This summer, three out of every ten families will steer clear of busy airports and are choosing instead to drive to the Continent. But, with the average cost of a car breaking down being £1,000, it would be silly not to take out cover. A motor insurance quote will now offer European cover as an extra which gives the driver protection should the worst happen. It is important that the car’s insurance company are informed that the car will be in Europe; otherwise if the driver is involved in an accident, the policy could be invalidated. Having both car insurance and breakdown cover is a must for any driver.
Gavin Hill-Smith, spokesman at the AA, says: “European breakdown cover is an absolute must for trips to Europe. Breaking down in Britain is bad enough, what with the inconvenience, cost and danger of being stuck by the roadside. But breaking down on the Continent is doubly difficult if you have to describe a technical matter in a foreign language.”
A good European breakdown policy will give the policy holder an emergency number to call if they do break down. They will then deal directly with the garage and mechanic to make sure that the mechanical problems are sorted out as quickly as possible. Most European breakdown cover will be available at two levels, basic and comprehensive. The basic plan will cover trips of up to five days but will only include roadside repair or towing to the nearest garage. Where as comprehensive cover includes some money for any emergency repairs and financial assistance if any accommodation is needed while the vehicle is being fixed. This is vital if there are children in the vehicle. It will also provide a hire car if the vehicle will be out of action for a while, so the driver and any passengers can get to their holiday destination.
Mike Powell, insurance expert data analyst, warns that cheapest breakdown cover available is not always the best, saying “Policy terms and cover vary widely. Most providers offer different levels of cover so always read the small print. Check whether a policy offers emergency accommodation if you are a long way from your destination – it can prove invaluable.”