European Breakdown Cover

Breakdown cover may be an additional cost on top of your day-to-day car expenses, MOT bills and insurance premiums, but it is worthwhile if you find yourself on the hard shoulder waiting for assistance. Having no breakdown cover can increase waiting times and costs. However, when it comes to driving in Europe, you still may not be covered by your insurance if your car breaks down elsewhere on the Continent. Additional cover will have to be taken out.

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What is European breakdown cover?

European breakdown cover may be an additional cost to your trip but it will help you get out of a tricky situation if your car breaks down abroad.

European breakdown cover means you will be covered even if your car breaks down on foreign soil. Take your car for a road trip overseas and keep your mind at ease with a single trip policy to receive the same kind of protection as you would back in the UK. Driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and attempting to read road signs in a foreign language can be confusing enough, there are even specific pieces of kit you might need to carry with you depending on the country. Remembering all the rules should be all you have to cope with when driving abroad, never mind having to deal with a breakdown with no cover.

If the car suffers mechanical issues, the overseas breakdown cover could repair the car at the side of the road or, failing that, take it to a garage. In a worst-case scenario, the cover could even bring your car back to the UK. With European car breakdown cover, you could have any issues resolved without costing a fortune and you can carry on with your trip without too much hassle.

Why do I need European breakdown cover?

When driving abroad, you will not be covered by your UK breakdown policy, so it is advisable to take out a European breakdown policy to make sure you are covered.

A road trip abroad, whether this is a one-off trip, or to a second home, will not be covered by your UK breakdown policy. An additional policy needs to be taken out to help you out of a tight spot if your car breaks down while travelling.

If you take the risk and continue with your road trip without a European breakdown policy, this could end up costing you. Organising your breakdown recovery, the repairs, and transport to your next destination could become a hassle, particularly due to a potential language barrier. Also, the extra cost this will add to your holiday could send your bills through the roof, especially if you need to get your car home. Stay on the safe side and protect your wallet with European breakdown cover.

Limitations of European breakdown cover

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Like any other breakdown cover, the T’s & C’s should be checked over in fine detail to give you a full picture of what you will be covered on. No policy is the same so it is crucial that you make sure the policy you are choosing is right for you and your trip.

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Some policies limit the length of time they will provide cover for. Often the time cap is 90 days within a 12-month period.

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Others limit the amount they pay out per single trip. This means, if you endure more than one car issue on your trip, it is possible your policy could only pay out for repairs on one occasion. It is often worth opting for a slightly more expensive breakdown policy to cover your backs and ensure you don’t have to pay out too much while you’re on holiday.

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Not only is it the limitations of the repair expenses that need to be checked, but also the cost of taking you to your next destination. Some policies will put a cap on how far they will take you, which could leave you having to pay out for a taxi or an additional hotel, cutting into your holiday budget.

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Not all countries are guaranteed to be on every policy. Double check all the countries you will be visiting are on the policy before purchasing.

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When it comes to shipping your car back to the UK, some policies offer an unlimited cost to get your car home, whereas others will offer up to the market value of your vehicle.

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Another limitation to be aware of is that some policies won’t provide cover if the reason for your trip is to visit a second home.

You can’t rely on your existing policy to cover you while you’re abroad, so before you head off on your trip, make sure you take out European breakdown cover to ensure your trip runs smoothly. There are also other additional policies that you may want to consider that you may not be aware of, for example, temporary car insurance .

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