Here we will look at how instant breakdown cover can support you, and what to look out for to find the best deal available.

Can you get instant breakdown cover?

You probably have never broken down before, or maybe you're quite a dab hand with car engines, but what if disaster occurs and you can't deal with the issue causing you to breakdown? If you needed help getting your vehicle operational again, would you want to wait around?

Luckily you can contact one of many breakdown cover providers who will let you sign up to their policies at the time of your breakdown. You will often find that there will be an additional charge applied on top of your policy fee.

Once you have signed up, a breakdown engineer will drive out to you to resolve the issue you are having. If it is not possible to resolve the issue on the roadside you will be towed to a garage for repairs to take place.

You need to make sure you have access to a phone as you never know where you might breakdown. You will be unable to apply for immediate via the online option. When you call up your chosen provider, they will talk you through the application and costs for signing up so unexpectedly.

What are the different types of instant breakdown cover?

You can get instant breakdown cover on almost any vehicle, from cars, vans, motorcycles and more. However, it is easy to undercover yourself.

Making sure you know where and how your breakdown cover will work for you will ensure you get the protection you need. Many policies have set levels of cover with extra features available at a further cost, including;

No cover for first mile from your home

Many instant breakdown cover providers do not offer cover if you breakdown near your home address. This may seem fine, but if you are fairly secluded and you leave your car lights on all night, depleting your car battery, then you may need your instant breakdown cover provider to come out and charge your battery for you.

No cover outside of a 30 mile perimeter from your home address

If you only drive within a 30 mile perimeter of your home address this will not affect you, however, if you plan a trip away or you commute further than 30 miles to work, you will be stuck without any support if you breakdown.

National recovery

Without adding national recovery you will not have the benefit of transporting your vehicle and passengers to a garage of your choice if it is needed. Instead, you will go to the nearest garage, regardless of your location, potentially leaving you stranded and having to pay for overnight accommodation.

You will also have the option of adding these features at the time of breakdown, but be aware that your insurer will charge you for upgrading your policy at this time.

Who do you want covered with instant breakdown cover?

As well as choosing "where" you need cover; you need to consider "who" you want to be covered whilst driving your vehicle.

Some instant breakdown covers will cover you, your partner or spouse and any dependent children you have living at your address up to the age of 18 (or 21 if in full time education).

It is common for instant breakdown cover providers to charge more for adding extra drivers; this may still save you money if compared to having two or more separate instant breakdown covers.

If you are looking for sole instant breakdown cover then you will find standard policies offer you individual cover at a cheaper price than offered for multiple drivers.

When can you use instant breakdown cover?

Apart from the restrictions explained above, you can use your instant breakdown cover at any time.

Basic instant breakdown cover providers only offer coverage within the UK; however it is possible to extend your cover to Europe if required but generally as an add-on at an extra cost.

It is common these days to have a form of breakdown cover with a fee-paying current account, but the level of cover on offer with these accounts can vary significantly, with some offering comprehensive cover, and others offering the most basic cover available - so make sure you know exactly what's included.

What to do before you buy?

If you are looking for the best instant breakdown cover you will need to decide how you want your policy to work to match your needs.

Consider the following:

  • What type of vehicle needs to be covered? (Car, van, motorcycle)

  • Who needs to be covered? (Individual cover, multiple or any driver)

  • Do you need cover from your doorstep? (Home start)

  • Do you want cover anywhere in the UK? (Unrestricted cover or within a particular perimeter)

  • Do you want to choose where you are taken if you breakdown? (National recovery)

Once you have decided on a level of cover, you will be in a great position to shop around for the best breakdown cover for your needs from several different providers. If you find and buy the right policy before you breakdown you will save yourself extra hassle and money compared to taking out an instant breakdown cover at the time it happened.

For further information on what to expect when you breakdown unexpectedly click on this guide.