European Breakdown Cover Single Trip
Are you planning a holiday in Europe? Good for you! Already got yourself some European breakdown cover? Great! If not, no worries as this article was written to help you out.
Today, we will discuss some of the best deals out there for you. We will focus on the many single trip policies available, as these typically cover you for one short trip abroad and is often the first port of call for holidaymakers, as opposed to multi-trip or annual cover.
First, we will talk about what breakdown cover is and how UK breakdown cover works, before defining European Breakdown cover and discovering what it usually consists of. Placing emphasis on how UK and European breakdown cover compare. Then we will advise you on what to check for and be aware of when taking out new separate policies or adding European breakdown cover to an existing policy.
We will also point out areas, countries, and circumstances which it may not apply. Finally, we will advise you on the two main ways people can take out European cover and give you some tips on how you can find the cover that’s best suited to your needs, whilst getting great value for money.
We hope that when you have read this you can plan your holiday with renewed confidence, secure in the knowledge that help will be on hand should you need it.
What is breakdown cover and what does a UK policy include?
Breakdown cover itself is an insurance policy which can provide you with roadside assistance and recovery to a garage if your car breaks down. There are multiple levels of cover, all offering different benefits. Generally speaking, the more you can afford to pay, the higher the level of cover accessible to you.
Roadside assistance is the most basic form of breakdown cover. It covers you only if you break down a given distance from your house. This distance is usually at least a quarter of a mile. If the car can’t be repaired then and there, it will be taken to the nearest garage approved by your provider, or to a destination of your choice if it’s not as far as the nearest garage.
It’s important to remember, though that not all providers will offer to take you to an alternative destination. If you add vehicle recovery, you can choose to have your car towed to any location in the UK. For example, you can ask to be towed home, even if you breakdown a long distance away.
Onward travel cover usually presents you with three options to choose from should you breakdown:
- A hire a car will be offered if you want to continue your journey while your car is being repaired, usually for a maximum of three days, or until your own car is fixed
- If you would prefer to continue your trip using public transport your provider will offer to cover the cost up to a certain point
- Overnight accommodation for you while you wait for your car to be fixed, if costs do not exceed a certain amount per-person or party of people.
You can also protect yourself against the possibility of your car not starting at all or breaking down very close to home. This is called home start cover.
What is European Breakdown Cover?
European breakdown cover is a policy designed to provide assistance if your car breaks down while you are travelling in Europe. This means the cover you would normally have in the UK is extended to trips you make in Europe. This usually comprises of, alternative travel, covering the cost of emergency accommodation, road side assistance and parts and labour costs.
Why choose single trip cover?
Single-trip cover insures you for a short trip or holiday to Europe. Most providers offer cover for 1-31 days and usually considered the best and cheapest option for holidaymakers who only plan to take their car on a single trip to Europe in a year.
You can find different forms of single trip cover though. For example, the RAC offers basic and comprehensive single trip cover. Their basic cover lasts for up to 5 days and the comprehensive policy covers you for a single trip lasting for anything up to 180 consecutive days.
One clear advantage of a single trip policy is that if your car breaks down abroad, you will be able to contact a UK-based breakdown company who will organise the recovery of your vehicle.
Some other benefits to look out for that are specific to European breakdown cover are:
Cover before you set off.
This covers you in the UK for a set length of time even before you leave. You can get cover for up to a week before you depart but remember that claim limits may differ from the cover you will receive in Europe, so check each policy you look at carefully.
Vehicle and passenger repatriation.
This will cover the cost of getting you and your car back to the UK if it cannot be fixed before you leave Europe. Some polices will also provide you with a hire car while you are waiting for your car to be repaired.
Customs duty indemnity.
This covers import duties if the cost of fixing your car exceeds its market value and it has to be scrapped in Europe as a result.
You can also access to an English-speaking helpline, operating 24/7 when you take out this cover, so you won’t have to worry about breaking a language barrier.
If you already have a UK insurance policy, you often have the choice to add European Breakdown cover to it. However, it may be worth thinking about taking out a separate policy for European cover, as this might lead you to a better deal, though this does depend on the provider you select and on the level of protection you choose to buy. It’s also worth checking if your UK policy already includes European breakdown cover. If it does be sure to check how many trips it covers and for how long.
Protection is extended to most European countries. Many policies split countries into three categories or zones. The zones, as defined by the RAC, are as follows.
Zone 1 comprises of France, Germany, Monaco., Andorra, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.
Zone 2 encompasses Denmark, Austria, Gibraltar, Finland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Vatican City, Sweden and Switzerland.
Zone 3 consists of Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Czech Republic Cyprus, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Poland, the area of Russia west of the Urals, Serbia, Slovakian Republic, Ukraine and Turkey.
You should be aware that the way zones are defined and which countries they include may vary depending on your chosen provider, so always double check your cover. You may need to upgrade your policy if you find you’re are not covered for a specific country you wish to visit.
What isn’t typically covered?
Most policies exclude home-start or breakdown on private property and will not service a vehicle not deemed roadworthy. It’s always a good idea to read the terms and conditions of your chosen policy carefully, if you’re unsure about the limits of your cover.
It’s also helpful to know that French motorways are tricky, because they are privately managed, meaning that if you do happen to breakdown here your provider will not immediately be able to send help. Instead you should first find the nearest emergency telephone and contact the police. Once you have been assisted off the motorway you should then call your provider for more help.
It is also likely that a standalone European breakdown policy will only protect you on the European mainland, so it won’t help you while in the U.K.
How to find the best policies?
The two most common ways to get European breakdown cover are:
By adding it to your existing UK breakdown policy if you have one or by purchasing a separate European policy for your journey.
Taking out a specific “Single Trip European Breakdown Cover” policy will generally offer you better specialist coverage at a cheaper cost.
Always look for one that offers full Europe-wide cover just in case you decide to border hop whilst on your European road trip. Even if you’re not planning an overnight stay in a country it’s best to have the cover just in case.
Here at EuropeanBreakdownCiover4u we endeavour to make sure you can get the best deal possible in terms of value for money whilst ensuring you have top quality cover.
If you do decide to upgrade your existing cover then contact your breakdown recovery provider and pay for extra service. However, it might be worth shopping around a bit for the best deal to suit you.
Remember that it is possible that the cheapest cover may not always be the best option for you or the best value for money. Some providers offer low-cost breakdown cover, then charge an excess for call-outs. Breakdown services know that it can cost a lot to rescue you from the European mainland and so some polices place a limit on how much you can claim before additional charges are introduced. Furthermore, some breakdown plans will also limit the number of days you can be abroad over the life of the policy.
At EuropeanBreakdownCover4u we also offer European breakdown cover insuring motorbikes, motorhomes and vans. For instance, if you own a property abroad and wish to take your belongs over by van.
Tips on how you can get a better deal
When you’ve found the right cover for you, there are often still some things you can do to try to get a better deal.
For example, if you plan to travel in one car for the entire duration of your holiday then it might be cheaper to take out insurance for just that car, as this is oft-times cheaper than taking out a personal policy which covers you in any vehicle.
You should also decide on the level of cover you need as this can affect the price significantly. Roadside is typically the most inexpensive option as this means your car will either be repaired on the spot or taken to a nearby garage, which is obviously not great if it means that you are going to be stuck somewhere in Europe until you can pay repair costs.
Onward travel cover makes sure that both you and your vehicle are taken to a given destination, but this will cost more, thanks to additional costs involved in the rescue operation. This option does mean that you are very unlikely to find yourself stranded somewhere on the continent struggling to pay a repair bill.
So this article on European single trip cover has given you a taster of the ins and outs of breakdown cover. First, we detailed some of the basics of UK breakdown cover. Then we defined European breakdown cover and explored what is covered and how this can differ from a UK breakdown policy.
Next, we discussed why you might choose to take out a single trip-policy and touched upon the types of short trip cover available. We also looked at what cover may not be covered by policies and emphasised how important it is for you to check the limits of your cover, in terms of both what is covered, and where that cover applies.
Although we cannot and do not offer advice on the most suitable European Cover for you, hopefully this will have inspired you to do further research into the advantages of a standalone policy, compared with adding this cover to an existing UK policy.
Finally, if you require a quote for European Breakdown Cover Single Trip for a car, van or motorcycle please visit our Quotes Page Here.