Press release

Calculating the cost of breaking down in Europe

Monday 3 August 2009

  • One in five over 50s have recently driven abroad on holiday
  • Repatriation to the UK from Europe can cost up to £2,000

In a bid to save money, many holiday makers will be driving rather than flying over to Europe for their holiday this summer. Research by Saga Breakdown Assistance1 shows that one in five over 50s say they have driven abroad recently and it would seem that many are set to rack up expensive bills for the repair and recovery of their vehicle, whilst abroad this summer as they fail to make adequate preparations for driving on the continent.

One in five do not check the oil in their engine before they set off and one in seven do not check their tyre pressure, despite being loaded up with luggage. The over 50s are however better prepared than younger motorists, with a quarter of under 50s not checking their oil or tyre pressure.

This lack of preparation, could result in some very expensive bills for those without breakdown cover as the average cost of breakdown repairs on the Continent is more than £550, whilst if your car needs to be recovered from Europe back to the UK the cost can climb to around £2,0002. European breakdown cover with Saga costs from £9 a month for existing Saga motor insurance policy holders.

Country by country costs:

The cost of breaking down can vary enormously depending on the country you are in, as is shown below in a guide to the cost of some typical claims:

· Vehicle repatriated from Italy = £1935

· Vehicle repatriated from Germany = £1500

· Replacement of a tyre in Italy = £137

· Replacement of a tyre in France = £137 - NB. In France you have to change the tyres on each side if one of them is faulty

· Motorway recovery to the nearest garage in Italy = over £95

· Motorway recovery to the nearest garage in Germany = up to £190

· Motorway recovery to the nearest garage in France = £125 Monday to Friday and £155 at the weekend

· Replacing a radiator (for example a Fiat Punto) in Germany = £460

Despite predictions that one in every 23 motorists driving abroad will suffer an accident or breakdown whilst on their European trip, only 55% of drivers remember to pack an emergency breakdown kit, including details of breakdown insurance before they go abroad.

Andrew Goodsell, Executive Chairman, Saga Services says: “When you add up the cost of calling out assistance and repairing your car, it really does make sense to take out breakdown cover. Breakdown cover with Saga also helps to overcome language barriers when arranging recovery, as people calling from Europe are put through to an English speaking call center to arrange recovery.”

Saga offer Premier Breakdown cover from £1083 per year, this includes full European cover which offers roadside assistance, repatriation, hire car and accommodation costs to those breaking down abroad.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SAGA BREAKDOWN ASSISTANCE CALL FREEPHONE 0800 015 6833

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

1Analysis of breakdown costs by Saga Breakdown Assistance, June 2009

2 Source - AA Breakdown

3 Saga Premier Breakdown Cover is available from £108 as an add on to Saga Motor Insurance or from £230 as a standalone policy

For more information, please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529

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