Yes, you can buy an instant breakdown policy by the side of the road and your new provider will send someone to come and fix your vehicle.
If you buy a policy when you have broken down:
You may be charged a fee of up to £110 on top of the cost of signing up to a new policy
The cover you get may be limited, e.g. you can only make one more claim for the year
You cannot buy instant cover online. Instead, you need to call the provider on the number shown on their website to give details of your breakdown.
This comparison shows breakdown providers that offer immediate cover. Visit their website to find out what cover they offer and how much it will cost.
What cover could you get?
It depends on the provider, but you may be offered:
A one off call out: This means you will only pay for one specific call out, with basic roadside cover and you will not have any cover after that.
A basic instant cover policy: Some providers offer roadside cover for your breakdown and then give you a policy for one more call out within a year.
A full membership policy: Some providers ask you to sign up for a full annual policy, and charge an extra fee for the instant cover.
Here is how to work out what breakdown cover you need if you are unsure what type of policy is right for you.
What else can you do?
Here are some alternatives to taking out an instant breakdown policy in an emergency:
Contact a local garage, who may tow your vehicle back to their location. However, they could charge you for this on top of the cost of any repairs.
Use an emergency telephone if you have broken down on a motorway, however you may be charged £100 to have you vehicle towed to a garage.
Getting a breakdown policy before you travel will be the cheapest way to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Instant breakdown FAQs
Can I get a policy when I have broken down?
Yes, use this comparison to find a provider that offers an instant breakdown policy.
Do I have to pay extra for instant cover?
Yes, most providers charge a fee of up to £110 on top of the price of buying a policy.
How long will it take for help to arrive?
Most providers aim to arrive within an hour, but some can get to you in 45 minutes. Ask what the average response time is before you buy a policy.
How do I buy instant breakdown cover?
Use this comparison to find a provider and call them directly to arrange cover. You cannot buy instant cover online.
What should I do if my car breaks down?
Try to move your vehicle off the road, and get yourself and any passengers to safety before calling for help. Here is what to do if you break down.
About our breakdown cover comparison
Who do we include in this comparison?
How do we make money from our comparison?
We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.
You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.