European Breakdown Cover

All policies shown in the comparison below include European breakdown cover and a minimum of basic UK cover for peace of mind.

Company Summary Average Response Roadside
Fix Rate
Next Step
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

RAC have amongst the best average response times and roadside fix rates in the industry. Cover prices are competitive and you can save money by purchasing online too.

37 minutes 82% Buy Now

From £137.99
per year

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Emergency Assist already has over 200,000 members and an AVRO approved network of over 4,000 vehicles. The ‘Saver’ cover they offer is currently one of the cheapest on the market.

41 minutes 73% Buy Now

From £55.00
per year

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Relatively new compared to their rivals, using over 4,000 independent specialists rather than their own network. For this reason, you won't have seen see their brand on the road.

40 minutes 70% Buy Now

From £74.99
per year

Your Guide to European Breakdown Cover

Breakdown cover is one of the most valuable things a driver can add to their insurance policy. When you invest in breakdown cover, you make sure that there will always be an expert on-hand to help you out of a tight spot. Whether you break down in the middle of the night, or you hit a piece of glass on the road and end up with a flat tyre, breakdown cover can help.

While some car insurance policies come with breakdown cover included as standard, most will not extend to "European" breakdown cover. When you get coverage for a standard breakdown policy, you're typically paying for help in the UK alone. Depending on the level of coverage you get, this could mean that you have an easy way to get home, no matter where you are in the country.

However, if you're the kind of person that spends a lot of time travelling to other regions of Europe, either for work or for pleasure, then you're going to need an extra level of coverage. European breakdown cover ensures that you're protected wherever you are in the European Union.

For many people, taking the car to other locations throughout Europe is the best way to travel. Not only is it easier to throw the things you need into the boot of your car than to pack for a full flight, but you'll also have a door-to-door way to get wherever you're going. Extra hours on the road are often a small price to pay if it means avoiding the stress of airports.

Thanks to the familiarity, freedom, and flexibility offered by car travel, driving throughout Europe is one of the most popular options among UK motorists. In fact, according to the RAC, more than half of all Brits would prefer to drive to other regions of Europe than rely on a different form of transport. However, the biggest concern that many of these drivers have is how they'll be able to access assistance if their car breaks down in an unfamiliar country.

What is European Breakdown Cover

As mentioned above, driving abroad is often a very appealing option to British motorists - until something goes wrong with their car. If you end up facing a break down in a place that you don't know very well, even the most exciting experiences can turn into an instant nightmare. You don't want to be left sitting on a random road, lamenting the fact that you didn't spring a little extra cash to pay for the proper breakdown coverage.

Just as the name would suggest, European breakdown cover offers many of the same benefits that you would expect from standard breakdown cover. However, the main difference is that you're covered in multiple regions throughout the EU, not just the UK. Additionally, having European breakdown cover in place means that you can get support to have your vehicle repaired at the side of the road if you run into trouble. That means less time wasted looking for a local garage.

In a worst-case scenario, if your vehicle needs to be transported back home and you have to get around using a courtesy hire car instead, then European Vehicle Cover can account for this too. On the other hand, if you didn't have this level of coverage in place, breaking down on your travels could mean terrible things for you and your family. Not only would you have to find the money to get your vehicle sent back home to the UK, but you might have to struggle to find the assistance you need while dealing with things like language barriers too.

Typically, European breakdown cover won't be offered as a basic part of any standard car insurance or breakdown coverage plan. This means that you'll need to add it as an extra to your policy. The good news is that there are many different options available for European breakdown cover. By checking the possible solutions from each provider, you can ensure you're getting a great deal.

What are the Different Types of European Breakdown Cover?

You may already know that there are many different forms of standard breakdown cover. You can get support if your vehicle stops working on the side of the road when it's more than a half a mile away from your house. You can also get coverage that manages the breakdowns that happen right outside of your front door. The more comprehensive your breakdown policy is, the more protection you get. However, more complicated protection often leads to more expensive procedures too.

There are also different kinds of European breakdown cover available, depending on the level of support you're looking for. Most of the time, the most common form of EU cover is simple roadside assistance. This means that your cover provider will send a recovery vehicle to assist you, wherever you might be in the EU. On the other hand, if you needed more extensive support, then you might look into something like Onward Journey Coverage.

Onward journey cover will take both your car and you to a local garage of your choosing, a hotel, or a regional destination, depending on the total coverage you paid for. Some providers even offer to cover many of the costs of getting you and your vehicle back home to the UK.

The kind of European breakdown cover you can access will depend on:

  • Your vehicle - you can often get some form of coverage for cars, motorbikes, and vans. Different cars will demand different support, so make sure that your provider offers the help that you're looking for.
  • Your trip: Sometimes, the extent of your coverage will depend on the kind of trip you're taking. For instance, you might need a different level of coverage if you make the same trip many times within a single term (like a year).
  • Your provider: Just like with many forms of insurance, the kind of breakdown cover policies that your provider offers will depend on their specialties and available services. If you need a certain type of coverage, it's best to check that your provider offers it.

What is Included in European Breakdown Cover Policies?

The kind of coverage that you get from your European breakdown cover policy will also depend on a variety of factors. In some cases, European breakdown cover may be included as part of your existing insurance policy. If this is the case for you, then it's best to check what your cover entails. On the other hand, if you're looking for a new breakdown policy, then you'll need to determine what you need out of your coverage before you sign up for anything.

Remember, your options will differ depending on your chosen provider. Check what's included, by looking at things like:

  • Number of callouts or callout limit: Some insurers will place a limit on how many callouts you'll be able to make before you need to pay additional fees.
  • Cost of claim limits: There may also be limits on the price that you can pay for each trip, with you having to pay the extra on any required amount.
  • 24/7 support: Make sure that you know whether your breakdown cover will be available whenever and wherever you need it. You don't want to be stranded in the middle of the night and have to wait until morning for someone to turn up.
  • Towing services: If your car completely breaks down and there's no way to repair it on the side of the road, you may need it pulled to a local garage. Some providers will offer towing as a standard for European breakdown coverage. However, there are providers that will charge you for towing regardless of the level of cover you take out.
  • Countries covered: When searching for European breakdown cover, it's essential to make sure that your provider serves the countries that you plan on visiting. Some businesses only cover parts of the EU.
  • Assisted travel: If you cannot repair your vehicle on the side of the road, and you need to get to your destination one way or another, some insurers can help with that. This support may be offered as part of a standard policy, or it may be an extra that you need to pay more for.
  • Getting your car, you, and passengers' home: Some policies will offer coverage in the event that your vehicle needs to be returned to the UK because it cannot be fixed. In some cases, this may mean that you'll need to be sent back home with your family too.
  • Courtesy cars: You may be able to take advantage of courtesy cars if your vehicle cannot be immediately repaired. It's best to check in advance whether you'll need to pay more for this service.
  • Wrong fuel: One of the biggest issues that people have when travelling in Europe, is that they accidentally end up topping their fuel up with the faulty pump. If this happens to you, some policies will allow you to claim for garage repairs.
  • Lost keys: If you lose your keys when you're on the road, some policies will pay towards the costs of new keys and locks for your vehicle. Usually, this is an "added extra" for most plans./

The kind of coverage you access may also depend on whether you choose personal or vehicle coverage. Some insurers will offer the option of personal European breakdown cover, which means that you continue to be covered regardless of which car you're driving. The private coverage you get could be excellent if you want to use a different car abroad. However, you will need to make sure that the vehicle you're driving meets certain conditions.

Why Do People Get European Breakdown Cover?

If you're planning on taking your passion for driving outside of the UK and into Europe, then you'll need the support of a reassuring EU breakdown cover solution. Although you might have comprehensive breakdown cover back at home, you won't have the same access to your policy when you're driving abroad. Specialist cover will help to protect you regardless of what happens during personal or business trips in Europe.

Unfortunately, it does mean paying a little extra for your coverage. However, it's best to treat breakdown cover as just another part of your expenses incurred for a trip to Europe. Ultimately, while it can be distressing to break down at any point, on any road in the UK, it can be particularly overwhelming if you break down somewhere that you're not familiar with the surroundings.

Whether you're driving for personal or business reasons, it's very reassuring to know that you can simply call a roadside recovery and assistance team when you need some extra help on your travels. Without this coverage, you could face some severe costs to get your vehicle back home, or even just have it repaired.

If you're in a European country without any option to continue your journey, breakdown cover will keep you safe regardless of where you are. While your vehicle is in the process of being repaired, you might even be able to get a replacement car to hire in the meantime. Or, you might be given hotel accommodation to help you stay comfortable while you wait.

What Do You Need to Pay to Get European Breakdown Cover?

European breakdown cover isn't always as expensive as you'd think. Most of the time, you can tailor the details of your coverage to suit the kind of help you need. This can mean that you can maintain some control over the total cost of your policy. Remember, the price that you will pay for coverage will depend on a multitude of factors, including:

  • How long you're travelling through the European Union for Annual coverage is generally more expensive, but it can be worth it if you're planning on taking a lot of trips, either for work or for personal reasons.
  • Where you're travelling: Some policies have specific restrictions on them that make it more expensive to go to certain countries.
  • The type of vehicle: Certain types of cars, such as bikes and vans can be more expensive to cover than basic cars. Additionally, the make and model of your vehicle, along with its age, can also have an impact on the total price of your support.
  • Level of coverage: More extensive levels of cover are often more expensive - but you do get greater peace of mind.

Depending on how frequently you visit the EU, you can also buy either single trip or multi-trip coverage. If you're only heading out to Europe once, then you shouldn't need to pay nearly as much for coverage as someone who visits continuously.

As with most forms of insurance and coverage, it's important to remember that you can also compare your options online to ensure that you're getting the best possible deals. Finding a better deal for your EU breakdown cover is much easier when you compare your options because you can ensure that you're paying the lowest price for the ideal level of coverage. From there, you can sort through the quotes available to you according to the factors that matter most to you and your family.

Remember to check on the things that might not instantly appear on your policy when you're comparing your options too. For instance, you'll need to know:

  • Which countries are covered by your European breakdown cover?
  • How long it will take for someone to get to you if you have a breakdown.
  • If your breakdown support is available every day of the year.
  • If there are any extra fees for special treatment.
  • If you need an international driving permit to go alongside your UK driving license to be safe on the roads.

While you're thinking about the kind of European breakdown cover that you need, it may help to look at your central policy for vehicle insurance too. Some car insurance policies automatically offer coverage when you're driving in Europe. However, it's best to know for sure what level of support you have available to you before you set off on your next adventure.

Remember to check that the cover you're getting supports the kind of vehicle that you will be using too. Not all policies are capable of supporting vans and motorcycles as well as standard cars.

Things to Look Out for in Your EU Breakdown Cover

Remember that most of the time, you'll need to pay extra for a policy that covers everything. What's more, even if you have a comprehensive strategy, there may be things missing from your coverage. Every European breakdown policy comes with its limits and restrictions. Make sure that you check things like:

  • Mileage limits - some providers will refuse to cover your claim if you go over a specific mileage limit.
  • Labour and parts costs - some providers will only support you up to a certain amount for labour and parts.
  • Call-out limitations: if you have a policy that lasts all year, then there may be limits on the number of requests for help that you can make.
  • Human error - You may need to be covered for issues that could be your fault, such as accidentally locking you out of your car or using the wrong fuel.
  • Second homes - Some providers will not offer coverage if you're driving to and from a second home in Europe.

The more you know about your European breakdown policy, the more prepared you will feel when something goes wrong on your next cross-country journey. Remember, it's essential to have a plan in place for how you're going to act if you ever find yourself facing issues with your vehicle in another part of the world. For instance, whenever your car faces problems, the first thing you need to do is pull over to the side of the road and exit the vehicle. From there, you can call your provider and explain the details of your breakdown.

Do your best to choose a European breakdown provider who can give you assistance quickly and come to your aid in less than an hour. If you don't have coverage and you're broken down in Europe, then you may still be able to contact certain coverage providers for additional help.

Choosing Your European Breakdown Cover Policy

No two European breakdown cover policies are ever the same. With that in mind, it's important to check your options carefully before you invest in anything. Doing your research and making sure that you're getting the right level of coverage is crucial. For instance, some policies will be able to offer full coverage regardless of where you are in Europe, whereas others will only help you out if you're in specific countries.

You'll need to be mindful when you're comparing your coverage options that the cheapest policies won't always be the best. While it's often tempting to go for the solution that promises to save you as much money as possible, you will need to be sure that you're getting the level of coverage that will protect you and your loved ones in an emergency. Breakdown services know that it can cost a lot of cash to rescue you from certain parts of the EU. Sometimes, there will be a cap on how often you can claim for support during your trip, and how many call outs you can make before you will be asked to pay additional fees.

If you're not sure what level of coverage you need to protect you when you're driving throughout Europe, then you might want to speak to a policy provider or spend some time searching through different options to see which ones suit you best. Ideally, the right solution for you will be the one that makes you feel comfortable no matter where you are on the open road.

Remember to discuss your coverage with your insurance policy provider too, in case they have any advice on the kind of coverage you need for your journeys.

We may receive payments or commission for advertising. This does not influence any ratings or reviews which are based on our opinion. Average response times and roadside fix rates will not normally include major accidents or extreme failures. Information correct at time of publishing.