What is single trip European breakdown cover?

Single-trip European breakdown cover means your vehicle is covered for a one-off trip to Europe. A single trip must start and end in the UK, and you must purchase the cover before you leave the UK. It gives you peace of mind that if you break down while you’re away, you can be fixed at the roadside or at a local garage. You can buy cover for one day to 180 days, and everything in between.

Driving in Europe and the coronavirus

Drivers should check the rules for each country they are visiting and be aware of any testing and quarantining requirements when coming home. The latest UK government guidance can be found here.

Here’s how the RAC is responding to the coronavirus in Europe and in the UK.

How much is single-trip European breakdown cover?

The price you pay for single-trip cover depends on:

  • how long you’re going to Europe for
  • the level of cover you choose (Comprehensive or Comprehensive Plus)
  • which zone(s) you’re travelling to (Zone 1, 2 or 3)
  • the age and type of vehicle you’re driving

For example, our Comprehensive cover starts from £7 a day, for up to 9 people traveling in a one year-old vehicle in Zone 1.

Compare different levels of single-trip European breakdown cover


From £7*

Unlimited roadside assistance in Europe
We’ll pay up to £150 garage labour costs2
Up to £500 accommodation expenses or up to £1,500 to continue your journey
We’ll pay up to the market value of your vehicle to get it back to the UK, providing your vehicle is not beyond economical repair
UK roadside assistance up to the value of £300, 48 hours before your departure date

BEST cover1

Comprehensive Plus

From £9*

Unlimited roadside assistance in Europe
We’ll pay up to £1,000 garage labour costs1
Up to £1,200 accommodation expenses and up to £3,000 to continue your journey
We’ll pay to get your vehicle back to the UK if it can’t be fixed, providing your vehicle is not beyond economical repair
Unlimited UK roadside assistance, 7 days before your departure date^
Replacement tickets if you miss your pre-booked train or ferry^^

Should I choose single-trip or annual cover?

The right cover for you depends how often you drive to Europe and how long your trips are. Here are the main differences to help you decide.


  • Single-trip European breakdown cover offers cover for a single return trip to Europe.

  • You can buy cover for a single return trip from one day to 180 days.

  • It’s ideal if you only plan to drive to Europe once or twice a year, as it will work out cheaper than an annual policy.

  • Annual European breakdown cover offers cover for unlimited trips to Europe during the year.

  • For each trip, you’re covered for up to 90 days.

  • This type of cover is ideal if you regularly drive to Europe.

With both single-trip and annual cover, you’re covered in any vehicle of any age. If you have a caravan or trailer, you can arrange for this to be covered too.

Is single trip cover only for cars?

Our single trip European breakdown cover isn’t just for cars. We also cover motorcycles (12cc and over), motorhomes and minibuses (with up to 17 seats, including the driver) – plus light vans, and vehicles towing caravans or trailers.

We cover any vehicle of any age, as long as it is:

  • registered as a private vehicle in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man
  • a maximum of 3,500 kg (3.5 tonnes) when fully loaded. This weight is called the gross vehicle mass (GVM)
  • a maximum of 7 m long, 3 m high and 2.5 mm wide – including any load you’re carrying.

Which countries are covered?

RAC European Breakdown Cover is available in 49 countries – that’s more than most other providers. These countries are split into Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, so you can easily select the right cover for you and your trip. 

Click on a country to read a guide to local driving laws, travel advice, parking regulations, fuel availability and more.

We also have resources that go into more detail about our European breakdown cover offerings in France, Spain, Germany and Ireland.

Zone 1 (includes France & Germany)

We also cover the offshore islands of all the countries within this zone.

Show countries on a map


Zone 2 (includes Spain & Italy)

We also cover the offshore islands of the countries within this zone, with the exception of Ceuta, Melilla or the Canary Islands (Spanish off-shore Islands).

Show countries on a map



Q. How long is a single trip policy valid for?

A single-trip European breakdown policy is valid for one return trip lasting up to a maximum of 180 days. When you buy your cover, you need to let us know how long you’ll be away for. The price you pay will be based on this.

Q. Is my European breakdown cover still valid now we’ve left the EU?

If you have RAC European Breakdown Cover and need our help, we’ll rescue you as normal. You’ll have the same level of protection as before Brexit, unless we’ve told you otherwise.

Just so you know, you may experience delays if local restrictions are in place. There may also be delays in sourcing hire cars, hotel accommodation and getting your car home if it can’t be fixed.

Q. How has Brexit affected driving in the EU?

Your UK driving licence is still valid to drive in EU countries. But you’ll also need to take these documents with you.

  • Your vehicle’s log book (V5C). This proves that you own the vehicle

  • A Green Card. This is an international insurance certificate that proves you’re insured abroad.

  • An additional Green Card. You’ll need this if you’re towing a trailer or caravan.

It’s your responsibility to make sure you understand what you need when driving to Europe after Brexit. Find out more about driving in the EU after Brexit.

How can we help you?

Do you know the French for flat battery? (it's batterie à plat)

We have been helping motorists in Europe for over 120 years so we know how stressful it can be when your car breaks down. It can be even worse when it is in a different country where you may not be able to speak the language.
An experienced case handler to manage your breakdown from start to finish
Our technical experts will liaise with the garage to ensure you only pay for repairs you need
We will cover the costs of dispatch for any replacement parts- please note we will not pay for the costs of the parts
Average time to attend in France was 44 minutes†
56% of all breakdowns in Europe are dealt with on the same day†
We repair 93% of all breakdowns in France attended within 60 minutes†
We repair 55%of all breakdowns at the roadside in France
English speaking incident managerson call 24/7 to help manage the repairs, towing and if needs be alternative travel or accommodation arrangements
Up to 18 different languages spoken by our team