Looking for Motorhome Breakdown Cover? READ THIS FIRST!

Looking for breakdown cover for your motorhome or campervan? Confused about the different policies and the pros and cons? Don’t worry- we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the important things you need to know about choosing motorhome breakdown cover in the UK and Europe (and how to get the best deals!)

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Motorhome Breakdown Cover- do you need it?

We’ve all been there. That moment of debate when you try to decide whether to say yes or no to adding on breakdown cover to your motorhome insurance policy.

Or whether to get it through your bank account or with your home insurance. We all want to save money where we can.

HOWEVER, please remember a couple of things:

  • No one ever plans to break down. Or get a flat tyre. Or accidentally fill up with the wrong type of fuel 😱
  • Motorhome and campervan breakdown cover often needs a more specialist response than car breakdown as the as vehicles are bigger.
  • Do YOU feel comfortable changing the tyre on your van? Or pushing it off the road to a safe place? Or dealing with a problem in the middle of the night (when independent contractors are usually asleep)?

If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you need to get breakdown cover for your van. It’s that simple and the small fee will give you much more peace of mind while touring.

Nope. You do NOT legally need to have breakdown cover for your motorhome or campervan. Many people tour in their motorhome with no cover at all. But, again, if you’re not comfortable fixing any problems which may happen, I highly recommend you get appropriate cover.


Motorhome Breakdown Cover- my experience

Breaking down is stressful. Especially in a big vehicle like a motorhome and ESPECIALLY when it’s your home or you’re overseas and have nowhere else to go.

If you watched my Scotland road trip series on YouTube, you will know that my friend had a problem at the start of our Scotland Highlands Trip – yep on day one! She had a rodent chew through her diesel line and was unable to drive her motorhome. (If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it here. Don’t forget to subscribe!)

My friend is not an idiot. She lives in her motorhome full-time by herself and is perfectly competent at many things.

But breaking down like that threw her. She was emotional, stressed and devastated to be missing our holiday. Without breakdown cover, she would have been stuck there for an indeterminate amount of time- there aren’t many options for recovery in the middle of nowhere!

Although it took a couple of days to get her sorted (due to needing a commercial tow truck), at least she knew help was coming.


How Does Motorhome Breakdown Cover Work?

It works exactly the same as car breakdown cover:

There are two motorhome breakdown options:

  • Cover for a specific vehicle.
  • Cover for a specific person in any/ most vehicles.

If you cover yourself then any vehicle you drive or travel in is covered under your policy (check to ensure this covers vehicles as big as motorhomes.) If you cover the vehicle, then it’s THAT vehicle which is covered under the policy, regardless of who is driving it (make sure that anyone driving your motorhome is legally allowed to and has the appropriate motorhome insurance cover!)

If you have multiple vehicles in your household, you could look into a Joint Breakdown Cover, which covers two or more vehicles (or people) on the same policy.

Here’s what happens if you have a breakdown:

  • You breakdown
  • Call your breakdown company number (keep their number and your policy details to hand. I have mine in the front of my road trip logbook)
  • They will send someone to assist you, who will either fix it roadside if possible or arrange for you to get towed away – either to a local garage or back to your home.

However, bear in mind that the services and options available to you are based on the level of cover you have paid for. Not every policy offers a return to home or an onward vehicle so you can continue your journey, for example.

On a side note, don’t forget that there are rules in the highway code about breaking down and your responsibilities. You can review them on the Gov.uk website here.

Is Motorhome Breakdown cover the same as Car Breakdown cover?

Simply put…NO (although some policies will cover both). You will need specific Motorhome Breakdown cover, just like your insurance. The services and policies are set up for the specific vehicle types. This ties in with who they send out and what recovery vehicle they send out.

Even if YOU are the person covered, you’ll need to ensure the policy covers large vehicles like motorhomes.


Motorhome and campervan breakdown cover- what to look for?

When you’re comparing and reviewing breakdown policies, there are a few things to check:

  • Where does the policy cover? (UK, the rest of Europe, worldwide?) You probably don’t need to pay for worldwide cover for your motorhome, but you might want to add Europe cover if it’s not included as standard (assuming you’re planning to tour Europe in your motorhome.)
  • Can the policy deal with your motorhome, especially if yours is over 3.5 tonnes?
  • Is the policy for YOU (i.e.- any vehicle you’re travelling in) or for a specific vehicle?
  • What does it include? What options do you have if you live in your van fulltime? Will they provide another vehicle or a hotel for you?
  • What if you are travelling with a dog or towing a car? What happens then?

Motorhome Breakdown Cover over 3.5 ton

If you have a motorhome which weighs or COULD (legally) weigh over 3.5 ton, you MUST check that the policy you buy can deal with a vehicle of this size. Some of the smaller/ cheaper policies cannot.


Best Motorhome Breakdown Policies- Compared

To help you, we’ve taken the best motorhome breakdown services and compared the options. These are the main companies used, although of course others are available if you wish to do further reviews and research.

In no particular order:

AA Motorhome Breakdown cover

The AA offers a policy called Caravan & Motorhome Breakdown Cover, which includes caravans, trailers, motorhomes and campervans. As standard, this breakdown cover gives you 24/7 help if you break down over 1/4 mile from home.

Region Covered: UK

Is it possible to get Europe cover?: Yes, as an extra. See more about the AA European Breakdown cover here

Are motorhomes over 3.5 tons covered: No. Cover is up to 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg) and 8ft 3in (2.55m) wide max.

Can you get home call out? Yes, as an extra

Can you get onward travel so your holiday isn’t ruined? Yes, as an extra.
The cover is 72 hours’ car hire to get you where you want to go/ an overnight stay in a hotel/ money towards public transport costs to help you finish your journey.


RAC Motorhome Breakdown policy

The RAC’s caravan, campervan and motorhome breakdown cover, also known as ‘Arrival’, has been developed with The Camping and Caravanning Club. 

It includes specialist benefits designed for caravans, motorhomes and campervans.

Region Covered: UK

Is it possible to get Europe cover?: Yes as an extra

Are motorhomes over 3.5 tons covered: Yes – There are no height, weight or length restrictions for Motorhome Cover. However, for campervan cover there is a 3.5 tonne limit.

Can you get home call out? Yes- depending on the level of cover you select.

Can you get onward travel so your holiday isn’t ruined? Yes-depending on the level of cover you select.


Caravan and Motorhome Club Cover

The MAYDAY UK Premium UK Breakdown Cover is for members of the Caravan and Motorhome club only.

If you don’t wish to join a motorhome club (although we highly recommend you do!) then you can go direct to Green Flag, who are the providers of this policy breakdown cover (NOTE: If you go with Green Flag directly, there are size restrictions- see below).

Region Covered: UK

Is it possible to get Europe cover?: No

Are motorhomes over 3.5 tons covered: Yes. It can cover all cars, caravans and motorhomes (within UK legal towing guidelines)

Can you get home call out? Yes, depending on the level of cover you chose.

Can you get onward travel so your holiday isn’t ruined? Yes, depending on the level of cover you chose.


Green Flag

Green Flag offer their own breakdown cover, called Caravan and Trailer cover.

Region Covered: UK

Is it possible to get Europe cover?: Yes, for smaller vehicles

Are motorhomes over 3.5 tons covered: No. Max weight limit of 3.5 tonnes and size limits of 7 metres long, 3 metres high and 2.55 metres wide

Can you get home call out? Yes, depending on the level of cover you chose.

Can you get onward travel so your holiday isn’t ruined? Yes, depending on the level of cover you chose.

In our opinion, it’s much better to get the C&MC cover- you’ll find more is included to benefit motorhome owners.


What if You Tow a Car and Breakdown?

When looking at the different breakdown policies, check that towing cars are included. Some policies may be included, and some policies may require this to be an “extra”.


What Happens When You Break Down with No Breakdown Cover?

Generally speaking, if you break down with no cover, then you’re on your own to sort things out!

This means researching and calling around different companies to see if they can recover you. It also means you might have to pay a premium price to join their scheme there and then.

Another option is calling local garages or mobile mechanics in the area. The problem with this is that many people can’t deal with motorhomes and certainly can’t tow them if needed- they don’t have a big enough truck.

And this option will almost certainly cost you more than the price of a yearly policy. Even worse would be breaking down in Europe- is your French or Spanish or German good enough to explain the problem and what you need to a local mechanic? I know mine’s not!


Final thoughts

At the end of the day, getting campervan or motorhome breakdown cover is a choice, not a legal requirement. Still, I hope this post has convinced you to give it proper consideration before your next trip.

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