Driving Home For Christmas… Well, Not If You Break Down Abroad!

It’s that time of year again – Christmas is coming and many of us Brits are tempted to just hit the road and head for the Continent for a fun, festive holiday. But what happens if your car was to break down? Figures show that one in three Britons do not take out European breakdown cover, thus the need for vehicle repatriation services.

What is Vehicle Repatriation?

Put simply, vehicle repatriation is the process of returning your car to its country of registration. If you breakdown abroad and are uninsured, the process of repatriation involves returning your car to the UK, where it will then be fixed. In some cases, repatriation is required even with insurance – for example, when your policy doesn’t cover repairs abroad.

Have You Read the Small Print?

European breakdown cover can be tricky. Many policies don’t cover repatriation, and in cases where providers don’t consider it to be worthwhile, they will simply underwrite the value of the vehicle. If you want to guarantee that your car comes home to be fixed, or indeed comes home at all, repatriation is your only option.

Why Repair At Home?

Every year, around 2.5 million British motorists gear up to drive to the Continent. Figures from the AA estimate that the combined bill of car repairs and recovery comes to over £55 million – a staggeringly high sum. Christmas is a particularly busy time, and crashing or breaking down overseas is much more complicated than if it happens here in the UK. Making your own arrangements can be tricky, especially if you don’t know the language or area, and you run the risk of getting stung by hidden or inflated costs.

Did you know that in France, if you need to change a tyre, you must change the opposite tyre as well as the faulty one? AA figures also show that motorway recovery to the nearest garage in Germany can cost almost £200 – and that’s just to get you there. To avoid this, many people choose to repatriate their cars and deal with the problem on home soil, rather than have work done on the vehicle in a foreign and unfamiliar county.

What Does Repatriation Involve?

If required, our high-spec covered car transporters are equipped with winches for non-running vehicles. Our team of experienced drivers have specialised in automotive logistics for many years, giving you peace of mind that your vehicle will be returned quickly, safely and cost-effectively. We can collect from Continental Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia, and will deliver your vehicle to anywhere in the UK. You can even track your vehicle throughout the delivery process.

If you’re planning on strapping up the skis and piling the family in the car for a festive break, it’s worth knowing your options. Our international car transport services can expertly plan, track and manage the return of your vehicle if you were to break down abroad. If you would like more information on vehicle repatriation, contact one of the OnTime team today.


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