Technical problems in France / Spain / Portugal; who to call?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by tagesk, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    In a few weeks we'll be riding through (southern) France, Spain and Portugal.
    If I have technical problems I'm unable to fix, where do we call?

    To give you an idea of what I am looking for: If you have a technical problem here in Italy, you call ACI
    (Automobile Club Italiano). They'll send you a tow truck.

    Now, this is slightly more complicated.
    If we have problems, and I have GSM coverage, I'll simply call ACI here in Italy. They'll figure out
    the nearest tow truck and send it my way.

    I carry a SPOT Messenger. Thus, if I have problems I can't fix, but no GSM coverage, my friends back in Norway
    will be notified. They will call for me.
    So the question can be phrased like this:

    If an English-speaking person calls from Norway, and knows that I have mechanical problems, and he knows my position,
    where does he call to send a tow-truck to me?

    In Portugal I assume you can call ACP (Automóvel Club de Portugal) but I'll have to check. Do you know?

    What about Spain and France?

    Thank you!

    [TaSK]
    #1
  2. joanroma

    joanroma n00b

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Mataro, Catalunya, Spain

    Spain:

    RACC Real Automovil Club Catalunya or RACE Real Automovil Club España
    #2
  3. Blackbert

    Blackbert Factory Rambler

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Belgium, wrong side of the river
    I have a Europ Assistance contract. As soon as I'm more than 10km from home, I call them, here in Brussels, and explain where exactly I am. They dispatch a tow truck to me, provide accomodationand medical care if needed and call in the next day to see if everything's fine. Semi-global coverage.
    #3
  4. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    SoOrange NJ USA
    I think it depends.
    If you're a member of ACI, and depending on the terms and conditions of your membership, and if you want the towing to be paid as part of your membership benefits, then you call the ACI (from anywhere in Europe) and
    ACI makes towing/ roadside assistance arrangements regardless of your location.
    (To verify the above, you need to check directly with ACI.)
    BTW--I know the above is how ADAC/ Germany and AA/ UK work for their members.
    If ACI works the same way, in the event you've no GSM coverage, an English speaker from Norway would still need to call the ACI in Italy, give ACI your membership number and physical location from SPOT, and let ACI arrange the towing or other assistance (as part of your member benefit).

    If you're not an ACI member, or don't care about having towing/ assistance paid as member benefit, then the 'nearest' national auto club that provides assistance could be called.
    In France, that's
    http://www.automobile-club.org/automobile-club/services-options/assistance-routiere.html

    Some national auto clubs have other 'rules' for roadside assistance: e.g., towing you to nearest dealer of the marque, rather than any service dealer. You might want to keep a 'backup' list or links to [BMW or Honda (?)] dealer networks in each country.
    #4
  5. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    They (the Italian office) says they don't accept any bike older than 2001 model.
    So no go for me.

    Too bad - they even spoke English at the Italian office :eek1

    [TaSK]
    #5
  6. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Location:
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    I've been told by a friend in Portugal that you can can become a 1-semester "socio" (member) of the ACP
    (Automóvel Club de Portugal) for a mere 21 euro. That will give access 24h/7 road assistance.

    I'll post the details here as soon as I have them.

    And, I have been told: In Portugal (as in Greece), as opposed to Italy, France and Spain, you can expect people to
    speak (some) English. Makes life less hard.

    The only "issue" is that Capa Superiore della Famiglia (aka Captain, and Wife) has decided that it would be
    A Good Thing to get to Motril in Spain in the evening the day after we depart from home.
    This means that our vacation will start with two consecutive 1.000 km days. :huh
    If there are any mechanical problems with the bike I expect them to surface early in the vacation :lol3

    Oh well - only three weeks to go, and still A LOT to do.

    [TaSK]
    #6
  7. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    Location:
    in front of Mare Nostrum
    as a bmw owner, in France, I call BMW assistance, which is at the end Mondial Assistance.
    But I have a contract with them (part of the bmw's deal when I bought the bike).
    They may help anyway. Probably not for free :)

    Also, it could be useful to have the bmw dealers address and tel number along your way.

    The one in my area are quite efficient when they have to help travelers.
    But they're french. And as with all french, we aren't able to speak another language than french.
    :wink:
    #7
  8. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Location:
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    I know that BMW Norway and BMW Italy specifically only offers assistance to Norwegian and Italian registered bikes.
    Probably the same with BMW France.

    I didn't mean to offend you (obviously, I might add).
    My experience from Spain and Italy, in contrast to the one in Greece, is that it is hard, very hard, to
    find someone who speaks English outside of the tourist areas.
    Let us hope I have have been just unlucky in France so far (in that respect!).

    Anyway - BMW aside, do you have a suggestion of where to call in case of mechanical problems?

    [TaSK]
    #8
  9. alicethomas

    alicethomas Been here awhile

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    Jan 1, 2011
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    Location:
    Palatinate, Germany
    I'd call "ADAC" Germany (as I don't know the phone number of their local partners). :D
    For 79€/year, the whole family gets help for their vehicles in Europe, and in case of a personal emergency anywhere in the world.
    #9
  10. Scapadu

    Scapadu Motomaniac

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    South France
    But as shown here there are some exceptions!

    How ya going Thierry?:wave
    #10
  11. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    Automóvel Club de Portugal offers short-term membership to foreigners. Also two months.
    You pay them 21 euro and they issue you a membership number.
    With it you can request assistance by calling a local number.

    The IBAN is PT50 0007 0006 0001 5740 0040 9 and their BIC/SWIFT is BESCPTPL.
    I have been in contact with an English-speaking gentleman in ACP.
    If you want his email, just PM me.

    All set; departure Friday.

    [TaSK]
    #11
  12. fulviapaulo

    fulviapaulo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
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    Portugal
    Have a safe journey! :clap

    Cheers
    #12
  13. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    1,427
    Tagesk , check also with your insurance company , in Italy most of them offer (or sometime directly include) an assistance service (that at end is Europ assistance or mondial assistance) normally valid through all UE countries.
    #13
  14. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Jun 23, 2007
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    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    [​IMG]

    Fortunately I am in a city (town) so I don't need to call for assistance.
    But I hope it is an interesting city, because I will probably be here for some time :cry

    [TaSK]
    #14
  15. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    Mine (SAI) charges 35 euro/year, and only coverage in Italy.

    [TaSK]
    #15