European Breakdown Cover

Around 2 million British motorists take their cars to Europe every year and that figure is expected to increase.

48% of motorists admit that they would have no idea how to get help with their car when abroad so European breakdown cover is essential.

Varying degrees of European cover are available and should something go wrong it will make your epic road trip that little bit more secure.


Need to know

  • The breakdown cover that you have in the UK may not be valid in other countries so it’s always important to check before you go.

  • European breakdown cover generally provides you with a level of cover similar to the one you receive in the UK with the added benefit of your vehicle being repatriated to the UK if there are no alternative options.

  • It includes roadside assistance as standard and can have extras like onward recovery should your car not be repairable by the road, benefits to cover accommodation, car rental expenses and roadside labour costs. Unless you purchase more expensive European breakdown cover, parts and labour at the garage are not usually included.

  • As with travel insurance, policies come in either annual or single trips but there is a cap on annual trips of, normally, 31 days a trip and 90 days maximum for the whole year.

  • Most policies require for the cover to start when you leave the UK and only come to an end once you have returned to the UK so it’s only return trips that are covered. With annual policies you may have to notify your insurer that you will be driving abroad, sometimes this is essential in order to trigger the cover.  Not all policies require you to do this, so check the website or Policy Wording to be sure.

  • European Breakdown cover can be expensive so it’s important to do your research and decide exactly how extensive you want your cover to be, if you want to insure for every eventuality the cover will be more expensive.

  • There are also different laws in European countries and you may be required to carry certain items in your vehicle in order stay within the law. For example in France, you must carry a Warning Triangle, attach Snow Chains (when signs indicate), carry a Reflective Jacket and carry an Approved Breathalyzer.

  • Vehicle recovery regulations may also be different in some countries so ensure you are covered if you are concerned about additional costs. For example, some European countries such as France stipulate that the only people authorised to send assistance on the motorway is the police. There is a cost associated with this and not every European Breakdown policy will reimburse these motorway recovery fees.

  • Cover may also be available for motorcycles, motorhomes, older vehicles (often restricted to vehicles up to 15 years old) and caravans and trailers.


European Breakdown Cover Providers

CBC European Breakdown Cover

Why we like it:

  • CBC’s bespoke breakdown cover offers varying degrees of cover from 3 different assistance providers.
  • CBC has arranged breakdown cover with 3 different breakdown assistance providers that is unique to them and may only be purchased from their website.
  • Pre-discount, Single European trip cover from £5.10 and annual from £54.95

Watch out:

  • Cover becomes more extensive with price

Go direct

Remember that not all insurers appear on price comparison websites so be sure to check them out, you might get a good deal.


The inside track

  • According to RAC, 64.33% of all European breakdowns are in France and are largely due to drivers overloading their car with wine!

  • Without breakdown cover you could end up very easily paying thousands of pounds to transport your car across Europe.

  • Be sure to check the limits of each policy before you buy or you could end up with a nasty surprise if you do break down.

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