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French motorway breakdown fees have gone up, here is what you pay now

The biggest increases are for weekend and nighttime callouts

Motorway recovery in France is provided by the companies who manage the stretch of road you break down on. Pic: Masha Petrakova / Shutterstock

Breakdown recovery charges on French motorways have increased across the board.

For cars weighing under 1.8 tonnes, the cost for general recovery and towing to a nearby service station has increased from €138.01 to €144.52. 

For vehicles weighing between 1.8 and 3.5 tonnes, the cost has jumped from €170.65 to €178.70. 

The largest increase is for out-of-hours breakdown, which is defined as 18:00 - 06:00 on weekdays and weekends and public holidays. Charges have gone up by 50% compared with the 2022-2023 tariffs. 

An out-of-hours recovery for cars under 1.8 tonnes is now €216.78, while for vehicles weighing between 1.8 and 3.5 tonnes, it is €268.05.

The government sets the prices across the country and controls who is authorised to provide motorway recovery services.

Read also: What should you do if your vehicle breaks down on a French motorway?

The cost could be covered by your insurer

As a reminder, motorway recovery in France is provided by the companies who manage the stretch of road you break down on. 

You should call the motorway manager using the orange phone boxes on the roadside (or contact them via their app) and liaise with them for the recovery service. Only firms authorised to do so by the state can offer motorway roadside assistance.

If you have a complaint, you can contact the Cellule nationale des contrôles sur autoroutes (National Motorway Enforcement Unit) of the Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) to lodge one.

Although the cost of recovery has increased, it does not necessarily mean you will be paying more yourself, your car insurance policy may cover it.

It is not always covered, however, so you should check before driving on a French motorway.

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