European Breakdown Cover Guide

Having spent months saving up the money for the trip and more time planning the route, the last thing you need is your trip ruined by a broken down vehicle or an accident which leaves the driver incapable of driving further. Being stranded on a trip is a worry to any travellers.

Motor Vehicle Breakdown Cover is a perfect solution to your worries. We can't prevent you breaking down, but we can give you the peace of mind that if you do, you are in safe hands.

Here we give you some examples of the type of cover you can expect from the policies available through

Please bear in mind that the details, limits and cover may vary between insurers, so be sure to read your Documentation and see our Cover Information Table before you purchase.

Breakdown Before travel starts

You are driving home from work when suddenly there is a horrific noise from the engine, clouds of smoke billowing from the exhaust and the car slowly grinds to a stop. Your heart beats in panic thinking about the trip you had planned, driving down to Southern France. The chance now of two weeks in the sun seems very unlikely. You then remember you wisely took out European breakdown cover.

  • If you cannot use your vehicle because of an event which happens within 7 days of when you were due to start your trip, and there is evidence that the car cannot be repaired before the leaving date, one of our European breakdown policies could pay up to £2,000 towards the cost of a hire vehicle for the trip.

Theft Before travel starts

You push the supermarket trolley back to the parking bay and cannot find the car. Checking to see if you have walked to the right bay the truth starts to sink in. Your car has been stolen. To make matters worse, you are due to drive to Austria in 3 days time on a hiking trip with friends.

  • You remember you have taken out breakdown cover through and check your documents. If your vehicle is stolen within 7 days of your departure date and is not recovered, up to £2000 could be paid out for vehicle hire costs so you should still be able to travel. (Limits may differ between providers)

Roadside assistance and towing

You are with your family driving through Germany. The car is laden with your luggage and seems to be losing power. To your dismay it slows down more and more and comes to a stop on the side of the road. No matter what you try to do the car will not re-start.

  • Luckily you have European Breakdown Recovery and a recovery vehicle is sent to your aid. You are reassured knowing that roadside assistance and towing is covered (up to your cover limit), so your trip will still go ahead.

Emergency labour

You break down on the side of a French Auto-route. Knowing nothing at all about cars you will need professional help to get the vehicle working again.

  • Breakdown cover from could also provide up to £250 emergency labour costs (excluding parts) incurred outside the UK to allow you to continue your journey.

Loss of use of the insured vehicle

While on holiday in Spain, driving down to Marbella, your engine management system fails completely. Your car will be off the road for 3 days as parts need to be delivered.

  • A call to your assistance provider quickly reassures you that everything will be fine. You could either be; transported to your destination and then returned to the car once repaired, or placed in temporary accommodation, up to £45 per person per night, to a maximum total of £450. Alternatively you might be offered up to £2000 to cover the costs of a hire vehicle. You are so relieved you bought cover through (Limits may differ between providers)

Repatriation costs

Having successfully toured Italy in your car, it starts to run very unevenly 2 days before you are due to start driving home. A visit to the local garage diagnoses burnt out exhaust valves and the earliest they can have the car repaired is in 5 days time. However, you need to be back on time for an important meeting at work.

  • You check your documentation for the breakdown cover you purchased from before you left. Included in your cover were repatriation costs. You know that the car could be taken to a UK garage of your choice and that you and your family will be transported back to the UK too as per your planned return time. Should your vehicle need to be collected, you could also have cover, and if a UK hire car is needed you may be able to claim for this vehicle as well.

Providing a chauffeur to return you home

While on a family ski trip to Les Arcs you break your leg while skiing off-piste. Your wife has not yet passed her driving test.

  • Fortunately you have taken out cover through, and you can be provided with a chauffeur to drive you, your family and your vehicle back to your home in the UK.

Delivering spare parts

Your car breaks down while staying in Montpellier in France. Your local garage cannot supply the parts and they need to be delivered from Sweden.

  • If spare parts are not available locally to repair your vehicle, your European breakdown policy could arrange to have them delivered to the garage as quickly as possible. Remember that the cost of the parts themselves will not be covered, just the delivery.

Legal defence

Your worst nightmare: you are involved in a car accident in Rome. The police have charged you with negligence.

  • Some of the cover available through will pay up to a set limit of legal defence costs and expenses to defend the driver of your vehicle against criminal charges following a road accident involving your vehicle. These policies will also pursue uninsured losses against third parties arising from a road traffic accident involving the your vehicle.

Advance of funds

Following a motoring offence in Denmark you are arrested and detained in custody. You and your family are suffering considerable distress.

  • Some of the cover avalable through will advance funds to the driver, following official acknowledgement of debt, (to a maximum as shown in the benefits schedule), so that the driver can provide bail to secure his/her release and that of the their vehicle.

Attempted Theft

Upon returning to your parked car in Spain, you are horrified to see your driver’s side window smashed in as thieves have tried to steal the vehicle.

  • Fortunately you have cover from and can claim for repairs to the car, caused by someone other than your party, in an attempt to steal the vehicle or its contents. (Restrictions may apply)

For full terms and conditions, check our Cover Information Table and Documentation, and why not Get a Quote and see how much you could save today?