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
Breaking down is the last thing you want when driving abroad. But with RAC European Breakdown Cover, help is at hand when you need it most. Our 24/7 English-speaking helpline makes it easy to get help quickly. And we’re the only provider to include unlimited roadside assistance and a contribution towards garage labour cost as standard. Plus, with our Comprehensive Plus cover, you’ll have 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
Choose your level of European breakdown cover
What is European breakdown cover?
European breakdown cover means you’re protected if you break down in Europe. You can call an English-speaking helpline, who will arrange roadside assistance. If your vehicle can't be fixed at the roadside, we'll arrange for it to be taken to a local garage where repairs can be assessed. If it can’t be repaired before you go back to the UK, we’ll help get you, your passengers, and your vehicle back home.
European breakdown cover isn’t a legal requirement. But it can save you stress, time and money if you break down while you’re away. For example, you’ll be covered for some or all costs for roadside assistance and garage labour, depending on the cover level you pick.
You can read more about why you need European breakdown cover 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?
Exactly what and how much you’re covered for depends on the level of cover you choose. With the RAC, you’ll always have access to our 24/7 English-speaking helpline – so you know you won’t be left stranded and help is only a phone call away.
Here’s what else you can get with the RAC:
- European roadside assistance and recovery. We'll arrange for a local garage to come out to you and inspect your vehicle – they’ll repair it at the roadside or recover it to the garage for repair.
- Contribution to garage labour costs. With Comprehensive, you’ll get up to £150. Or up to £1,000 with Comprehensive Plus.
- Alternative travel or accommodation. If your vehicle’s in the garage, you can have a hire car or hotel while it’s being fixed.
- Getting you and your vehicle back to the UK. Also known as ‘repatriation’, we can help get you and your vehicle back home if it can’t be fixed before you travel back to the UK.
- Cover before your departure. If you break down in the UK and can’t be fixed before you’re due to leave, you can have a hire car to continue your trip to Europe.
Do I need single trip or annual cover?
We offer two different types of cover: single trip and annual cover. The right policy for you depends on how often you drive through Europe each year, and how long your trips are.
- Single trip European breakdown cover protects you during a single return trip to Europe.
- You can buy cover for a trip lasting from one day up to 180 days.
- It’s ideal if you only plan to drive to Europe once or twice a year, as it works out cheaper than an annual policy.
- Annual European breakdown cover protects you for unlimited trips to Europe during the year.
- For each trip, you’re covered for up to 90 days. If you’re going for longer than this, you’ll need to buy single trip cover.
- This type of cover is ideal if you regularly drive to Europe. If you travel more than twice a year to Europe, it’s likely to work out cheaper than buying single trip cover each time.
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).
Essential driving to Europe checklist and the impact of Brexit
From 1 January 2021, you should make sure you have the following items before travelling to Europe:
- Vehicle log book (V5C). This shows that you’re the registered keeper. If we need to bring your broken down vehicle home, we won’t be able to do this without a copy of your vehicle log book. If you’re driving a hired or leased vehicle, you need the VE103 to show you’re allowed to use it abroad.
- UK sticker. Display a UK 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. GB stickers and identifiers are no longer valid.
- International Driving Permit (IDP). If you don’t have a photocard driving licence, you’ll need to get an international driving permit. You can get one from IDP from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50. You may need more than one type depending on which countries you’re driving through. Find out more here
- Trailer registration. Some commercial and non-commercial trailers must be registered before towing to or through most EU and EEA countries. Find out more
- Insurance green cards are no longer required for UK motorists driving in the EU
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.