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Breakdown Cover FAQs

Frequently asked questions

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please call us on 0333 000 1234 or use our live chat service during business hours.

Other breakdown FAQs


When does my cover start?

Cover is active 24 hours after taking out your policy.

Do you cover vans/motorbikes/mopeds?

Yes, we cover all vehicles as long as they do not fall into our significant exclusions (see below).

Are there any significant exclusions or limitations?

The following do not qualify for breakdown cover:
• Vehicles greater than 3.5 tons gross weight, 5.19m length, 1.91m width and 2.43m height
• Taxis or private hire vehicles
• Recovery of caravans/trailers that do not have a standard 50mm tow coupling
• Costs other than vehicle recovery, which exceed £2,000 per claim

For a full list of exclusions and limitations please refer to our full breakdown policy documents.

What do you mean when you say the ETA is carbon neutral?

We offset all carbon emissions made by our business. This includes the CO2 emissions of the recovery vehicles that attend your call out. To learn more about offsetting your own carbon emissions, click here.

Do you offer a no-claims discount?

Yes. You will be entitled to a no-claims discount if you have not claimed on your breakdown cover in the previous year.

How many times can I claim on my breakdown cover?

We have a commitment never to refuse assistance to an ETA customer; however, there are a few conditions applied to the amount of times you can claim. If you have more than three breakdown call-outs or claims during the policy year, we may ask to see documentary evidence that your vehicle is being properly serviced and maintained. In terms of personal breakdown cover, if documents cannot be provided for all vehicles for which the call-out have been made, then we require documentary evidence from the vehicle most used.

Am I covered whilst driving for work?

Yes. If you are a sole trader or run a commercial vehicle, or fleet or vehicles, you would need to take out Fleet Breakdown Cover. Get more information or request a quote for your business here.

If you break down

What should I do if I break down?

If you break down in Britain, call 0800 0737 283 (08000 RESCUE) or 0333 0000 999 (local rate from mobile phones).

If you break down in the rest of Europe, call 0044 870 77 44 565.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can also text us on 07876 557 244.

We aim to reach you within 40 minutes of your call. Under our Rapid Response Pledge, if assistance takes more than one hour, we will pay you £10.

Am I covered if I break down at home?

Not as standard. We offer Home Rescue as an extension to the basic Roadside Assistance. Home Rescue means that if you breakdown within a quarter of a mile of your home, we will recover you. In 2011, around 40% of our customers who didn’t include Home Rescue in their policy broke down near their home.

Do I need my ETA number when I break down?

Don’t worry if you have broken down and are not sure of your ETA number. Our recovery team can identify you if you give us your full name and postcode.

Would you cover me for a call-out if I’ve been involved in a road traffic collision?

Yes, but you need to inform your motor insurers of the collision first. If your motor insurers are not informed in the first instance, this may affect any claim made through. If you can, keep your motor insurer’s number on your mobile phone.

Driving in Europe

Do you offer European Breakdown Cover?

Yes, we offer European Breakdown cover on both an annual and single-trip basis.

My policy doesn’t cover Europe but now I have a driving trip abroad coming up.

On an annual ETA Breakdown Cover policy, you can upgrade to European cover at any time by calling us on 0333 000 1234. You can only downgrade a policy at renewal.

Alternately, you can purchase European Breakdown Cover on a single-trip basis for trips lasting between 1-31 days, with the average 7 day trip cover costing £26.60. If you only make short or infrequent trips to continental Europe, this could offer the best value breakdown cover for your needs.

Will I get the same level of cover while driving abroad?

If you have upgraded your annual policy to include European cover, you will be entitled to the same level of cover as you would hold Britain, for up to 90 days outside the country in one policy year. If you have the Hotel & Car Hire extension and you upgrade to European cover, the vehicle hire benefit is extended to 14 days.

Which European countries do you cover?

Our territorial limits include all countries governed by the European Union, plus Norway and Switzerland. The full list of countries covered by ETA European Breakdown Cover is:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Norway & Switzerland.

Upgrading or cancelling your policy

How can I extend my policy to include European cover?

You can upgrade your policy to include European cover at any time. We also offer European breakdown cover on a single-trip basis, which could work out more cost-effective. You can get an instant quote here.

What upgrades are available on my breakdown cover?

For a full list of cover options which can extend your breakdown cover, see What We Cover. You may upgrade at any time. Cover can only be reduced upon renewal.

Are parts and labour covered under my breakdown policy?

All breakdown cover policies include free Auto Repair, which provides cover for up to £500 against parts and labour following a breakdown attended by us.

Can I cancel my policy?

Here at the ETA we are proud of our breakdown policy and we hope you are happy with the cover it provides. However, you may be able to cancel your policy and obtain a full refund based on the following regulations;

Annual Breakdown Cover

If you wish to cancel for any reason and do so within 14 days of the start date of the policy, you will receive a refund unless a claim has been made. We may retain an amount that reflects the administrative costs of arranging and cancelling the policy.

After the first 14 days, should you decide to cancel, you will receive an ETA credit on your customer account equivalent to the unexpired period remaining on the policy. This can be used towards other ETA products, including Cycle, Travel and Carbon Offsets.

Single-Trip European Breakdown Cover

You have the right to cancel this policy within 14 days of the purchase date, however, the following refund regulations will apply for cancellations within this period.

  1. If your period of cover is for 28 days or less, you are not entitled to a refund of your premium.
  2. If your period of cover is for more than 28 days, you are entitled to a refund of your premium provided the trip has not yet started.

We may keep an amount that reflects the administrative costs of arranging and cancelling the policy.  For cancellations that are made 14 days after purchase of the policy, no refunds will be given

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