European breakdown cover

Compare single trip or annual, multi-trip European breakdown cover policies from multiple providers

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What is European breakdown cover?

Taking in the sights while driving around Europe is an excellent way to spend a week or two but things don’t always go to plan.

The right European breakdown cover can make sure that if your vehicle needs repairs while you’re away, you’ll have access to a mechanic to get it up and running again.

European breakdown cover

What features does the cover include?

Your policy may cover:

Roadside assistance – If you break down on the side of the road, a mechanic will be sent to repair your vehicle. Always check whether this is a 24/7 service or whether there are time limits

Towing to a local garage and repairs – Vehicles that can’t be fixed roadside may require towing to a garage for repairs

Misfuelling – If you accidentally fill your vehicle with the wrong fuel, a mechanic will flush it out and refill your tank with enough petrol or diesel to get you on your way

Multilingual assistance – Your provider should have a 24/7 helpline with multilingual operators, so language barriers won’t be a problem when you’re getting your car fixed

Courtesy cars and onward travel – Certain policies will provide you with a courtesy car if your vehicle can’t be repaired

Repatriation – Your vehicle will be returned to the UK if it’s unable to be repaired in the country you’re visiting. It could even include repatriation of the driver and passengers

Lost keys – You could be reimbursed for the cost of having your keys replaced if they’re lost, broken, or stolen

Home start – If your car breaks down before you even leave your drive, you can get your vehicle repaired

It’s always important to check what is covered in your European breakdown cover and what you’ll need to pay extra for.

What countries are covered?

It will depend on the cover you choose, and it’s always important to make sure the countries you’re visiting are included on your policy.

Providers may separate the countries of Europe into different zones so you’ll pick the zone that contains the places you’re travelling to or through. Policies that cover more countries will likely be more expensive.

What level do I need?

You can choose between:

  • Vehicle cover

    This only covers the car named in your policy documents and tends to be the cheaper option of the two

  • Personal cover

    This covers the person named in the policy, rather than the vehicle. If you have an annual policy and will be driving different cars around Europe, this may be the right choice. It’s usually more expensive though and there could be limits on the vehicles you can drive

Annual vs single trip?

Before choosing a policy, think about whether you’re likely to take more than one trip to Europe per year. It will likely be cheaper to purchase an annual policy if this is the case.

A single-trip policy can provide cover for one trip abroad lasting up to around 180 days, depending on the provider.

An annual policy can cover multiple trips but check your policy for limits on how many times you can travel abroad per year and how long for.

How much does it cost?

Providers consider a few different factors when calculating the cost of your policy, including:

  • Are you purchasing a single trip or annual policy?
  • Which countries you’re visiting and for how long
  • Whether you need a specialist policy - for example, if you’re towing a trailer or caravan
  • Do you need any policy add-ons?
  • The age and condition of your vehicle

Your answers to the above will determine how much you’ll need to pay for your European breakdown cover.

What do I need to get a quote?

It’s easy to get a quote. All you need to do is enter some information about:

  • Your trip (or trips) – Including when and how long you’ll be going for
  • The car you’ll be driving – Make, model and how old it is
  • Yourself – Contact details and date of birth

We’ll then show you the policies that match your requirements - you can easily see what they include and their Defaqto star rating.

What do I need to do before I go abroad?

Before heading off on your European road trip, there’s a few things you need to tick off your to-do list:

  • Get your breakdown cover sorted and keep any policy documents to hand
  • Check whether your car insurance provides adequate cover for driving in Europe
  • Locate your driving licence (make sure it’s valid) and your vehicle log book to take with you
  • Have your vehicle checked by a mechanic to ensure it’s in good working order
  • Look at local driving laws and speed limits for the country/countries your visiting
  • Make sure you have all the required safety equipment. For example, you need a safety triangle and safety vests (for you and your passengers) when driving in France
  • Update your navigation device so it has the latest maps for where you’re driving
  • Check whether you need a UK sticker on your car
  • If you’re towing a trailer, you may need to register it

How do I add European breakdown cover to my policy?

It’s usually possible to add it to your existing UK breakdown cover as an optional extra. This will make your policy more expensive, but it could be cheaper than buying a separate policy. Just check it has the level of cover you need, so you’re not caught out on your trip.

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