Volcanic Ash Not the Only Worry
Annually, hundreds of thousands of Britons will be driving to the Continent for a holiday but this year figures are forecast to rise steeply as wary travellers try to stay one step ahead of the volcanic ash. However research reveals that many of these motorists are unprepared for the consequences of breaking down on the Continent.
Research says that 45 percent of drivers don’t remember to take an emergency breakdown kit and only 25% are fully aware of the driving rules and regulations in the countries they intend to visit. Many also fail to check their cars before leaving, with 20% forgetting to check the oil and 15% their tyre pressures.
Breaking down in a foreign country can be stressful with the language barrier an extra complication, and extremely expensive. The average cost of breakdown repairs in Europe is more than £500 but the the costs of breaking down vary from one country to the next. In Italy, for example, replacing a tyre typically costs £140, but could be doubled in France. Motorway recovery to a local garage in Italy could cost less than a £100, while in France it costs £125 during the week and £155 at the weekend.
"It is really quite surprising the number of people who travel abroad without european breakdown cover. Of course if your car needs to be recovered back to the UK, you would be looking at even more expense. This could cost anything up to £2,000, which is sure to spoil any summer holiday," says Mark Harrison from Online Travel Insurance.
In terms of what to expect from a policy, look for a provider who includes roadside assistance and labour costs as standard. Other features to look out for are an allowance for replacement car hire, and hotel allowance if you are left stranded.
"You should expect emergency accommodation if you have to wait for repair work to be completed, but you may also want the policy to help out with hire cars so you can continue your trip. Potentially you may have spent a small fortune on your holiday and its important not to let an issue like this spoil the trip," says Mark Harrison.
Paul Quigley – Online Travel Insurance Services