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Advertising feature: Can you afford not to have European breakdown cover?


If you are planning on driving in Europe next year in the safety of your own car, be it for work, pleasure or to visit family and friends, you should be aware how quickly costs can escalate if your vehicle breaks down, according to Ronan Hart, general manager at Hadleigh Breakdown.

Ronan Hart, general manager at Hadleigh Breakdown

On top of the general inconvenience of a breakdown in a strange and unknown place, you will have to dig deep into your finances to get yourself out of the hole.

For an average car these are the sort of costs you can expect:

  • A tow to a local garage will cost around 150 to 200 euros, and there may be considerable repair costs on top of that
  • If your vehicle needs recovery to the UK you will be asked to shell out between 1600 to 1900 euros. You will then also have the cost of a tow from your port of embarkation to your home
  • If you are travelling in a motorhome those costs will increase by around 50%

The extra cost doesn’t end there because while your car is in the garage and out of action you will have many other expenses to budget for. These will include:

  • Hire car charges of 300 to 400 euros
  • Taxi Fares or around 90 euros
  • Emergency hotel accommodation of around 200 euros 

If you are making a particularly long trip to some far flung European retreat, you should remember costs increase as you travel further away from the UK.

And if it is a family trip or one with friends, all those extra costs will escalate accordingly.

With that in mind, the benefits of peace of mind European breakdown cover cannot be underestimated, especially when you consider the cost of cover is probably less than it costs for a single tank of petrol.

If your car breaks down in Europe you need experts with a good network of breakdown assistance garages and hire car providers. You will also need help from a multilingual support team who can provide you with access to taxis, hotels, and expert local knowledge.

Even if you do have breakdown cover, it’s still worth bearing in mind that some breakdowns are very preventable and probably wouldn’t have happened if you had checked the vehicle properly before setting out. Regular servicing will help ensure your vehicle performs well and doesn’t let you down.

Common causes of breakdowns and calls for help include:

  • One in 10 breakdowns are due to tyre problems so it is worth checking for wear, tear and pressure before you leave. This is especially important if you have a motorhome or are towing a caravan
  • One in 25 calls for help are made because keys are lost or locked inside cars or because of misfuelling. These are easy mistakes to make but they can be disastrous. Take a spare set of keys and double check you have selected the correct fuel every time you stop to top up
  • One in 30 calls for help come after accidents, but some of these are also avoidable. Take regular breaks so you never have to drive when tired, or perhaps share the driving. Familiarise yourself with the road signs and laws of the countries you intend to drive in and be confident about where you are heading. Use a good map and check it thoroughly before each leg of your journey. Remember, satnavs are banned in many European countries if they detect and alert you to the presence of speed cameras

This is a paid-for advertorial.

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