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5,000 over 50s trailered back to the UK from Europe in 2011

16th July 2012 Print

As the UK's monsoon summer triggers the start of a mass exodus to hotter, drier climes, research by Saga Breakdown Assistance shows that it pays to make sure you have adequate cover for your foreign road trip.  If a motorist were to breakdown while driving abroad they could be faced with a bill of more than £2000 if they need to bring the car home and don't have adequate breakdown cover. 

According to a Saga survey, 1 million over 50s are likely to take their car abroad this year.  Saga estimates that around 87,700 could suffer a breakdown and some 5,000 vehicles won't be able to be fixed abroad and may need to be transported back to the UK.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services comments: "Getting to grips with mechanical jargon is difficult enough in the UK; just imagine what it would be like in Italian, Greek or French.  Breaking down is not only distressing but can be financially crippling. Some face the prospect of paying more than the car is worth just to get it home.  Despite this a fifth of British motorists drive in Europe without breakdown cover."

The over 50s are bold when planning their road trips abroad.  The most popular destinations they visit and breakdown are France, Spain and Portugal, but some go as far afield as Finland, Malta and Albania.

The table below shows the typical cost of repatriation from some of the countries in which the over 50s have needed breakdown assistance over the last four years:

Countries the over 50s have needed breakdown assistance - Example of repatriation costs
France £1763 (Marseille to Manchester)
Spain £2082 (Cadiz to Cardiff)
Portugal £1914 (Lisbon to London)
Italy £2297 (Naples to Newcastle)
Germany £1418 (Berlin to Birmingham)
Poland £2583 (Gdansk to Glasgow)
Estonia £1914 (Tallinn to Tunbridge Wells)

Of the over 50s who required roadside assistance abroad over the last four years, more than half (54%) needed help in France, while nearly a quarter (24%) needed assistance in Spain.