The Cost of Holiday Mishaps in Europe

Don't find yourself lost for words - and cash - on the continent

13 May 2008

Thousands of cars will have to be repatriated to the UK at a combined cost of over £1 million this year due to holiday mishaps in Europe - many without any form of roadside rescue cover.

The AA estimates that more than 2.5 million British cars will be driven to the Continent this year, and more than one in every 30 vehicles will suffer an accident or breakdown. Breaking down is inconvenient anywhere, but while abroad it can turn a dream holiday into a nightmare.

"Finding a reputable garage can be hard enough in a different country, let alone trying to talk to mechanics in a foreign language," says AA European Breakdown Cover Manager Helen Lambert. "Unless you can rattle off mechanical jargon in French, Spanish or Italian, arranging repairs can be a linguistic minefield.

"Worse still, if your car needs to be repatriated, the bill can ruin the best of holidays if you don't have roadside rescue cover."

The average cost of recovery back to the UK from France is almost £1,000 and the cost can rise to over £3500 to recover a car from the furthest parts of Europe.

But from less than £11 per day, motorists can buy peace of mind with AA European Breakdown Cover. When a covered vehicle breaks down, the AA will step in and arrange assistance - including taking the car to a garage and making alternative travel arrangements while repairs are carried out.

From their base in Lyon, France, multi-lingual operators, many of whom are British, will deal with local repairers to get you back on the road. They can also arrange a hire car or additional accommodation. And if the car can't be repaired, it will be brought home and a hire car provided to send you on your way.

The AA also urges drivers to check they have the right equipment required for the countries they will be travelling through. Motorists can also go online to watch a specially produced podcast on European Driving to get all the latest tips on driving in Europe.


13 May 2008