European Breakdown Cover Green Flag issue

Mr_owl Forumite Posts: 33
Second Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
edited 17 August at 5:24PM in Motoring

I had misfortune to breakdown in Belgium while travelling back to the UK. I was at the time covered by green flag . I have purchased a single European trip cover. I phone the number provided, gave my details etc.
Some 4h later, around midnight a recovery truck finally arrived. A guy that turned up couldn't speak any English, he told me via google translator he is taking the car to the nearest dealership as he can't fix it (alternator) and we will have to find a hotel or something. Thank god someone came over and helped translating and even offered a lift to nearest larger City where I was able to find a hotel.

 While I was getting recovered someone from France rang me and explained I need to find a hotel. It later turns out it was Opteven company based in Lyon who will be handling my case. The next day I contacted the dealership only to find out it is long weekend in Belgium so the service department is closed until Wednesday. At this point I am trying to arrange my travel back to the UK. I have found flixbus  that was the cheapest by a large stretch than anything else.

I was earlier informed that Opteven is reimbursing up to 90eur a night for a hotel so I wanted to keep it reasonably cheap. Coach was 51eur per person but it was a horrible journey. 330km took over 12h due to disruptions in port of Calais and poor service by P&O ferries but that's another story.

Fast forward a couple of days. I am back in the UK. In the meantime I have received no update whatsoever from the french company handling my case so I rang the dealer in Belgium and I found out the car has been already fixed. There was an issue with  car battery and it is 270eur
I rang green flag customer service to find out who pays for it and if I decide to pick it up myself and drive it back, who is going to pay for my travel to Belgium and other associated costs, like ferry crossing or eurotunnel.

Their representative sends me straight to the french. Claiming they are dealing with my case. Okay I rang them and they were telling me they are not covering a lot of things. They can offer me a flight ticket so I can pick up the car and drive it back but hey are not paying for diagnostics neither they cover eurotunnel or ferry ticket costs. They don't pay for the labour.

Green flag policy booklet says otherwise. I should be able to claims not 90eur hotel costs but 150gbp, they should attempt to bring my car back to the UK, or help me get it repaired locally. They  should cover the labour but not parts, they should cover missed moto rail connection due to breakdown too.

I have contract with green flag not some third party insurance company from France. Is this normal? I am sure I am being taken for a mug and green flag is trying to brush me off. What are my option? I am thinking of arranging everything myself and then chase my money back. 

Anyone has been in similar situation? Surely green flag has responsibility towards me as breakdown cover provider who sold me policy in the first place.



  • SaverRate
    SaverRate Forumite Posts: 856
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    I would put in a complaint with greenflag and see what they say 

    If you have a contract with greenflag, thats who should be dealing with you
    FTB - April 2020 
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Forumite Posts: 7,804
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I agree with SaverRate, and if you are unhappy with the outcome you can go to the Ombudsman.

    However, if shouting at GreenFlag doesn't produce quick results, the whole thing could take months to resolve. In that case I'd do as you suggest: get my car back and chase the money later.
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