Best European Breakdown Cover in 2024

Here’s a look at some of the biggest brands in the UK to see which European breakdown cover reigns supreme.

When you get breakdown cover, in addition to getting it for the UK, you can also get coverage that keeps you protected in many of the different European countries. 

As more and more motorists are now starting to travel abroad again, especially in the last year since travel restrictions have lifted, now is an excellent time to evaluate your options regarding European breakdown cover.

What is a European breakdown cover?

When you get breakdown cover, you have a lot of choices. Not only do you have the option of what type of cover you get, being personal or vehicle cover (for most providers), as well as the ability to select the different levels of cover you want, you’ll also have the option to choose if your policy is eligible in Europe. 

Taking out European breakdown cover means that if you break down in any of the European countries, you’ll be able to get the same level of assistance that you could expect if you break down in the UK. 

This means that motorists who are travelling for a holiday or for work will be protected and won’t have to worry about paying for expensive roadside repairs themselves. 

With a European breakdown cover, you can have your car repaired on the roadside or have the option to have it repaired at a local garage. 

Plus, if your vehicle is out of action for a few days, your provider may be able to give you a hire car or other transport arrangements so that you can continue your travels.

This depends on what level of cover you have, though, and if it includes a service called Onward Journey. When you have Onward Journey, the breakdown provider will organise travel arrangements if you cannot use your car.

European breakdown cover prices compared

One of the best ways to determine which European breakdown cover is right for you is to compare the various prices offered by the best breakdown providers. By putting all the fees into a table, you’ll clearly see how much European cover is for each company. 

For most companies, European cover is something that you can add as an additional extra to your policy, meaning that you can either get a basic level of cover that includes European cover or a top-level, comprehensive cover that includes European cover. 

Because there are different options, this table will include the lowest price you can get for a policy containing a European breakdown cover and the most expensive. This allows you to compare the products better and find a price point that works for you.

ProviderCheapest European CoverMost Expensive European Cover
The AA£38.31£84.67
RAC£40.15£64.23
QDOS Breakdown£24.75£45.74
GEM Motoring Assist£33.26 (with a GEM Membership)Not available for non-members.
Allianz Assistance£9.99 a monthQuote required
MotorEasy£86.04£86.04
Green Flag£20.07£168 (Annual Euro Plus)

The prices in this table are from quotes for personal cover for one individual in their mid-twenties and for a single trip lasting three days unless stated otherwise. As a result of this, the prices quoted for you may be different based on your circumstances. It’s for this reason that this table is only for illustrative purposes.

Is it worth getting European breakdown cover?

If you’re travelling abroad in Europe, it’s a good idea to get European breakdown cover, because having this protection can save you from having to pay a large amount of money to repair your car. It can also help make the ordeal a little less hassle-free, as you won’t have to try and organise roadside assistance yourself, which can be daunting if you’re in a foreign country and do not know the language. 

Having a European breakdown cover is not a legal requirement, so you don’t have to get it if you don’t want it, although that could be a costly mistake if you do happen to break down. 

Of course, if you’re not going to be travelling by car in a European country, or are not expecting to travel abroad anytime soon, then getting European breakdown cover included in your policy will not be worth it. Instead, it’s a good idea to get UK cover and then add on a European breakdown cover for one trip just before you go abroad. Doing this can save you money and ensure that you only have the cover when you need it.

Does European breakdown cover include the UK?

When you buy the best UK breakdown cover, it’s expected that your European policy will also give you protection in the UK as well. This means that if you’re a regular traveller in the UK and Europe, having this type of cover can ensure that you’re protected, no matter where you are. This is great if you’re a keen caravan user and have multiple holidays both in the UK and abroad.

Do be careful of the specifics of this UK cover, as although most will still cover you no matter the situation, some will only cover UK trips under a European breakdown policy if you’re leaving the UK to go abroad or are returning to the UK from a different country. 

It is possible to get separate European breakdown cover from many providers. This means that you can have standard breakdown cover from one provider and then get European cover from another. This allows you to obtain cover for just a single trip easily, and you do not have to commit to having any other services you may not need or want.

RAC

Much like the AA, you can get European breakdown cover separately from your other policies from RAC. This means that you don’t need to have a preexisting policy with RAC for the European cover to add on to. 

You can also get single trip breakdown cover, which includes unlimited roadside assistance in Europe, a 24/7 helpline that you can access where the staff speak English and cover that’s rated five stars by Defaqto. 

Plus, if you cannot drive your car back to the UK, RAC will cover the market value of your car return.

You have two policy options when you get European breakdown cover from RAC. The first is Comprehensive, including services such as unlimited roadside assistance, labour costs of up to £150 covered, and £500 worth of accommodation expenses or £1,500 for transport.

The other option is their Comprehensive Plus plan. With this plan, you can expect to get everything in the Comprehensive plan, but with a larger cost cover. You can get £1000 put towards labour costs, £1,200 for accommodation, and £3,000 for travel.

Much like the AA, their European breakdown cover is broken down into different zones, with the specific country you visit altering the cost of your cover.

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Customer score
4.1/5

Based on over 88,000 reviews.

QDOS Breakdown

QDOS Breakdown offers a good European breakdown service, with their policy covering most European territories. 

When you get a policy from QDOS breakdown, they’ll be able to support you in many different ways, depending on the circumstances of your breakdown. 

What’s nifty about QDOS Breakdown is that if you break down within seven days before you travel, you’ll be able to get up to £750 from them, which allows you to hire a car so that you can still travel abroad or re-book your sea crossing. 

If you break down when abroad, QDOS will be able to arrange roadside assistance to get you moving straight away. They will also pay for transportation to the nearest garage to repair your car. 

QDOS will also cover the costs of transporting parts that the garage needs to repair your car that they may not currently have, up to £600. Plus, if it takes more than 24 hours for your car to be repaired, then you’ll get £750 to put towards the cost of transporting you to your destination or to get a hire car. 

Unlike The AA and RAC, you can’t get European breakdown cover from QDOS without incorporating UK cover as well. However, you can add cover for a caravan and trailer you’re towing with you for an extra fee. 

qdos-breakdown-cover
Customer score
4.3/5

Based on over 2,556 reviews.

The AA

The AA is one of the more trusted providers for European breakdown cover. When buying their product, you can get European breakdown separately from UK cover, meaning that if you choose to do so, you can get cover for just one trip without having to get annual cover for when you’re at home. 

When selecting your European cover with the AA, you must give the details on which ‘zone’ of countries you visit. The zone you select will alter the price of your cover, so it’s worth having that in mind. 

You can, of course, get coverage that includes the whole of Europe, which can be useful if you’re getting annual breakdown cover and are not sure which locations you want to visit yet, or plan to visit multiple destinations.

When you get breakdown cover from the AA, a lot is included in your standard policy. Off the bat, you get unlimited call-outs and full roadside assistance, helping you get your vehicle back on the road. You’ll also be able to claim up to £1,500 for alternative travel and £500 for hotel costs, which can be helpful if your car is out of action and needs to be in a garage for an extended duration of your travels. 

You’ll also be able to get support in getting yourself and your vehicle back home or to your destination, and you can also get a hire car. 

If you want a more comprehensive form of European cover, you can also add cover for parts and labour of repairs. This means that if your car requires a lot of work, the AA will cover the costs, up to £500. 

This added level of European breakdown cover costs an additional £22.98 for a single trip policy if you’re travelling to a Zone 1 country.

the-aa-logo
Customer score
4.2/5

Based on over 28,000 reviews.

GEM Motoring Assist

GEM Motoring Assist usually focuses on personal UK cover only. However, they have partnered with the travel insurance company P J Hayman to offer their Euro Plus service, which is a discounted European breakdown cover option. 

This type of cover enables you to get roadside assistance, recovery and repatriation for yourself and your car and all your passengers. This means that if your vehicle needs to be towed to a garage, you’ll be able to get someone who can take it to the nearest mechanic to your current location. If it can’t be fixed there, GEM Motoring Assist will then be able to organise transportation so that you and your car can be taken back to the UK. 

If you’re already using GEM Motoring Assist, then this plan has a 10% discount, making it a good option for existing customers. 

Because P J Hayman actually manages this cover, it means that you’re unable to buy this cover from the GEM website unless you’re a member. 

When getting Euro Plus cover via the P J Hayman website, single trip clover can be as cheap as £12.38 for a day of cover. With a membership with GEM Motoring Assist, a three-day trip will cost you around £33.426. 

With the Euro Plus scheme that GEM Motoring Assist helps to provide, you can get cover for both a single trip or for an annual subscription. With it, you’re eligible for 24-hour call-outs and can get cover for vehicles under 15 years old.

gem-motoring-assist-breakdown-cover
Customer score
4.5/5

Based on over 900 reviews.

Allianz Assistance

Allianz Assistance offers a decent European breakdown cover policy; however, it only seems to be available on their Gold Plus European Breakdown Cover, which appears to be their most expensive level of cover. 

With Allianz, you’ll be able to get a courtesy car if mechanics cannot fix your car within eight hours, or you can instead choose to get overnight accommodation or an onward rail ticket, allowing you to continue your journey. 

Plus, if the car is being stored in Europe so that it can be repaired and fixed, Allianz will cover the costs of holding them and will get it back to your home address. 

With Allianz, if your car is still getting repaired by the time you get back to the UK, they will provide you with a courtesy car to use when you’re back in the UK.