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29 Apr. 2023

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What to do if your car breaks down on European roads?

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What to do if your car breaks down on European roads?

When traveling by car on European roads, you should take into account all unexpected situations that may occur and know the algorithm of actions in case of a car breakdown. Learn more about what to do if your car breaks down on the highway in Europe

Issuing a policy Green card for traveling abroad by car
Issuing a policy Green card for traveling abroad by car
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Driving on European roads is convenient and comfortable. Good quality pavement, bright markings, and the presence of information signs ensure safety while traveling. However, a breakdown or an unpleasant incident on the road can happen to any of us.


In particular, a situation is possible when a car unexpectedly breaks down on the road in Europe. We will tell you how to solve such a problem safely and without fines.


Requirements for automotive equipment for traveling on European roads


Each European country has its own list of mandatory automotive equipment, and a fine may be issued for the absence of these items. Some items are necessary for an emergency stop on the highway to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers and, if possible, to fix the breakdown.


It is recommended that you first clarify which items of mandatory equipment are required in a particular European country. In any case, it is useful to have the following items in the car:


- triangular hazard warning light;

- fire extinguisher;

- reflective vests for the driver and each passenger;

- first aid kit;

- a spare tire and tools for replacing it;

- additional light bulbs.


You should also check the functioning of the seat belts in the car.


What to do if the car breaks down on the highway in Europe?


If the car has encountered any problem on the road, the first thing you need to do is determine whether you can still drive it or not. If your car is able to move at a speed of more than 40 km/h, you can continue driving. However, if you must stop, follow this algorithm:


1. Pull over into the emergency lane and stop as far away from other traffic as possible by activating the hazard warning system in your vehicle.

2. Put on a reflective vest before getting out of the car. This is especially important in the dark, such as in the evening or at night. If possible, exit from the right side of the vehicle.

3. Set up a warning triangle at least 100 meters away from your vehicle. You can determine the required distance by using roadside bollards that are spaced 100 meters apart.

4. The driver and passengers, wearing reflective vests, must get out of the vehicle and move to the other side of the safety barrier.


In some countries, a fine may be imposed for not wearing reflective vests or for insufficient distance when setting up a warning triangle, so it is recommended that you do not neglect these requirements.


Calling for help if your car breaks down on the EU highway


After completing these steps, report the problem to the road service. Do not try to repair the car yourself before the arrival of specialists, as this can be dangerous due to the high speed of traffic on the highway, and you may receive a fine for this.


If you can't call, you can use one of the emergency vehicles installed every 2 kilometers of the road and marked with orange or yellow color and the SOS inscription. In addition, it is advisable to know the phone numbers of the necessary authorities. For example, in Poland, you can call the road service by calling 19111.


After arriving at the scene, the road service workers will mark and fence off the place where the car has stopped so that other road users can see the obstacle on the road in advance. After that, if you can fix the car yourself (for example, you need to replace a tire), do so.


How to deliver a car to a service station?


If you need to take your car to a service station, remember that only special vehicles can tow a car on the highway. Do not try to pull the car with a cable with your personal vehicle, it is a violation of the law.


If you have insurance that covers tow truck services, contact your insurance company. They should organize the delivery of the car. If you do not have insurance, you will have to call a tow truck yourself and pay for the service. The price depends on the distance the car needs to be towed.


You can learn more about tow truck services in the EU here.


To travel safely in your own car without unnecessary expenses, we recommend taking out a Green Card insurance policy. You can do this by following the link in a few clicks.


We remind you! With the arrival of warmer weather, traveling by car is a great way to get new impressions and take a break from everyday life. Read more about the top places in Ukraine that you should definitely visit here.




Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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