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I'm making a trip from Hungary to UK, crossing a few countries. Making this trip with an old car, It could very much happen that the car breaks down during the trip.

If that happens, I want to have professional support (ether fixing my car right away, or drag it into a a service station).

Are there any service that works across countries, or is this country specific?

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    What kind of car? Your car? New or old car? Well-maintained? – Bernhard Apr 11 '14 at 20:08
  • 9 years old honda civic. I'm not the owner, just a user. – gabox01 Apr 11 '14 at 20:20
  • This question is far too broad. – Flimzy Apr 11 '14 at 20:21
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    'What happens if my car broke down?' Unless you have a nervous breakdown because of that as well :) – Alok Apr 11 '14 at 20:21
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    It is too broad because it is unclear what kind of help you expect. Are you looking for a European Automobile Club, European Assistance, or simply a garage directory? If I were you I would just trust the local garage of wherever the car breaks but maybe you expect a more luxury service. – Vince Apr 14 '14 at 6:49
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+50

Joining any ARC Europe member club, such as Magyar Autóklub in Hungary or The AA in the UK, will grant you access to services from the other associated clubs in Europe, such as roadside assistance, interpreters, hotel and car hire discounts, etc. European breakdown cover is an additional paid service on top of your basic membership. Some services may also be available outside Europe; your national auto club should be able to inform you of these.

When traveling, to obtain assistance you need to contact the number given to you by your automobile club from which you obtained your membership. This may be the same or different than the normal breakdown assistance number. The contact numbers for breakdown assistance may vary by country, so you should obtain these in advance of your trip.

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Joining an arc affiliated automotive club is indeed an option. I choose different because the logistics are usually organised on a country base. What I mean with that is that in case of a break down, you need to contact the club you joined, who will then arrange help. Sometimes that help is not always a local garage, but a representative of your club in that country. For example, both the Dutch and Belgian automotive clubs have satellite stations in France. They are usually based in the South and take care of all calls from all over France. This way of working can take quite some time before your car is fixed. It is not uncommon to spent more then 3 days to get your car fixed. An alternative is to join europ-assistance.<hu/co.uk>. You still need to contact your local branch, but they seem to have better internal communication lines, probably because they are from the same holding.

Further more it might be worthwhile to check local initiatives. In Belgium for example you get breakdown coverage for three weeks when you buy gas at total (Only French and Dutch unfortunately). They claim to cover Europe.

Finally it is worthwhile to check you car insurance , some do provide European car breakdown service.

Also, be really explicit when you take breakdown service, most plans provide coverage of an old car at an extra cost. Without that extra you. Are not covered, even if you paid the standard fee.

Also I am afraid you are bound to register with an organisation in the country where your car is registered. It is said that there is a common European market, but from my experience that is not applicable to banks and insurance's.

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Last but not least, check with a dealership. Owning a Ford, and having it under maintenance at a Ford dealership, I'm entitled to EU wide support from Ford dealers, including roadside emergency service. All I have to do is keep the car maintained through official dealers at the prescribed interval for the type of car I own.

If your car is older, this may not be an option for you if it's not currently under official dealership maintenance, and not all brands offer such a service. But if your car is under maintenance at an official dealer, it might be something to verify.

  • The OP states driving an old car. – user141 May 26 '14 at 8:25
  • Also Ford assistance relies on ARC member clubs and if you have missed only one regular checkup they don't help you. So it might be better to just take a regular ARC subscription. – user141 May 26 '14 at 8:29
  • @andra it doesn't, at least not here. Here it's handled directly by the dealer network. They might use 3rd parties to provide towing services but that's it. – jwenting Jan 9 '15 at 5:51

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