state of the tyres - inflation and tread - fluid levels and windscreen wipers (look out for any tears, even minor, and replace if necessary). It might be worth booking your vehicle in for a service at a garage, too.

Rules of the road in Italy

It may sound obvious, but the rules of the road in Italy aren’t the same as in the UK. Like the majority of European countries, Italy has a number of road laws that motorists need to be aware of when driving there.

Rules of the road in Italy include driving on the right and overtaking on the left; vehicles approaching from the right have right of way and seatbelts are compulsory for everyone in the car. On motorways specifically, there are distinct rules. On those with three lanes, the right-hand lane is reserved for vehicles driving slowly. For more information on road rules in Italy, read our extensive guide here.

Other important considerations before travelling in Italy

Of course, when travelling in Italy there are other aspects you need to consider, over and above driving. You must ensure you have travel insurance to cover you for the duration of your trip, and you also let your bank know that you’re away from home for a period of time. Your bank will need to know you’re abroad so they can be aware of any payments you make while in Italy, and know they’re genuine. It’s a good idea to let your mobile phone provider know you’re away, too, so you can be sure you can use your phone as normal.

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