Going Abroad? Make Sure You Are Covered

Going Abroad? Make Sure You Are Covered

More and more holiday-goers are travelling abroad with their own cars to not only beat rising flight costs but also those long queues at airport check-in and security.  However, travelling this way can throw up its own problems, none more so than the threat of your beloved vehicle giving up on you on foreign soil, so make sure you have your vehicle covered before you travel.

Firstly, all UK car insurance policies are required to have some level of cover for driving in the EU.  This means that if you have a UK car insurance policy, then you automatically have third party cover to drive in the EU, but remember this won’t cover you for damage to your own car or help your car to get back to the UK if it could not be driven.

Most breakdown cover companies will offer a European cover option, which you should use when travelling abroad. Policies range from roadside assistance to try and get you going again at the road, to cover that will ensure you either get to your holiday destination, or return home with your vehicle in tow, so make sure you are covered to the level that you require.

If you do break down and don't have the correct level of cover then you could be left with one hefty bill. It can cost as much as £1000 to get a broken down car back to the UK.

By taking out European breakdown cover, you would most likely be covered for a number of the costs as well as money towards car hire or overnight accommodation, and even someone collecting your car from Europe once it is repaired.

There may be some scepticism to forking out more money on breakdown cover, but it really can save you when you are stranded abroad.

Recent research by Britannia rescue showed that 9% of UK adults planned to drive in Europe this summer (that's 4.27 million people) and 1 in 20 drivers (6%) who have broken down in the last five years have had the misfortune of breaking down abroad.

As well as making sure you have insurance and breakdown cover, be sure to remember these other important things:

Check legal information and driving laws in the country you are travelling to.  For example it is illegal to drive with spare petrol in your car in some European countries such as Greece and motorists driving in France must carry a breathalyser kit in their car.

  • Get a warning triangle, a complete set of bulbs, first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. This should comply with most European countries' laws.
  • Plan your route before you leave.   
  • Do a thorough check on your car to make sure that it is roadworthy.
  • Make sure you have a rear GB sticker and headlight beam deflectors.
  • If you wear glasses when driving, make sure you have a spare set with you.
  • Check your driving licence is valid for Europe.
  • Tell your insurance company when you're going abroad and find out what to do if you have an accident.