Drivers need better knowledge of breakdown services overseas

Drivers need better knowledge of breakdown services overseas 3rd August 2015

The number of people in the UK who now drive overseas as part of a holiday is higher than it's ever been, with access to hire cars and ease of access to many countries making a driving holiday a really attractive prospect for many drivers. 

However, a new survey has claimed that many of those hitting the road in the summer months to head into Europe are not au fait with what to do if they should break down, which could leave them stranded at the roadside in the event of a problem with the car. 

Most drivers heading overseas know the importance of checking their car before they leave and having any essential maintenance work done, such as having new tyres fitted, before they set off into Europe, but the RAC European Breakdown showed a severe lack of knowledge about what to do if they should break down. 

Of those surveyed, only 38 per cent knew that the European-wide number to dial for help was 112. Some ten per cent believe that 111 – the NHS non-emergency line – is the number for emergencies in Europe. 

Five per cent said they would call 101, which would only contact the emergency services back home in the UK, while six per cent are looking for an even longer-distance call, stating that they would be dialling 911 – the number for the US and Canada – in the case of an emergency. 

The RAC believes more needs to be done to promote the emergency numbers overseas in order to assist the six million Brits who will be driving overseas in the next year. 

David Huggon, the manager of Euro-wide breakdown operations for the RAC, said: "We all recognise 999 as the main emergency phone number in the UK, but it appears that once we've left the country we leave our knowledge of who to ring in an emergency behind too. 

"The 112 number works right across the EU, including the UK. But it doesn't get a lot of promotion – certainly not in Britain, where we have 999 anyway, but not a great deal in continental Europe either, although electronic motorway signage in some countries including France is used to remind drivers."

Posted by Danielle Barge