Breakdown ADAC

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Several members have taken out ADAC membership over the last few years, which covers both UK and European roadside repair and recovery.

It has now become apparent that ADAC repatriation Terms & Conditions need understanding with respect to their treatment of older vehicles, as well as their cancellation policy.

Membership application with Terms & Conditions can be dowloaded here:

NB. Also see various threads on the forum, which go into more detail on application, payment etc.

Breakdown experiences

Put your experiences of how you have been dealt with, or communications with ADAC here:

European breakdown repatriation to UK

Ian Hulley:

ADAC Breakdown Policy Clarification

Dear Mr. Hulley,

Thank you for your communication.

Under your ADACPlus membership, ADAC will return your vehicle to the UK if the damage has been assessed by a workshop, if the vehicle is not a total loss and if, in the case of an incident outside Germany, the damage to the covered vehicle is so severe that it cannot be repaired within 50km from the site of the incident and within 3 working days and spare parts dispatch from Germany according to Paragraf 32 of the ADACPlus insurance terms is not sufficient. According to Paragraf 1 (2) of the ADACPlus insurance terms, a vehicle is a total loss, if the repair costs exceed the vehicle's replacement value in Germany on the day of the incident. The replacement value is the purchase price of an equivalent car in Germany and is assessed on the basis of the Schwacke listing or a similar assessment system (e.g. DAT listing). The assessment takes a vehicle’s optional equipment into consideration, but you may be required to provide proof of your vehicle’s optional equipment. If your car is a historic vehicle, we will use the historic car listing. If it is not included in this listing, you may have its current value assessed to prove its replacement value. If the workshop regards your vehicle a total loss, ADAC can arrange the scrapping of your vehicle abroad. It goes without saying that it will exclusively be up to you to decide whether or not to have the car scrapped. With our total loss provision, we seek to avoid comparatively high costs for the transportation of a damaged vehicle with a low residual value, especially if you do not intend to have it repaired. However, if your car is an economic total loss and you wish to have it repaired, we will arrange and dispatch the required spare parts abroad should they be unavailable at local workshops. The freight costs will be covered by ADAC. We always try to find a viable solution where older well-maintained collectors’ vehicles are concerned. Our assistance centre staff will consult our vehicle engineers who are qualified to assess whether a vehicle model is an older used car with a low replacement value or an historic, classic or collector’s vehicle. We hope we could help clarify this matter.

Best regards,

Stefanie Schleifer

Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V. (ADAC e.V.)

Mitgliederservice (MBE)

Mitgliedschaft + Versicherungen

(e.g. DAT listing) Note that DAT prices only go back as far as 1997

Citizen Smith: This is my experience in 2008:

My campervan is in decent nick having been recently overhauled both internally and mechanically. The still in warranty gearbox got stuck in fifth on a toll-road in the middle of France. After calling ADAC it took three days before I got to the scrap option. One day to be taken to a non-VW garage too late to be seen. Another day to be taken to a VW garage, again too late to be seen. Then up to 11:00 on the third day when having met the criteria for repatriation (good news) as the repair was estimated to take seven days (and est. cost 2,700 Euros plus seven nights hotel bills). I was then offered only the option of scrapping (bad news).

In spite of my repeated and polite requests I was bluntly refused access to any form of negotiation or discussion with anyone other than the female operator dealing with my case. She insisted that the decision was final. I managed by the skin of my teeth to arrange an alternative solution independent of ADAC and to give the (ADAC) woman top marks for persistence, she telephoned me on my mobile three times on my way home to see if I had changed my mind. The thing which I found most alarming was the sheer brick wall I met when wishing to discuss the issue of value, me supplementing the cost, repatriation to my friends house in Paris or what to do about the furniture/contents of the van etc. I have since received a letter in German which looks as though it is a detailed explanation of their process. Bearing in mind that the cover is based on the "owner" rather than the "vehicle" I should imagine that it would be imposible to get a definitive prior decision on the likelihood of any vehicle more than a few years old let alone a specialist or aftermarket conversion. That is of course if you are looking for repatriation for repair in the UK.

Cheers Wolfie

UK breakdown experiences

Notice to quit

You need to give three months notice to leave ADAC or they will automatically assume you are continuing for another year.