Category Archives: Breakdown Cover

What you should know about speeding in France

New driving regulations in France can now impact upon British visitors as the previous waiving of offences by foreign drivers has been rethought. Previously it would be unheard of for a speeding GB car to be chased down for a speeding ticket (or any other traffic violation) once they have returned home but now that has all changed. New “Cross Border Enforcement” rules mean they will chase you for the offence.

With the holiday season approaching and many preparing for a break across the Channel, it’s time to familiarise yourself with what the new rules mean.

France is acting as it suffers disproportionately from driving offences committed by visitors.   Research has shown an average of close to 15% of offences across the EU are committed by people from abroad but in France it’s a massive 25% rising to almost 50% at peak holiday times. It’s not a surprise that given this high rate of offence that the French government has chosen to take action.

Anyone caught breaking speed limits will now face a fine and if the speed is excessive enough, prosecution. The fines are graded in relation to by how far the speed limit has been breached and it tops out at a wallet pounding £640, so is not to be taken lightly or dismissed as a token gesture.

It is worth noting that the highest concentration of traffic cameras in France is around the port of Calais, so British drivers will be particularly at risk of receiving an unwelcome charge in the post if they transgress the new regulations given the volume of travellers that head out that way.

It is natural after a long drive on the British side of the journey and a secondary stage via ferry or train to want to reach your destination and get on with your holiday quickly but it’s clearly wiser to accept the time it’s going to take. Look to be a responsible road user and treat the final leg as just something that needs to be done rather than a mad sprint so you can have a Kronenbourg or a glass of claret with your friends. That could end up being a pretty costly drink, not to mention the safety aspect, especially as many of us are beginning to tire towards the end of a journey.

As mentioned, whilst speeding is the main focus, all other usual traffic offences are covered too. So please, take it steady, put your mobile away, watch the lights and don’t save 2 minutes by nipping down a bus lane. The cost just isn’t worth it, nor is the potential endangerment to other road users or your own passengers.

Finally, always do your research when travelling abroad. France has several requirements that you need to be aware of and you should find out exactly what you need to carry with you and it’s sensible to arrange European Breakdown Cover for your own peace of mind and safety.

There’s no need to be anxious about driving in France, the roads are well maintained, excellently signposted and roadside facilities are numerous but do be wary of the new rules and respect them. Otherwise your trip may end up costing a good deal more than you bargained for.


Running a fleet of vehicles requires robust management practices. It’s a given that your drivers
need to be fully trained, your vehicles insured and costs administered efficiently but perhaps most critically of all, the fleet needs to be operational at all times. Any vehicle that covers high mileage is likely to have the occasional breakdown so being properly covered is a key business concern that can help reduce any downtime to the minimum. This is a brief and introductory guide as to why choosing fleet breakdown cover over individual vehicle cover is a sound business strategy.

A fleet can be as few as just two vehicles going all the way up the largest national corporations
with several thousand. Either way the most important aspect to any business is getting the customer deliveries & meetings dealt with on time and without delay. Any day that drifts by with a vehicle sitting in a garage waiting for repair is a day without payment, so it’s clearly desirable to reduce this downtime to just an hour or two where possible.
With fleet cover a business can arrange the right level of cover to suit its needs for all the vehicles that it owns in one package. With fleet breakdown cover from Breakdown Direct you can also mix and match, so whilst company vans may only need breakdown assistance and recovery in the UK, Directors’ cars may also require the addition of European Breakdown Cover.

At Breakdown Direct we cover all the normal causes of breakdown and we don’t exclude what is often known as ‘driver fault problems’ – e.g. filling with the wrong fuel.

Did you know that many breakdown polices won’t cover you for accident recovery? All levels of our breakdown cover will provide you with practical help and assistance following an accident. The benefit to your drivers is that they have one number to call, regardless of the event.

Roadside Recovery
1 hour breakdown roadside recovery, Tow to a garage.The hard yards of the most typical assistance required comes as standard with all our levels of cover. This means your vehicles will receive prompt service should it encounter difficulties whilst on the road 1 mile from your business address. And if we can’t get it going at the roadside a tow to the nearest
garage will be provided.

Nationwide Recovery
In the event that neither roadside repairs can be undertaken nor a suitable garage is available, you will have the option of being taken home or to any destination that you prefer. It’s a good feature to have at your disposal for the safety of your drivers and vehicles.

Home Starter
This coverage allows us to provide the 1 hour roadside recovery service within a mile from the vehicle’s staring point. As with the roadside recovery above, should the vehicle require more attention to help it get back on the road we can tow it to the nearest available garage where the repairs can be done.

European Cover
This allows you to be covered for periods spent driving in Europe. Our coverage means that any vehicle can be given breakdown assistance for a 90 day period and for individual journeys right up to a 31 day period. This is great news for those trading across the continent and wanting to be able to deliver the same standard of service abroad as is expected at home without the additional worry.

Caravan and Trailers
All caravans are trailers are covered gratis under any of the levels of coverage mentioned above.

Please Contact Us
Please feel free to discuss with us the details of any coverage that you may require to help keep your fleet working to its maximum potential. It’s simpler, more cost effective, and less bureaucratic and gives greater peace of mind to you, your drivers and your clients. Get in touch today and we can put you on your way to all the benefits that fleet breakdown cover provides.

Email now for a no obligation quote
Alternatively call us on 0844 414 2566 (Mon to Fri 10am-6pm)

Essential Items for a European Breakdown

Nobody wants their car to suffer a breakdown, least of all when travelling around Europe, but unfortunately these things sometimes happen. No matter how much you prepare an accident can occur at any time or an undetected fault cause problems and put a dent in your holiday plans.

European breakdown cover is vital to ensure your vehicle gets up and running as quickly and easily as possible. During the initial stages after breaking down there are a number of items which can make the process more comfortable.

Legal Requirements

Making all the necessary legal preparations will put you in a better position should a breakdown occur. Attaching headlamp beam adaptors and placing a GB sticker on the back are two legalities and there are many other items which will help in such a situation.

Reflective Gear

Reflective jackets or waistcoats are a legal requirement to be carried in vehicles in many European countries. Even in places where they are only recommended one is useful for safely accessing your boot on a busy road.

Reflective warning triangles are also a necessity in many nations and help warn other vehicles that your car has broken down. Breakdown Direct customers receive a 5% discount on reflective vests and other essentials at Drive-France.

First Aid Kit

Hopefully you’ll never have to open this but first aid kits are compulsory in Austria and Croatia, though one should be in your car all the time. It should be fully stocked with bandages, cleansing wipes, painkillers and much more to help deal with minor injuries.


Breathalysers are now legally compulsory to have in your vehicle when driving in France. This can help protect you from any blame. Check the driving laws of each country you intend to drive through and stock up to stay safe.

Helpful Equipment

There are plenty of other items it’s useful to have on board in the event of a breakdown which aren’t legal necessities.

Warm Clothing

Depending on the time of year, weather and location when you breakdown it could get pretty chilly quickly, especially if your heater breaks. Have a spare blanket or two in your boot all the time and extra clothing, notably if you’re travelling through deserted areas and during cold periods.


Having enough food and drink in your car is vital for long journeys, especially with young children in the back. Many breakdown response times can be quick but there still might be a wait before you get off the road and pass a shop. Even just a few packets of sweets can keep everyone going.


Books, travel games and more are essential for keeping children occupied during long road trips. They can prove a lifesaver if you breakdown as it helps keep them calm and their mind off what is going on, even if it’s just a short wait. All these items should make any unfortunate breakdown bearable.

Winter Driving: Are You Prepared for It?

As the winter months roll around, the temperatures drop, the nights get longer and the driving conditions we face invariably become more unpredictable and hazardous. What makes this worse is that in our busy lives many of us can be guilty of neglecting to find the time to get properly prepared and ready for the seasonal changes, which can be quite dangerous. Some of us simply don’t know where to start when it comes to preparing our car for winter.

You’ll be pleased to know that it really isn’t that difficult, and you don’t need to be a car expert to get your vehicle ready for winter. What follows are some of the preparations you can carry out to keep you and your passengers safe:

Kitting Yourself Out with the Right Gear

To combat the changeable weather and the winter wear and tear there are items you need to have in your car. These include:

-          Road-side safety kit
-          Hi-vis jackets and extra warm coats and blankets
-          Foot-pump
-          Spare light kits
-          Tool kits
-          Jacking equipment
-          Snow shovel and de-icing equipment
-          Spare tyre (not space saving)
-          Extra washer fluid (with anti-freeze)

By having these items in your car, you can keep yourself protected in case of sudden and unexpected weather changes, as well as having the gear you need to keep you safe and warm should you become stranded close at hand.

Adapting Your Driving

It’s not all about the equipment though; there’s the physical act of driving. We all know we should drive appropriate to the conditions, and this couldn’t be more fitting when it comes to winter. Take your time, be more conscientious and keep your revs down when setting off in freezing temperatures to minimise skid risks. Equally, before you set off you should ensure all of your lights are working, your visibility is clear (no ice or mist) and your tyres have a sufficient amount of tread on them, so you don’t become a danger to other drivers.

Getting Yourself Covered

Along with the above, you should invest in some comprehensive breakdown cover, particularly if you are planning on driving abroad over winter. While you may have the right gear in your car, the last thing you want is to be waiting at the side of the road in the cold and dark without the security of somebody coming to get you and your stranded vehicle. For a relatively minor expense you can provide yourself with priceless peace of mind this winter.

Former Service Personnel to Complete 8,000 Mile Charity Road Trip across Europe

It all started with a Facebook conversation between two friends brainstorming ways in which they could raise money for their chosen charities. From here, the idea has now grown and grown and has led to an exciting and charitable reality. When Lance Corporal Paul Newland and former Wren Fiona Laing thought up the idea of the “Race for Freedom”, an 8,000 mile trip across Europe for charity, they never imagined just how incredible the support they received in response would be.  Continue reading

A Quick Guide to European Breakdown Cover

As a motorist, you’ll be fully aware of all the on-going costs you need to fork out to keep your car on the road, from fuel to tax, servicing to MOTs to insurance. We know that these costs have a nasty little habit of mounting up. It can be tempting to think of breakdown cover as just another inflated expense – one which can, conveniently, be skipped. But the truth is, it’s one of the essentials, however onerous you find forking out for it. No matter what car you have, or how well you look after it, you can never guarantee that your vehicle won’t breakdown. Continue reading

Your Guide to Breakdown Cover

If you own a car, you’ve probably experienced a breakdown at some point in your motoring history. Maybe your tyre blew or your engine cut out? Maybe smoke started billowing from underneath your bonnet? Breakdowns can be frightening and highly stressful, not to mention time-consuming. It’s in these situations that breakdown cover is a life-line you can’t manage without. If you want a real-life hero to come to the rescue and take away the anxiety and worry of your impromptu stop, you need breakdown cover. But with the variations in type and level of breakdown cover, it can be hard to know what to choose.

Here are some handy tips to help you find the perfect policy.

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