Motorway Fees - Breakdown Cover Explained

Broken Down Car
By , 30 March 2021

3 min read

On our quest to continually pull back the curtain on confusing insurance terms, we arrive at motorway fees. Something that even the most astute customers out there, may still not be aware of.

But never fear, we’re going to guide you through what exactly they are, how they might affect you and when you’ll need them most. Enjoy!

What are Motorway Fees?

You’d be forgiven for knowing absolutely nothing about motorway fees, as for the most part, it’s an alien concept in the UK.

Let me start by saying when it comes to breakdown cover, motorway fees cover only ever applies for European Breakdown cover rather than just UK. This is because across the continent, it’s quite common to come across toll motorways and private roads that you have to pay for to use.

Motorway fees also aren’t covered in every European breakdown policy – so you’ll need to check your policy wording and always be sure before you purchase cover that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money!

On these roads, getting breakdown assistance is a little different than on regular free-to-use roads, and you often have to pay for roadside recovery in the first instance. Having motorway fees cover as part of your breakdown policy will reimburse any fee you have to pay to get recovered as a result of breaking down on a private road in Europe.

How Do Motorway Fees Work?

When you’re driving through Europe, you may pass through toll booths for certain motorways or main roads. At these tolls, you’ll pay a fee either for the road you’re about to drive on, or the road you’ve just taken.

On these roads, if you break down, you can’t receive regular roadside assistance like you would in the UK, instead you have to pay a fee to get recovered by a local agent.

In order for your motorway fee cover to kick in, make sure you keep a receipt of the amount you’ve paid to be recovered as you’ll need this to claim the money back after your vehicle has been fixed.

It’s common that you’ll only be reimbursed up to a certain amount of money (for example £150) for this recovery, so make sure you check your policy documents so you know the exact amount you’ll expect to be covered for.

What Should I Do If I Breakdown on a Private Road in Europe?

Like with any major road, you should never stay in your car when you’ve broken down. So the first thing you should do is get everyone out of the car quickly and safely and wait beside it on the grass verge, away from the traffic.

Next, instead of phoning your assistance provider, you’ll need to locate an SOS box by the side of the road, they’re usually placed at regular intervals by the side of the road (though this can vary) so you shouldn’t have to walk very far to get to one.

Once you’ve found one, you need to ask for recovery off the road from a local breakdown agent. Tell them where you are and the type of vehicle you have (and the specific problem, if you’re aware of it) and they’ll send someone out.

You will have to pay for this service, and you usually do that once the agent has arrived, so it can often be in cash rather than by credit or debit card. So it’s even more important that you ask for a receipt from the agent so that you can claim this back through your policy later.

After you’ve been recovered off the motorway to a safe location, you should then phone your assistance provider as you normally would and further help will be sent to you.

Find Out More About Breakdown Cover

Want to learn more about breakdown cover and the different types of policy benefits you could be entitled to? We’ve put together a load of pages to help educate our customers and people looking for great breakdown cover, but who may not understand the ins and outs of insurance, take a look at some of our other “Breakdown Cover Explained” pages:

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