A Guide to Breakdown Cover in Europe

European Breakdown CoverHaving your vehicle breakdown can be stressful at the best of times, but imagine your car breaking down while you’re on holiday abroad – nightmare!

If you’re thinking of travelling to Europe and plan on using your own car while you’re there, then taking out some breakdown cover for your trip should be at the top of you ‘to do’ list.

If you already have cover from a breakdown service in the UK, then it might be possible to simply upgrade your cover to include European travel for up to 90 days.

  • Tip: These days many breakdown cover organisations also offer a number of financial products, so you might be able to get a good deal on your travel insurance if you buy both at the same time!

If you don’t currently have any UK breakdown cover then you have the option of either purchasing UK breakdown cover with European cover for your trip, or you could just buy a single trip policy to cover the time you’re abroad.

How do European Breakdown Services Work?

The UK breakdown recover companies that offer European cover each have their own English speaking call centres located in the UK. Available 24 hours a day, these call centres also have access to a network of European garages and mechanics which they can send to your location.

Depending on the breakdown company and your particular service, some policies will reimburse you for any onward travel costs that you may incur should your car not be repairable at the roadside, whilst some will come and collect you should the driver be taken ill.

What does the cover include?

European cover policy details will be different depending on which provider you sign up to. But you will usually find that most (if not all) of them include:

  • Roadside Assistance in the majority of European countries
  • Local garage recovery
  • English speaking call centre
  • Emergency accommodation or alternative transport

When shopping around for a good European breakdown provider it can be worthwhile sitting down and making a list of the various extras and benefits that you’re going to need included in your policy.

Do you need a policy that will cover you for the whole year? Do you plan on travelling abroad with your car again in the next 12 months or will this be your only trip? If you don’t currently have UK breakdown cover, then you may find that if you opt for a more comprehensive package for the UK, you might receive free European cover as standard.

Single Trip Vs Multi Trip Cover

When you’ve decided on which European breakdown provider you plan to use, the next step is to choose the type of cover you need.

Most providers will offer you the chance to add European cover to your existing policy on to buy a single trip policy which will cover your European trip for the dates you specify – but what’s the different between the two?

Single Trip Cover

If you’re only planning a short trip to Europe then single trip cover (also known as short term European cover) could be just what you’re looking for. A single trip policy simply means that you will inform the breakdown service of the dates that you plan to travel to Europe and they will cover your vehicle for those specific dates. In most cases the cover will begin from the moment you leave your home address until the time you return home at the end of your holiday.

Multi Trip (Annual) Cover

If you plan on using your car abroad on more than one occasion each year, then annual cover may be the better policy for you. In most cases annual European breakdown cover will give you up to 90 days cover whilst abroad alongside the cover you will receive in the UK. As always please check with your specific breakdown service as this may vary between providers.