Best European Breakdown Cover in 2023

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
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
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.


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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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Unlike some of the other breakdown providers discussed in this article, you do not get unlimited call-outs with Allianz. Instead, you can only get breakdown assistance up to 5 times a year, which puts it at a disadvantage against some of the other providers. 

The European breakdown cover you can get from Allianz is separate from their other breakdown products and starts at £9.99 a month for an annual policy. Getting European breakdown cover with Allianz does mean that you can use the cover in the UK too.

The issue with Allianz is that they don’t appear to offer single-trip cover, meaning they may not be a good option for holidaymakers or travellers who are not regularly on the move.

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With MotorEasy, you can only get European breakdown cover with their top level of coverage. This means that, unlike with other providers, you’re going to have to get all the other services included in your breakdown cover, such as home assistance, national recovery, and onward journey, in order to access their European cover options. 

This can make MotorEasy European cover pretty expensive and may not be the best option if you’re just looking to get cover for a single trip to Europe. 

In addition, you can only get Europewide recovery for an annual subscription. This means that you can’t get cover for a single trip and means that if you want to get cover from MotorEasy, you need to commit to all their other services too, which may not be doable if you already have UK breakdown cover from another provider. 

Plus, you can only select if you want to get cover for 12 or 24 months. Although getting it for two years gives you a discount, it does mean that you’re trapped in the cover for a long time, and it may not be a valuable option if you’re not travelling that often during that time. 

This lack of choice makes MotorEasy hard to recommend and also makes it a little inconvenient. If you’re yet to get breakdown cover for your car, then it could be an option as it means that you have comprehensive cover no matter where you go, but even so, there are cheaper, more reliable, and trusted alternatives.

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Green Flag

Green Flag offers flexible European cover, allowing you to build a breakdown cover that suits you. With Green Flag, you can get cover for a single trip or get cover for an entire year. 

When you get cover from Green Fag, you’ll get access to 24/7 roadside assistance meaning that no matter when you break down, you’ll be able to get support. Plus, no matter where in Europe you are, you’ll be able to get help from English-speaking individuals, which can make it a lot easier when you break down in a foreign country. 

If you’re looking for a specific part needed to fix your car, Green Flag will be able to find and send over the parts needed, helping you get your vehicle repaired as quickly as possible. In addition, if your car isn’t able to get fixed, or if something else goes wrong, Green Flag will be able to arrange transport to ensure that you and your vehicle can get back home safely. 

You’re also able to get cover for seven days before your departure. This means that if something goes wrong with your car before your big trip, Green Flag will be able to provide a replacement vehicle so that you can still travel. 

Green Flag’s policy only includes cover for a specific number of countries, and some destinations included with other providers are left off. Before you get cover from Green Flag, browse their list of covered European countries to ensure you can get protection for your destination. 

Green Flag also offers an advanced level of European cover called Euro Plus. Not to be confused with the policy that GEM Motoring Assist provide, this is a more substantial type of cover that provides annual cover for both the UK and Europe. With it, you get all the four major levels of breakdown cover (roadside assistance, home start, national recovery, onward journey) and additional perks for when you’re out in Europe. This can cost up to £168 and is the most comprehensive cover you can get from Green Flag that includes European breakdown cover. 

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European breakdown cover in 2023

Breakdown cover is really important for motorists, and that importance grows dramatically when using your vehicle outside the country. No matter how well you protect your vehicle, there is always the prospect of your car breaking down, leaving you stranded and with a big challenge to get things sorted. 

With European breakdown cover, you can take some of the pressure off and have peace of mind that you’ll be able to get the support and assistance you need to not only fix your car but also to help you continue your travels and enjoy your time outside of the UK. 

It’s impossible to give a definitive verdict of which provider offers the best European breakdown cover, as each has its own distinct quirks and features that can benefit each individual differently. If you’re looking for cover for just a single trip to one country, then a provider that allows you to book a temporary cover may be the best option. If you’re a frequent traveller of Europe, then an annual policy that will enable you to be covered for multiple trips might be better. 

Choosing the right European breakdown cover provider is dependent on your own circumstances. By knowing more about what each provider offers and the prices that each company provides these services for, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision that suits your situation. 

European Breakdown Cover FAQs

European breakdown cover can help you get out of tricky situations when driving abroad. Without European breakdown cover, you’ll have to arrange roadside assistance and transport to a local garage yourself, which can be hard if you don’t know the area you’re in well and also don’t speak the language. 

European breakdown cover helps manage these situations and gets you the support you need. If you’re driving in Europe for a single trip or multiple times yearly, you need European breakdown cover. 

No matter which provider you choose to get your breakdown cover with, you’ll find that some countries will not be included in the cover. The best providers usually have around 50 countries included, but some more budget-friendly options will only have a handful. 

Regardless, some of the most common destinations are included in most providers’ cover, such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and more. 

When choosing which European breakdown cover provider to go for, look at which providers offer cover for the countries you visit often. 

For most breakdown cover providers, European breakdown cover is not included in their standard packages and needs to be included as an added extra. Although this does sound like added costs and hassle, this does allow you to get cheaper European cover from a provider that’s separate from where you get your usual, UK-based breakdown cover. 

Unfortunately, some providers require you to have an existing policy with them if you want to add European breakdown cover, so be wary when looking.

There are two main types of European breakdown cover, one covering you for a single trip and another for an entire year. 

When getting the single trip option, you can choose how long you want the cover to last to ensure that you’re only paying for the days you’re abroad. This type of cover is great if you don’t drive outside the country often. 

The annual European cover can be better if you go to Europe more frequently and drive your own vehicle there often. With this type of cover, you’ll have peace of mind that you have protection all year round, as long as you haven’t exceeded the accumulated driving limit most annual policies have. 

Single-trip European breakdown cover lasts as long as you want it to, up to 90 days. You’ll be able to set the dates on when you want the policy to start and end, influencing how much it costs. 

The annual cover works differently, as you’ll have the cover for an entire year. However, this type of cover will only allow you to drive in Europe for 90 days. So, if you’re in Europe for 20 days on one trip and 40 days on a second trip, you’ll only have cover for another 30 days of the year.

A few things influence how much European breakdown cover costs, so the price you’re quoted can end up being different from someone else. 

For example, the length of your trip can influence how much cover costs, with longer trips costing more. As well as that, the age of the vehicle you’re driving, the number of passengers, and if you’re towing anything will also influence the final price pretty heavily. 

Plus, the specific countries you’re visiting may also change how much the cover costs. Many providers group certain countries into Zone 1 and Zone 2 nations. Zone 1 usually has more common countries, while Zone 2 has a few more obscure nations. Your policy may be more expensive if you’re visiting a Zone 2 country. 

You still need to be in the UK when buying European breakdown cover, so make sure you purchase the cover before leaving for your trip abroad. 

It’s a good idea to buy your cover a few days before you depart so that you have enough time for your physical documents to arrive. If you’re getting European breakdown cover online, you should get digital versions of these documents quickly. 

It’s recommended that you get European breakdown cover at least five days before you travel to ensure no issues, especially if there are delays.

Your vehicle needs to meet a few restrictions and criteria to ensure that it can get European coverage. However, these restrictions will vary depending on the specific provider. 

That said, most providers will have a maximum weight limit, with your car not being able to weigh more than 3.5 tonnes. Most will also have a height restriction, with it not being allowed to be higher than 3 meters. 

Plus, some providers may also restrict you in terms of age. Again, the maximum age will vary depending on the provider, but most cars younger than ten should be okay. 

Finally, to get European breakdown cover, the car must be registered in the UK, and the journey for this cover must start and end in the UK. You won’t be able to get this type of cover if you’re making a one-way journey.

The criteria that make European breakdown cover good is the same for quality UK-only breakdown cover. You want to go with providers with a good response time, high repair success rates, and those with additional benefits at no extra cost. 

That said, there are also a few other things to consider when driving in Europe. 

The first is that it’s best to go with a provider that is easy to contact. As a foreigner driving in Europe, you may not be very familiar with your surroundings, so having a support line that’s easy to reach can bring good piece of mind. 

Plus, quality breakdown providers for Europe will offer translation to ensure you can properly communicate with the call out mechanics and garages. 

Onward Journey, which ensures that you’ll be able to get support that allows you to continue your trip if your car is out of action, is also essential in making good quality breakdown cover. 

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