Breakdown cover can help keep you moving with a roadside repair or get you to a garage if a problem is harder to fix. Compare these companies to get the cover you need if you breakdown.
Breakdown cover is a kind of insurance to protect you if your vehicle breaks down. Having the right policy - not just cheap breakdown cover - means you could call an engineer who can help in an emergency, such as if you get a flat battery or punctured tyre.
The engineer can either fix your vehicle there and then at the roadside, or offer a recovery service to tow it to a garage.
Breakdown cover is a good way to give you peace of mind that you won't be left stranded at the roadside. Your breakdown cover is there to help when you need it most. The aim is to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Sometimes breakdown cover is bought as an individual policy, but other times it's offered as an add-on to your regular motor insurance. You can get breakdown cover whether you drive a car, van, motorcycle or scooter.
There are two types of breakdown cover you can choose from. You'll need to choose which one to buy based on your budget, vehicle and how often you drive.
Vehicle cover means only your vehicle is covered. You can only call out for assistance when the covered car, van or motorcycle breaks down.
Personal breakdown cover is for an individual. Personal breakdown cover covers you in any car you travel in, whether you're the driver or a passenger.
If you only ever travel in your own car, a vehicle breakdown cover policy can be a good way to get cheap breakdown cover. But if you regularly drive different cars, a personal breakdown cover policy will give you better protection.
Here's more information on how breakdown cover works.
|What is covered||What is not covered|
|Roadside assistance or local cover||Pet travel|
|Breakdown at home||Breakdown due to lack of maintenance|
|Vehicle recovery||Road accident recovery|
|Onward travel||Breaking down abroad|
Once you've decided on vehicle breakdown cover or personal breakdown cover, there are more decisions to make. Before you do a breakdown cover comparison, it's a good idea to think about what kind of cover you might want.
The available types of breakdown cover, UK wide, include:
Roadside assistance. This is included in every breakdown cover policy. It gives you help at the side of the road if your vehicle breaks down. You can also be towed to the nearest garage.
Breakdown recovery. National roadside recovery means your vehicle can be towed to any location of your choice in the UK if it can't be fixed at the roadside. That means that even if you're far away from home when you break down, your car can be fixed near where you live.
Onward travel cover. This gives you the option to continue with your journey if your car is taken to a garage. You'll get the choice of a hire car, hotel accommodation and or alternative travel arrangements.
Home start: This covers breakdowns that happen at your home, or close to your home (such as a quarter of a mile away).
European breakdown cover: This extends your breakdown cover policy so you're covered for trips in Europe. Here's how European breakdown cover works.
When you're looking at breakdown cover deals think about what might be the best cover for you. Don't just go for the cheapest breakdown cover you can find. For example, if you often travel long distances, then vehicle recovery and onward travel might be helpful. But, if you don't drive often, roadside assistance may be enough. Extras will generally increase your premiums, however picking the best policy for you over cheap breakdown cover will likely save you money in the long run.
With most UK breakdown cover providers, you will be able to add additional cover benefits to your policy, including:
Key replacement: this extra covers the cost of calling out a locksmith, plus new locks and keys, if your keys are broken, lost or stolen. You may also be provided with a hire car while the issue is resolved
Misfuelling cover: this covers your costs if you accidentally put the wrong fuel in your vehicle (the most common mistake being using petrol to fill a diesel car). The engineer will drain, flush and clean out your fuel system, before refilling with the correct fuel to get you back out on the road
Battery cover: if your battery dies and your breakdown provider is unable to recharge your current battery, this will cover the cost of a replacement
Parts and labour: if your vehicle cannot be repaired at the roadside and is towed to a garage, this extra will cover the cost of any parts and labour required. You may be required to provide evidence of your last service to be able to claim
Tyre replacement: this covers breakdowns resulting from punctured tyres. The engineer will repair your tyre if they can, or fit a replacement
Driving license details
Get the best breakdown cover possible by shopping around through an online comparison.
Also, avoid auto-renewing your breakdown cover. You will likely find a more cost-effective deal elsewhere after you initial term expires.
It depends on your provider and the level of cover. Some offer unlimited call outs, but basic, cheap breakdown cover may only let you make one claim a year.
Yes, if you choose a personal cover policy, you will be covered whether you are driving or a passenger in any car.
Yes, you can either pay for your cover in one upfront payment, or you can spread it over the term of the policy.
Yes, some providers offer a discount if you do not claim on your breakdown cover policy in the previous year. Not all offer this so check with them before you buy a policy.
No, most breakdown cover providers do not offer a student discount, but there might be other offers like online discounts worth looking out for.
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Last updated: 8 June 2021