Finance

Car protection letter or traffic club – which is better?

More than every fourth German is a member of an automobile club. There is a cheap alternative. But the services are more important than the costs. What benefits does the motor vehicle protection letter bring to motorists?

From a breakdown to an accident: If you have made provisions, you can rely on the help of your car club or insurer in an emergency. The various traffic clubs such as ADAC, AvD or ACE offer a wide range of services – but at very high costs. If you can do without some of these offers, you are well advised with a motor vehicle protection letter. You can find out exactly what that is and what services it covers here.

What is a motor vehicle protection letter?

The letter of protection is an offer from car insurance or an automobile club that contains certain benefits. It is significantly cheaper than membership in a traffic club, but offers comparable services. The costs vary considerably depending on the provider, but they start at less than 20 euros per year. They also depend on various factors. For example:

  • Are you self-employed, employed, retired?
  • Would you like to cover yourself only for Germany, for Europe or worldwide?

Important: Those who book the protection letter in addition to the existing car insurance often pay significantly less.

What benefits does the motor vehicle protection cover cover?

The benefits of the letter of protection differ from insurer to insurer. Here it is worth comparing the offers, which should include at least the following services:

  • Help with breakdowns and accidents
  • tow away
  • Repatriation
  • Parking a rental car
  • Organization and partial payment of necessary overnight stays for repairs
  • Return the defective vehicle
  • Customs clearance or scrapping of the vehicle in the event of damage abroad
  • In the event of theft: organization and payment of a rental car (usually up to 350 euros); Return the vehicle if it reappears

By the way, the protection letter is not limited to cars. You can also use it to secure other vehicles:

  • Rental car
  • Camper
  • bicycle
  • motorcycle

Who is covered by the letter of protection?

The protection letter applies to the insured car, the policyholder and other authorized drivers (usually spouses or life partners and family members). The protection letter also applies to all occupants of the respective vehicle.

When does the letter of protection make sense?

The offer can be worthwhile, especially if you often drive long distances. Many protective letters have one disadvantage, for example, when compared to membership in an automobile club: their full benefits only apply from a distance of at least 50 km from their place of residence. If you have damage within this radius, you will only receive limited help. For example, you have to take care of a rental car yourself and pay for it out of your own pocket.

Please note before traveling abroad: Some protection letters only apply domestically. Otherwise, he will offer you the same services there as at home. Some tariffs even apply worldwide. However, they are accordingly more expensive.

What does motor vehicle liability insurance cover?

This compulsory insurance covers damage caused to others by your vehicle. It is only basic protection. The protection letter is a service that goes beyond car insurance.

Protection letter and automobile club – how do they differ?

If you are only interested in services such as breakdown assistance, then you are well protected by both offers. There are hardly any differences here. Anyone who is a member of an automobile club can use other services – such as benefit programs or a club magazine. However, you also pay for these offers with a higher contribution.

Kfz-Schutzbrief: pros and cons at a glance

PerContraindications
Cheaper than club membershipRoadside assistance similar to traffic clubs
No workshop commitmentSome limited services directly at home
Applies to several authorized drivers and all vehicle occupantsOnly applies to the insured car

Is the car manufacturer’s mobility guarantee sufficient?

In many cases, anyone who buys a new car receives a mobility guarantee from the manufacturer. It also ensures, for example, that you can use the car manufacturer’s breakdown assistance after a breakdown or accident. It often contains a number of other services that are also included in the letter of protection.

However, there are limitations that you should keep in mind. Some examples:

  • The mobility guarantee does not apply if you have caused the breakdown or the accident yourself (for example due to neglected maintenance or repairs).
  • The maintenance, in turn, must be carried out in the manufacturer’s authorized workshops (workshop binding).
  • As a result, the mobility guarantee, which is initially free of charge, can ultimately become more expensive than a letter of protection that does not require a workshop.
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