Driving abroad? Be prepared, take out European Breakdown Cover

Driving abroad? Be prepared, take out European Breakdown Cover
Driving abroad might seem like a great way to save money.

After all, you can make significant savings by opting to drive to Europe rather than shelling out on airfares, airport taxes, baggage handling fees and airport car parking charges.

However, failing to ensure you have European breakdown cover in place could mean that your holiday on a shoestring ends up breaking the bank.

If you are planning to take your car across the channel and holiday in mainland Europe, it is important to be prepared and check your breakdown cover. Never assume your vehicle has the same level of breakdown cover abroad as it does at home.

You need to carefully review your policy before you set off and check that it covers roadside assistance, recovery and repatriation, whether you break down or crash.

If you don’t have adequate cover for your driving holiday, you need to ensure you either increase your existing policy or take out standalone European breakdown cover to avoid unnecessary stress and significant additional expense.

Cost of breakdown recovery in Europe

The costs of repair and recovery can be much higher in Europe and car parts are often more expensive too, particularly if they are different for right and left-handed drive cars.

If you are involved in an accident, it is much more complicated overseas than at home where your insurer arranges for the car to be taken to a garage and repaired.

Crashing abroad may involve you having to make your own repair and recovery arrangements – difficult and extremely stressful if you don’t know the area and can’t speak the language.

Without adequate breakdown cover, you could end up counting the cost with a long list of expenses to add to your final holiday bill.

So do check the level of cover that you have before you set off.

Find out more about RAC European Breakdown Cover here.

If you're driving in the UK, get complete peace of mind at home and at the roadside with RAC Breakdown Cover today.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered when driving in Europe from just £7.*

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 you can call our English-speaking helpline anytime, so you can focus on what really 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 tripfrom 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. 

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 cover3. 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. 

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

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

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered when driving in Europe from just £7.*

*Based on 1 day cover in Zone 1, max 9 people in a vehicle up to 1 year old.