Knowing what type of breakdown cover is right for you and your vehicle can be a minefield. With so many providers available with very similar plans and even similar prices, how are you supposed to know which one is better than the next?
In this article, we’ll be looking at the best breakdown cover plans, allowing you to compare plans – with some starting at just £1.33 per month (or £15.96 per year). This article covers:
- The main features of each policy
- How much the plan costs per month, as well as any excess or call-out charges
- Any limits on the number or value of claims made, and any other exclusions
- The company’s customer service and public opinion, and
- Optional add-ons, or ways to upgrade your plan
If you want to revise your breakdown cover, or are looking to take it out for the first time and aren’t sure where to start, keep reading to get the most comprehensive answers possible.
In this table, we’ve rounded up the top breakdown cover plans and their associated monthly costs to help you compare plans directly.
|Company||Minimum Plan Cost (Per Month)||Minimum Plan Cost (Per Year)||Excess or Call-Out Charge|
|Rescue My Car||£1.33||£16.00||£40|
|Churchill and Direct Line||£2.08||£25.00||None|
|GEM Motoring Assist||£5.45||£66.72||None|
|Allianz||Car details required||Car details required||None|
|Co-op||Car details required||Car details required||None|
|Green Flag||Car details required||Car details required||None|
|Breakdown Assist||Car details required||Car details required||£35|
|Aviva||Car details required||Car details required||Unavailable|
|AXA||Car details required||Car details required||Unavailable|
|Dynamo Cover||Car details required||Car details required||Unavailable|
|ERS||Car details required||Car details required||Unavailable|
|Swift Cover||Car details required||Car details required||Unavailable|
|High Street Banks||Contact your bank||Contact your bank||Contact your bank|
We obtained the figures above from each company’s website in March 2022. Companies may change their prices and product offerings at any time. If you request a quote from a provider, the quote you receive may differ from the prices outlined above. You should always read through the full terms and conditions before purchasing any insurance product.
Please note that this guide is for your information only. HouseholdQuotes does not recommend any particular insurance product, and the order in which companies appear on this page does not indicate that one product or service is potentially more suitable than another.
We may have affiliate relationships with certain breakdown cover providers. If you decide to purchase a product from one of our affiliate partners, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Breakdown Cover Plans
Some of the features and benefits of Rescue My Car’s breakdown plan:
- 5-star Motor Breakdown Cover 2021 Defaqto rating
- 4.5 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot out of 11,811 reviews
- 24-hour UK contact centre
- 94% customer satisfaction rating
- Unlimited call-outs
Rescue My Car’s Rescue 1 level of cover is from £1.33 per month or £16 per year. To get an accurate estimate, you’ll need to provide Rescue My Car with your vehicle registration number to get a personalised quote for you and your vehicle.
Included as standard in any level of cover is a 24-hour UK contact centre to report any breakdowns to get assistance as quickly as possible. There are unlimited call-outs, so whenever and how many times you break down in 12 months, you can be safely covered.
Rescue My Car offers flexible pricing strategies to take into account personal circumstances to ensure the level of cover is right for you, instead of being an off-the-shelf option with a flat rate. If you choose a personal cover option, you can be covered on both motorcycles and cars, giving you the flexibility to design a level of cover that’s right for you.
With over 4000 recovery operators nationwide, Rescue My Car has a 94% customer satisfaction rating as well as being rated 4.5 out of 5 out of 11,811 reviews on Trustpilot.
If you want to upgrade, Rescue My Car offers National and Home, which will keep you covered while you’re anywhere in the UK, as well as if your vehicle won’t start on your driveway or within one mile of your home address. You can also choose to upgrade to European cover, which will have all of the above as well as breakdown cover in European locales.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Rescue My Car profile.
2. Nova Direct
Some of the features and benefits of Nova Direct’s breakdown plan:
- Vehicle cover for your car, motorbike, or lightweight van
- Roadside assistance more than one mile from your home
- Local recovery up to 25 miles
- Maximum of six call-outs per year
- £2,500 claims limit per year
- Accidents, theft, and vandalism not covered
The Basic car insurance package starts at £1.37 per month or £16.50 annually.
Nova Direct offers a range of cover that works for you – whatever vehicle you have, from car to van and caravan. They have a range of value-added insurance products to cover policyholders when the unexpected happens to keep you covered, no matter what happens.
The plan includes vehicle cover for your car, motorbike or lightweight van, with roadside assistance more than one mile from your home. The cover also offers local recovery of up to 25 miles if you break down further away from home.
There’s a maximum of six call-outs per year, and a £2,500 claims limit per year. With any call-outs, there is an excess of £40.
Excluded from this plan is accidental damage, theft, or vandalism to your insured vehicle.
With seven levels of cover to choose from, you can tailor the plan to fit your individual needs. For instance, the Gold policy will also offer you Home Assistance, European Coverage, Onward Travel and Overnight Accommodation if you are ever in a situation that requires more assistance than just a straightforward breakdown.
Nova Direct offers an ‘XS’ level of cover for each of their Bronze, Silver and Gold packages, which are slightly cheaper than the full package, but still with some of the benefits of the higher level of cover. This is great for those wanting a little bit extra, but not wanting to break the bank while doing so.
Some of the features and benefits of QDOS’s breakdown plan:
- No call-out charges
- No excess to pay
- Personal or vehicle cover available
- One hour roadside assistance anywhere in the UK
- Fastest attendance time in the industry at 36 minutes, with 75% of vehicles fixed within the hour
QDOS’s Roadside and Local cover policy is £1.52 per month or £18.29 per year.
This policy includes roadside assistance, of which QDOS will pay for up to one hour’s labour at the roadside, and if necessary, alternative transport for the vehicle and passengers to the nearest repairer, up to a maximum of 10 miles from the original incident. You can also benefit from message relay within this cover, as well as a medical transfer if required.
For exclusions, you will be responsible for payment of any costs not covered by your policy, or any tolls incurred during transit of your broken down vehicle. Incidents that happen within one mile of your home address are not covered, nor are labour charges past the one hour window, or the cost of replacement parts or other materials included in the repair, either roadside or at the garage.
You can choose a more premium policy such as Complete UK Recovery to include homestart to keep you covered if your vehicle breaks down at or near to your home (within one mile). This will involve call-out and transportation of the vehicle to a local repairer within ten miles of your home address.
This will also keep you covered for any hire costs, theft cover, onward journey, bed and breakfast as well as nationwide recovery where required.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our QDOS profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Recover Cover’s breakdown plan:
- Wide choice of cover to choose what’s best for you
- Zero excess on the 1Call policy
- Roadside assistance and national recovery
- Home assist and alternative travel
- One call-out permitted per year
Working with Dynamo Cover, Recover Cover’s Bronze XS policy is £1.54 per month or £18.58 per year, plus an excess of £25.
The 1Call policy has zero excess, but just one permitted call-out per 12 month period. Trailer cover is included at this level, as well as alternative travel where necessary as well as overnight accommodation if your vehicle can’t be fixed same-day.
Recover Cover won’t accept vehicles over 15 years old, or any call-outs related to your windows or windscreen. If a breakdown occurs as a result of improper care of the vehicle over its lifetime, it also will be excluded from policy cover, as will overloading the vehicle of too many passengers.
If you are using your vehicle for anything other than personal or private use, you may come unstuck if you break down. Recover Cover won’t help if you’re using the vehicle for racing purposes, public or private hire, for courier services or rallies.
The highest level of cover available with Recover Cover is Gold, which is £60.40 per year, or £5.03 per month, and includes all of the 1Call cover, as well as European coverage, unlimited call-outs and zero excess.
There is also a multi-vehicle discount available for those who want to cover more than one vehicle, which will give you 20% off your policy price.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Recover Cover profile.
Some of the features and benefits of CoverMy’s breakdown plan:
- Five-star rated Motor Breakdown Cover 2021 by Defaqto
- Any vehicle is covered – no matter who drives it
- 24/7 access to skilled mechanics to help you get back on the road faster
- No call-out charges
- UK-based breakdown call centre for assistance
CoverMy offers breakdown cover from £1.57 per month or £18.86 per year. To receive a full price list, you need to enter your vehicle’s registration number, manufacturer’s name, model and the date your vehicle was first registered.
While filling out your personal information, there is an option for a voluntary excess to reduce the amount of your premium.
You can choose from personal or vehicle cover, so no matter who is driving, your vehicle will still be covered. Included as standard in the Local Cover package is roadside repair, so no matter where you are in the UK, you’ll have assistance from CoverMy to temporarily repair your vehicle to get you back on the road, on breakdowns further than one mile away from home.
Local recovery is included, so you and your vehicle can be safely collected if you break down and be taken to a local garage 15 miles from the original breakdown site. Also, if your vehicle is towing a trailer or caravan at the time of breakdown, CoverMy will be able to recover that, too.
There are quite a few optional extras while setting up your personalised level of cover, and you can choose to supplement your cover with home cover, to receive assistance if your vehicle doesn’t start while it’s still parked on your driveway, or if you happen to break down one mile away from home.
As mentioned before, there is the option for a voluntary excess which will reduce the cost of your premium, but you will be committing to pay in the event of a claim on your plan.
If you want to upgrade this plan, you can look at the National and Home level which includes all the benefits of the Local plan, plus alternative travel, emergency overnight accommodation up to £200, home cover as standard, misfuel cover, and a £500 repair cover which is claimable against the cost of garage bills for a £50 excess.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our CoverMy profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Eversure’s breakdown plan:
- Roadside assistance for your vehicle when one mile or more away from your home
- Local recovery to a garage within 25 miles if your vehicle can’t be repaired at the roadside
- Onward travel of varying options, as well as overnight accommodation up to £150
- Replacement vehicle hire up to £100
- 24-hour UK claims line
Eversure has a range of cover options, from Silver, Gold, Europe and Platinum, starting at £1.60 per month or £19.20 a year.
Their Silver cover package offers roadside assistance for your vehicle when you’re one mile or more away from your home address, as well as national recovery of your vehicle back to your home address if a repair can’t be made at the roadside or a suitable garage within 48 hours of the incident.
You will receive onward travel, consisting of rail, bus, coach or equivalent costs of other travel means of up to £300 to allow the named driver on the policy plan to continue their journey. Alternatively, overnight hotel accommodation can be provided for up to £150 for a lone person, or £75 per person, for a total of £600 cumulatively.
For optional extras, you can choose to add on vehicle excess protection which will give you reimbursement of your standard excess for any claim on your insurance where you were held responsible for the damage. You can also choose to add a guaranteed vehicle hire to your policy, which will give you a vehicle while your main vehicle is being repaired.
You can upgrade to the Platinum level of cover, too, which will give you national recovery, home assist (which is roadside assistance at or within one mile of your home), and misfuelling protection, where no excess applies. European cover is also available, which will give you all of the benefits of the Gold plan, but extends cover to continental Europe.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Eversure profile.
Some of the features and benefits of AutoNational’s breakdown plan:
- Vehicle cover protects anyone who drives it
- Roadside recovery up to 10 miles
- Recovery if your car becomes immobile due to an accident, theft, or vandalism
- Lost key protection
- 25% no claims bonus after first year
- 50% discount on cover for a second vehicle
AutoNational’s vehicle cover plan can offer peace of mind to anyone who drives your vehicle, starting at £1.66 per month or £20 per year.
AutoNational’s Roadside Cover plan ensures that if you break down more than one mile from your home, a recovery agent will attempt to restart your vehicle. If they can’t, they’ll tow your vehicle to a garage up to 10 miles away and send a message to your family and friends to make them aware of the situation.
While losing the keys to your vehicle is frustrating, AutoNational’s policy includes roadside assistance if this happens to you. Similarly, the plan includes protection if your vehicle becomes immobile after an accident or due to theft or vandalism.
AutoNational also tries to reward its customers by offering a 25 per cent bonus if you don’t make any claims within the first year. What’s more, the company offers a 50 per cent discount on breakdown cover if you purchase a second plan for another vehicle you own.
However, the Roadside Cover plan excludes the cost of any parts required to fix your vehicle and any ferry or toll fees incurred during the recovery. In addition, AutoNational can’t send a recovery vehicle if the breakdown occurs off-road or if the route is blocked due to flooding, mud, or snow.
Are you looking for something more? AutoNational also offers Roadside and Recovery and Total UK breakdown cover policies. These policies may include additional benefits such as nationwide recovery, emergency accommodation, onward travel, and caravan and trailer cover, among others.
If you’d prefer personal breakdown cover, AutoNational has a sister company called AutoAid which offers this type of policy.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our AutoNational profile.
Some of the features and benefits of 2Gether’s breakdown plan:
- Independent breakdown provider with flexibly priced policies
- Assistance at the roadside
- Local recovery
- Any age of vehicle, or mileage permitted with 2Gether’s policies
- 4.3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot from 4,505 reviews
2Gether’s Economy cover starts at £2 per month or £24 per year.
This will keep the policyholder covered in the event of a breakdown more than one-quarter of a mile away from your home address, 24/7. If a roadside fix is unavailable, then the driver and up to four passengers can be taken to the nearest applicable garage to receive further assistance there, up to 25 miles away.
There are no excess or call-out charges, and the cover spans anywhere in the UK as long as it’s more than one-quarter of a mile away from home. You can benefit from up to four call-outs per year, and receive help from 4,000 national recovery agents to help to get you back on the road after an incident.
2Gether’s policies cover the vehicle, not the individual, meaning whoever is driving the vehicle at the time of breakdown is eligible to call up for assistance, which is useful when more than one person drives your vehicle.
Home start is excluded in this level of policy and will be available upon upgrade to Full UK Cover, which will help you out if you get immobilised at your home address or within one-quarter of a mile of your home. There is also no option for onward travel with the basic package, and again will be available with the full cover option to give you reimbursement for alternative travel for the driver and up to four passengers to one destination following a breakdown.
No hire car or overnight accommodation is included at this level, again at full UK cover, and European cover is excluded but can be added as an extension to give you peace of mind while in any EU member state.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our 2Gether profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Emergency Assist’s breakdown plan:
- Roadside and local recovery for whoever drives your vehicle
- Suited to occasional motorists
- No excess or call-out charges
- Maximum of four call-outs per year
- No more than £1,500 paid per breakdown
- Network of more than 4,000 recovery agents
Emergency Assist is a relative newcomer to the field of breakdown cover. Established in 2017, the company offers breakdown plans from £2 per month or £24 per year.
Emergency Assist designed its Saver Cover plan for the occasional motorist, and the policy covers whoever drives your car, van, motorbike or moped.
The Saver Cover plan includes roadside assistance and local recovery if your vehicle breaks down more than 1/4 mile from your home. In the unfortunate event that this happens to you, a quick call to Emergency Assist will prompt them to send a recovery agent to the roadside.
The recovery technician will attempt a temporary repair or tow your vehicle (and up to four passengers) to a garage within 25 miles of your current location.
Emergency Assist doesn’t charge any excess or call-out fees for this service. However, customers are limited to a maximum of four call-outs per year.
Furthermore, the Saver Cover plan excludes breakdowns related to accidents, running out of fuel, misfuelling your vehicle, or problems caused by leaving your lights running.
On top of that, Emergency Assist won’t cover the cost of any parts or labour charges over £1,500.
Emergency Assist’s call centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week and they have a network of more than 4,000 recovery agents to get you back on the road quickly. What’s more, cover is valid throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.
If you’re interested in additional protection, Emergency Assist offers two more comprehensive cover options. The Premium and Complete plans may include further benefits such as national recovery, onward travel assistance, and even European cover—for an extra annual fee.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Emergency Assist profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Churchill and Direct Line’s breakdown plan:
- 24/7, 365-day cover
- European cover add-on optional
- Any driver cover
- Four out of five customers would recommend the service
- Unfixable at the roadside? Your vehicle will be taken to a garage at no extra cost
Churchill and Direct Line’s breakdown rescue cover (underwritten by Green Flag) is £2.08 per month or £25 per year.
The Rescue cover option will provide you with roadside assistance as standard, and if it can’t be fixed at the roadside within one hour, they’ll tow it to the nearest garage at no extra cost to you. You can benefit from unlimited call-outs during the period of your cover, as long as it’s not for the same or a recurring problem that has previously been treated by your policy cover.
Exclusions are home start, national recovery, onward travel and European cover at this level of policy, but you can easily choose to upgrade to one of their more premium covers to get these benefits.
The most expensive cover available is Recovery Plus, which starts at £60 per year or £5 per month, which will afford you all the elements as listed above, minus any European cover.
You can choose to have personal cover if it would be useful for you to have cover in any vehicle you drive, as long as it is privately registered and used within the UK. You can also choose family cover which will keep you and up to three additional members of your household safe when travelling, and you can bolt on short-term European cover if you choose to go abroad and want the same level of cover on your car while it’s away from home.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Churchill and Direct Line profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Sterling Insurance’s breakdown plan:
- 24/7 rescue lines for any day of the year assistance
- Access to 1800 breakdown recovery specialists across the UK
- Call-out, roadside assistance, national recovery and home service are all available
- Get your vehicle covered, so no matter who drives it, you’re covered
- Call up for personalised deals to find the right level of breakdown cover for you
Sterling Insurance starts at as little as £2.11 per month or £25.42 a year, but more personalised costs are available when you call their representatives which will help you to hone down the deal you want, for a price that you want, too.
Included as standard is roadside assistance including repairs and recovery service. If your vehicle is unable to be repaired on the roadside, you can have transport for you and up to five passengers to one location of your choosing.
Surprisingly for a standard level of cover, Sterling Insurance includes home cover as standard, which will keep you covered even if your vehicle won’t start on your driveway or within one mile of your home. The cover applies to the vehicle, not just the driver, so even if someone other than the named driver uses the vehicle and comes into trouble, they’ll still receive the same level of breakdown cover.
Call-out and labour charges are covered if your vehicle fails to start at home, and will be transported to a local garage for repairs if a fix isn’t available at home.
Sterling Insurance offers instant breakdown cover, so if you have broken down and have no breakdown cover to access, you can sign up immediately and get the help you need straight away, for £173.60 per year.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Sterling Insurance profile.
12. Action Call
Some of the features and benefits of Action Call’s breakdown plan:
- Roadside assistance, and national recovery as standard
- Home assist included in the 1Call package
- Alternative travel where required
- Trailer cover
- One call-out per 12-month period, and zero excess
Action Call’s 1Call policy costs £2.20 per month or £26.45 per year.
This policy includes roadside assistance to your incident when happening in the UK. Action Call will either arrange and pay for your vehicle, you, and up to six passengers to be taken to the closest suitable garage for repair if not able on the roadside, or, if a fix is not possible within the day, Action Call will arrange for you to be taken home or to a chosen destination, whichever is closer.
Any recovery must take place at the same time as the initial call-out, else you will have to pay out for subsequent call-out charges. Emergency overnight accommodation is available, with a maximum payment of £350 in total, or £75 per lone traveller, £50 per passenger when not travelling alone.
Up to £150 will be paid towards alternative transport to your desired destination, as well as £100 towards the cost of retrieving your vehicle from being repaired. Misfuelling costs are not catered for in this level of cover and will be excess for you to pay if necessary to drain your tank.
The most complete level of cover comes in the form of EU, which is £57.40 per year, or £4.78 per month. This includes all of the basic benefits outlined above, as well as European coverage, a maximum of six call-outs per 12-month period, and zero excess.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Action Call profile.
Some of the features and benefits of LV’s breakdown plan:
- Vehicle cover for all drivers
- Roadside assistance included
- Includes recovery up to 10 miles from where breakdown occurred
- Average response time of 46 minutes
- Network of 4,000 recovery professionals
- Short-term or annual cover available
LV is an established insurer that has ventured into the field of breakdown cover, with policies starting at £2.50 per month or £30 annually.
LV’s Roadside Assist plan keeps things simple by offering assistance if you break down more than 1/4 mile from home. If that happens, the company has a network of more than 4,000 recovery professionals who can tow your vehicle to a local garage (within a maximum distance of 10 miles).
If you own an electric car and the charge is critically low, LV can also tow your vehicle to the nearest charging point.
On average, LV can send a recovery vehicle to your location within 46 minutes, and more than 95 per cent of customers succeeded in completing their journey afterwards.
However, the Roadside Assist plan doesn’t extend to any breakdowns that occur less than 1/4 mile from your home. Moreover, the policy doesn’t cover the cost of any roadside parts or garage labour that may be required to get your vehicle working again.
Are you searching for more extensive cover? LV has several other breakdown cover plans which may include benefits such as home assistance, UK-wide recovery, alternative transport, and overnight accommodation, amongst others. The company also gives customers flexible payment options so that you can purchase annual cover, short-term cover, or even one-off recovery.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our LV profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Startrescue.co.uk’s breakdown plan:
- No excess or call-out charges
- 4 out of 5 customers reached within an hour
- Short-term European cover from £26.28
- 4.63/5 rating for customer services (reviews.co.uk)
- Which? Recommended Breakdown Provider 2019 and 2020
Start Rescue’s roadside and local recovery cover is £2.56 per month or £30.80 per year.
With roadside assistance in the UK when an incident happens one mile from your home address, Start Rescue will arrive at the scene and spend up to 60 minutes administering a fix to the vehicle on the roadside. If a fix can’t be provided here, then the vehicle and passengers will be taken to the nearest garage within 10 miles of the breakdown.
If your car can’t be repaired at the roadside, Start Rescue will pay £250 (maximum) towards the cost of alternative transport, as well as £150 within the UK towards the cost of alternative transport for one person to return and collect the repaired vehicle from the garage. The cost of alternative accommodation is also included up to a maximum of £150 if a sole traveller (or £75 each per person if in a group) with a maximum of £500 being paid out in one single incident.
As an incentive to sign up for their breakdown cover package, Start Rescue also offers a range of exclusive deals which have been negotiated on a range of other services such as vehicle hire, travel insurance and airport parking for customers to take advantage of.
You are covered for a maximum of six call-outs in one year, but unless you have the Roadside, Nationwide and Home Recovery plan, your vehicle won’t be covered at your registered home address, or within a one-mile radius of your home, if your vehicle fails to start or breaks down close to home.
Similarly, if your vehicle breaks down further than ten miles from your home address, you won’t have assistance for recovery. Without the European cover package, you won’t be covered for incidents in other countries besides the one in which you live, and if you fuel up with the wrong type of petrol, you won’t be covered for the cost of draining your fuel tank.
Roadside, Nationwide, Home and European recovery is the highest form of cover available, which does what it says on the tin – covers you at the roadside, on a national level, at home and in selected countries in Europe if you have an incident.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Start Rescue profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Saga’s breakdown plan:
- Cover for breakdowns including punctures, flat batteries and no fuel
- Call-out time of under 57 minutes
- 24 hour, 365-day cover
- Unlimited UK call-outs
- Existing Saga car insurance policyholders can add Breakdown cover at a discounted rate
Saga is available for drivers over 50, starting at £3.33 per month or £39.99 per year. This cost can be discounted if the breakdown cover is added onto an existing car insurance policy held with Saga.
With the reassurance that eight out of ten repairable breakdowns are fixed at the roadside, choosing Saga is a popular choice among the over-50s to ensure they have a reliable level of breakdown cover if a breakdown does occur.
The breakdown cover plan includes a 24 hour, 365-day cover, with unlimited UK call-outs and a call-out time of under 57 minutes from the initial report of the incident to Saga’s team being at your side. The breakdown cover includes assistance for punctures, flat batteries and running out of fuel.
If necessary, Saga will provide transportation for the insured vehicle and insured persons to either a single destination of their choice in the UK within 10 miles of the incident or arrange for a suitable repairer of your choice within the UK within 10 miles of the incident. If the vehicle is taken away, Saga will then reimburse you for your onward travel within 20 miles, and if necessary, provide you with up to three messages to relay to whoever you need to.
For the exclusions, you won’t be covered for any accidents happening within a quarter of a mile of your home, and Saga won’t pay for any extra costs if your vehicle cannot be repaired at the roadside, as well as any extra costs where the transportation of the vehicle is further than 10 miles.
You can choose to supplement your cover by including European cover, which will keep you covered in 55 countries and territories in Europe, available in the Premier cover plan. This will also keep you on the road if you break down en route to your holiday destination or within 24 hours of your planned departure, providing you with a hire car for up to 14 days so you can continue your trip.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Saga profile.
Some of the features and benefits of GEM Motoring Assist’s breakdown plan:
- Comprehensive breakdown cover, with 24/7 roadside breakdown assistance
- Nationwide recovery and onward travel
- Unlimited call-outs
- Personal breakdown cover to cover you in eligible vehicles
- 63% cheaper than similar breakdown policies
GEM Motoring Assist’s Recovery RECLAIM cover is £5.45 per month or £65.42 per year for a single driver. They have regularly featured in the Top 3 of Auto Express’s Driver Power Survey since 2021, with a 4.69 average rating out of 5 on Reviews.io.
The Recovery RECLAIM cover will grant you access to their 24-hour rescue control centre, or you can choose to make your own arrangements for breakdown assistance. You will be reimbursed for appropriate costs, but you must first pay them yourself and provide GEM with relevant invoices or receipts.
Following a breakdown at least a quarter of a mile away from home, you can claim back the cost of an operator for up to an hour working on your vehicle by the roadside. If a repair isn’t possible, then you can reclaim the cost of recovering the vehicle, the driver and passengers to the nearest garage during the same working day.
For home assistance, if a breakdown happens at your address or within a quarter of a mile, you can again reclaim the cost of an operator attending to you. You can also reclaim the cost of any necessary overnight accommodation if you break down further than 25 miles from your home and your vehicle cannot be repaired and put back on the road the same day, for a fee of up to £200.
You can reclaim up to £70 in the event of a misfuel, and if you lock your keys in your vehicle or have them stolen or lost, you can chargeback the cost of call-out charges and mileage costs for the driver and passengers to be taken to the closest garage within 10 miles of the incident.
If you are looking for a cover option where you aren’t responsible for paying out charges initially to have them paid back to you, then you can choose GEM Motoring Assist’s Recovery EXTRA cover, which is a fully-comprehensive breakdown cover. The cost of any parts, components or materials needed to repair the vehicle isn’t included in this level of cover and will come at your own cost.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our GEM Motoring Assist profile.
Some of the features and benefits of the AA’s breakdown plan:
- Cover for one vehicle, no matter who drives it
- Recovery from home or within 1/4 mile of your house
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Unlimited call-outs
- Replacement hire car in case of a no-fault accident
- Protection in the event of a no-fault accident
The AA is among the most renowned breakdown cover companies in the UK, and its vehicle breakdown policies start at £6 per month. If you buy annual cover instead of a month-to-month policy, you can pay just £69 for the year instead of the usual £72.
This breakdown policy cover protects your vehicle and anyone who drives it. This type of policy can be helpful if you have more than three drivers living at home, or if you often have visitors who might like to use your car during their stay.
The AA’s vehicle cover includes recovery from home and up to 1/4 mile from your house, for those times when you wake up to find your car won’t start, or you suffer a flat tyre just after you’ve left home.
The company also offers 24/7 roadside assistance. This round-the-clock protection means that an AA mechanic will try to repair your vehicle by the side of the road, or tow you to an AA-approved garage if the problem is more complicated.
The AA also allows unlimited call-outs, so you can ring them whenever a new issue arises.
However, it’s important to note that the AA only covers you in the event of a no-fault accident, which the company decides on its own at its discretion. Furthermore, the AA will only cover a no-fault accident if the other driver has valid motor insurance and you provide the details of the other vehicle involved in the incident.
If you’re considering the AA as your breakdown cover provider, you should enquire about any renewal costs as your monthly premium could increase after the first year.
For intrepid drivers who like to undertake long road trips, the AA also offers national recovery and onward travel cover for an additional monthly fee. It also has parts and garage cover and an innovative Smart Breakdown device that can help you determine problems with your vehicle through your phone.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our AA profile.
18. Asda Money
Some of the features and benefits of Asda Money’s breakdown plan:
- Roadside assistance a quarter of a mile from your home, with 4 out of 5 vehicles fixed at the roadside
- Home assist if your car won’t start at your home address
- Unlimited annual call-outs
- 49 minute average response time
- Awarded best online breakdown insurance provider in 2019
Asda Money’s UK breakdown cover starts at £6.50 per month or £78 per year, which covers the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.
The cover package includes roadside assistance at least a quarter of a mile from your home address, with 4 out of 5 vehicles fixed at the roadside. There’s home assistance if your car won’t start at your address, as well as a relief driver service if the driver falls ill or suffers an injury en route.
Their UK breakdown cover has no age limit on the vehicle you’re choosing to cover, and it offers to recover your towed caravan or trailer if that breaks down with you. There is also cover for vans, motorbikes, and motorhomes, if necessary.
For the exclusions, the cost of parts or supplies needed to fix your vehicle isn’t included in your insurance premium cost. Any vehicles not registered in the UK won’t be covered by this plan either, as well as any fines, penalties or unclamping charges incurred during the breakdown period.
For Europe-wide cover, you can opt into Asda Money’s European Breakdown Cover package, which includes everything from the original UK cover. For £47 extra each year, you can insure yourself on another vehicle if you need to be covered on anything other than your main vehicle.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Asda Money profile.
Some of the features and benefits of RAC’s breakdown plan:
- Vehicle cover for anyone who drives it
- Roadside and home rescue included
- Maximum of three call-outs annually
- Towing up to 10 miles to the nearest garage
- Taxi costs reimbursed (up to 20 miles)
- RAC members receive a free 20-point car health check
RAC offers its members vehicle cover from £7.50 per month or £90 annually.
Because RAC offers vehicle cover, anyone who drives your vehicle can benefit from the recovery policy. The standard policy includes roadside and home recovery, so you can call for assistance no matter where you break down.
In the event of a breakdown, a RAC patrol vehicle will meet you and attempt to get your car, motorbike, van, or campervan up and running again. Otherwise, they’ll tow your vehicle up to 10 miles to the nearest garage or another destination of your choice.
Once at the garage, the patrol vehicle will give the technicians a breakdown report which includes a diagnosis of the suspected fault, thereby potentially saving you time and helping you get back on the road sooner.
If you’re pressed for time and can’t remain at the garage until a technician resolves the problem, RAC will reimburse the cost of any taxi journey you need to take—up to a distance of 20 miles.
However, RAC’s standard policy only allows a maximum of three call-outs per year. Furthermore, the company doesn’t cover the cost of any parts required to repair your vehicle. It’s also important to note that RAC won’t cover persistent issues that haven’t been fixed or any problems besides breakdowns (such as an accident or a break-in).
If you’re searching for more comprehensive cover, RAC has premium plans which may include unlimited call-outs, towing to all destinations, and reimbursement for alternative transport. The company also offers customers the option to purchase standalone upgrades such as battery and tyre replacement, among others.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our RAC profile.
20. Euro Rescue
Some of the features and benefits of Euro Rescue’s breakdown plan:
- Range of timeframes to have cover, from one day to 31 days and annual cover if necessary
- 24-hour emergency call line
- Different levels of cover, from Euro Break to Euro Rescue +
- Recovery to nearest garage included as standard
- Rail or coach fares to continue the holiday and return home
Euro Rescue offers Europe-only breakdown cover for a fixed number of days, or annually. UK breakdown cover is available through their sister company, AutoNational.
Euro Rescue offers annual cover for £7.92 per month or £95.09 per year. In between, they offer cover for just one day at £10.57, up to three days at £21.13, or 31 days for £54.95.
A full range of their pricing scheme and timeframes can be seen on the Euro Rescue website for you to compare what offer’s best for you.
Looking at the annual Euro Rescue package, you will have access to a 24-hour emergency number to contact someone in the event of a breakdown while abroad. You will have roadside assistance as standard, and £150 towards garage repairs, as well as recovery to the nearest garage or rail station, depending on where you break down.
If your sole driver becomes ill during the trip, you can have a replacement driver for £100 per day to continue your trip. Your vehicle can be recovered to your home address if it cannot be fixed before your planned return date, and you can claim rail or coach fares to continue your holiday or return home, depending on your circumstances.
In cases where overnight accommodation is required, you can claim up to £30 per person, per night, and you can claim £75 for emergency repairs to secure your vehicle after a break-in.
For exclusions, the cost of spare parts aren’t included, and you won’t have any UK car hire benefits on this level of their cover. The limit of your cover on this level of £2,500.
To upgrade to their most expensive package, Euro Rescue +, you’ll receive mostly the same as you would on the standard level of cover, but you will have the cost of spare parts to fix your vehicle included this time. Your emergency accommodation fees rise to £40 per person, per night, and £150 towards securing your vehicle after a break-in. The limit of your cover on this level is £5,000.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Euro Rescue profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Allianz’s breakdown plan:
- Up to five call-outs per year
- 24-hour breakdown assistance and car recovery as standard
- Five roadside assistance packages to choose from
- An hour of repair work at the roadside on all levels of cover
- Five-star Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2020
To get a quote for Allianz’s breakdown cover, you need to provide your vehicle registration number, age of vehicle and current mileage to receive a personalised quote for cover.
With Allianz’s Bronze level of cover, you will receive 24-hour, seven days a week breakdown assistance as standard, when you’ve broken down one mile or more away from your home. This includes local recovery, and if your vehicle can’t be fixed at the roadside within one hour, Allianz’s breakdown recovery service will take you, your vehicle and up to seven passengers to the nearest garage.
Unlike most basic levels of cover, home breakdown is included in Allianz’s Bronze level, meaning that if you break down before even leaving your driveway, you’re still covered and will be able to receive help to get things started again.
For exclusions, you’re expecting more premium aspects of cover such as national recovery, vehicle collection (so when you go to collect your vehicle after it has been fixed, you won’t receive any monetary reimbursement for the fees incurred while collecting your vehicle). If you fuel your vehicle with the wrong substance, you won’t be covered for the cost of draining and re-fueling.
Finally, if you misplace or lose your car keys, you won’t receive any help from Allianz on the Bronze level of cover. If you want to reap these extra add-ons, upgrading to the Gold level of cover will give you what you want – as for the price, you’ll have to go through the same online form-fill to get your estimated annual premium, as with all Allianz’s cover levels.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Allianz profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Co-op’s breakdown plan:
- Roadside assistance
- Local recovery in the UK
- One hour service promise after first notice of incident
- Award-winning cover (Best Best Breakdown Cover Provider at the Personal Finance Awards, every year since 2014)
- EU cover as an add-on, including EU repatriation
To get a quote for Co-op’s breakdown cover packages, you’ll need to provide them with your vehicle registration, as well as the weight and age of your vehicle.
If you already have Co-op’s car insurance, you can opt-in for their highest level of vehicle breakdown cover, a cover option that has won Best Breakdown Cover Provider at the Personal Finance Awards every year since 2014.
Within the Roadside breakdown cover package, you’ll receive assistance if and when your vehicle breaks down more than one mile from your home. Co-op will arrange for a breakdown vehicle to come and try to get your vehicle working again, attending the scene for up to one hour.
Similarly, if your vehicle breaks down more than one mile from home, and cannot be made driveable within an hour, Co-op will arrange for the vehicle, driver and up to eight passengers to be taken to a local garage (within 20 miles) for repairs to begin. The cost of repairs are not covered by Co-op, however, and these will need to be paid by the policyholder.
When it comes to exclusions, if your vehicle has already been recovered, Co-op will not provide a second recovery for the same incident. Similarly, there is a two-claim limit within any 12 months for a common fault on the same vehicle, and your policy cover will be different for the first 24 hours of subscription as outlined in your policy documents.
For a step up, Co-op’s Recovery and Homestart European policy includes all the standard benefits, but also nationwide recovery; emergency hire car; overnight accommodation; homestart, European cover and repatriation to the UK where necessary.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Co-op profile.
23. Green Flag
Some of the features and benefits of Green Flag’s breakdown plan:
- Vehicle cover for all drivers
- Roadside rescue service available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year
- No call-out charges
- Includes towing to the nearest garage
- Collection service if the garage is closed
- Free messaging service to let family and friends know you’ve broken down
Green Flag offers a range of breakdown cover policies, including Rescue, Rescue Plus, Recovery, and Recovery Plus.
The company doesn’t provide any public information about the cost of its breakdown policies. If you’re interested in purchasing cover from Green Flag, you’ll need to provide your vehicle registration, postcode, and other details to receive a personalised quote.
The Rescue plan includes roadside assistance for times when your vehicle breaks down more than 1/4 mile from your house. A Green Flag representative will attempt to restart your car, motorbike, campervan, or van.
However, if the issue requires more specialist attention, they can tow you to a Green Flag-approved garage or bring you to another destination within 10 miles of the breakdown. If the approved repairer is closed at the time your vehicle stopped working, Green Flag can bring your vehicle back to your house (up to a distance of 10 miles) and collect it the next day once the garage has reopened.
Usefully, Green Flag allows unlimited call-outs and they provide a free messaging service so that you can let your family and friends know what’s happened.
However, the Rescue plan won’t pay for any parts that may be required, nor does the plan cover labour costs once your vehicle is at a garage.
If you choose the Rescue Plus plan, you benefit from all of the above and also receive protection against breakdown at home, not just at the roadside. For Recovery plan customers, Green Flag will tow you and your passengers to any destination in the UK, regardless of the distance.
If you take out a Recovery Plus policy, you may have the option of temporarily hiring a car or staying overnight while waiting for the garage to complete the repairs.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Green Flag profile.
24. Breakdown Assist
Some of the features and benefits of Breakdown Assist’s breakdown plan:
- 4.6 average rating from 1060 reviews out of 5 on Reviews.io
- Assistance anywhere in the UK, as long as you’re one mile away from home
- Roadside assistance as standard, with 80% of vehicles back up and running within one hour
- Average response time is less than an hour
- Car recovery and up to seven passengers to a local garage, destination or original starting location
To get a quote from Breakdown Assist, you need to provide your registration plate and vehicle type to receive your personalised cost of cover, and during this process, you can also choose to add on any optional extras as required, such as key cover, replacement vehicle insurance or legal expenses.
Roadside assistance is provided as standard in any level of cover with Breakdown Assist, and in 80% of cases, they will be able to fix the vehicle at the roadside within an hour. For anything that can’t be fixed, local recovery is available to get you and your vehicle to a local garage within 20 miles.
If you are towing a caravan or trailer at the time of breakdown, they will also be covered up to 8 metres in length, 3 metres high and 2.55 metres wide. Message relay is also available if you are unable to get in touch with family or your place of work for whatever reason, with two calls included where needed.
Misfuelling cover is included with all of Breakdown Assist’s policies, and they will arrange for your tank to be drained, flushed and filled with 10 litres of the right fuel, up to £250 per claim. You have access to at least five call-outs per year on a one-car vehicle policy, and up to eight call-outs on a four-car vehicle policy.
If you wish to upgrade to a higher level of cover, you can add on alternative transport to your policy, which will afford you up to £250 for a hire vehicle for up to 24 hours. You can also access overnight accommodation up to £500 (£150 for a solo traveller, or £75 per person) if you are stranded as a result of your breakdown.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Breakdown Assist profile.
Some of the features and benefits of Aviva’s Rescue and Recovery plan:
- Available as standalone cover, or an add-on to existing car insurance
- Roadside assistance or towing to the nearest garage within 10 miles
- Onward transport for you and up to seven passengers
- Vehicle-based cover – so no matter who is driving, your vehicle is covered
- Optional add-ons of extras like European breakdown cover, if required
To obtain a quote from Aviva, you need to contact them directly citing your vehicle type, age and weight to have a personalised quote given to you. It does say, however, you will get £5 off your cover price when you take out the cover online as an incentive to carry out the procedure online as opposed to over the phone.
Aviva’s Rescue and Recovery plan offers roadside assistance, as well as a towing service to a garage within 10 miles of your location for you, your vehicle, and up to seven passengers. Within this plan, you can also get recovery to any destination for you, your vehicle and up to seven passengers – and recovery of your vehicle and passengers if the driver is deemed medically unfit to drive.
You won’t benefit from any assistance at or within a quarter of a mile of your home address, however, and you won’t have a replacement car while yours is being repaired. Similarly, there will be no alternative overnight accommodation or onwards travel by taxi, train or plane in situations where it is required on this level of Aviva’s breakdown cover.
Further to this, the cost of replacement parts; the running costs of a replacement vehicle (where applicable, such as fuel, oil and insurance); breakdowns within 24 hours of purchasing or upgrading cover or breakdowns that the RAC has previously attended won’t be covered.
However, if you want to upgrade your cover to Rescue, Recovery, At Home and Onward Travel, you can choose to do so and benefit from the following add-ons: replacement car, assistance at home and within a quarter-mile of your home, recovery to any destination for your vehicle and up to seven passengers.
You can also opt into European breakdown cover for assistance while away from home, which includes car hire costs for up to £125 a day; travel expenses; spare parts dispatch and extra accommodation expenses if you’re stranded after a breakdown.
Some of the features and benefits of AXA’s breakdown plan:
- Vehicle or personal cover available
- Roadside assistance for breakdowns more than one mile from home
- Recovery up to 20 miles from the breakdown
- Includes misfuel protection
- Vulnerable customers receive priority assistance
- Average response time of 50 minutes
AXA offers several breakdown cover policies, including Local, Nationwide, Nationwide and Homestart, and European cover.
AXA doesn’t state how much their breakdown policies cost per month or year. To obtain that information, you’ll need to complete a form and include the type of vehicle you have and your registration plate.
AXA’s Local breakdown cover ensures that you receive roadside assistance if your vehicle experiences problems and you’re more than one mile from home. AXA’s technicians succeed in fixing 75 per cent of breakdowns at the roadside. However, if they can’t get your vehicle running again, they will tow your car or motorbike to a garage up to 20 miles away.
Usefully, AXA is among the few insurers to include misfuelling cover as standard.
AXA offers priority assistance to vulnerable customers, and they’ll send up to two messages to your loved ones to let them know you’ve broken down. On average, AXA’s recovery vehicles respond to breakdowns within 50 minutes.
The company also offers more comprehensive breakdown plans. For instance, the Nationwide policy includes all the benefits of the Local breakdown plan. Besides that, this policy offers recovery back to your house (or intended destination) if the garage can’t fix the issue by the end of the day.
Alternatively, AXA could also contribute towards the cost of overnight accommodation and vehicle hire if necessary.
Suppose you choose AXA’s Nationwide and Homestart cover instead. In that case, you’ll get the same benefits as the Nationwide plan, and you’ll receive breakdown assistance if the problem occurs less than a mile from your home.
If you plan to travel abroad, AXA also has a European breakdown cover policy which may give you additional peace of mind.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our AXA profile.
27. Dynamo Cover
Some of the features and benefits of Dynamo Cover’s breakdown plan:
- 24/7, 365-day cover for emergencies on the road
- Target response time of 40 minutes
- Multi-vehicle discount
- Range of policies available to suit your needs, from 1Call to European cover
- Cover available for domestic vehicles as well as private hires and taxis
Dynamo Cover no longer publishes public information about the cost of their breakdown cover, so you’ll need to input your car details to obtain a quote.
The most basic cover available from Dynamo Cover is their UK Standard cover, which will keep you safe in situations where you need roadside assistance or national recovery. You have unlimited call-outs to use during the period of your cover, and there is no excess to pay on this plan.
For exclusions, you won’t be covered if your vehicle breaks down at your home, or within one mile of it, as home assist isn’t included in this plan. You won’t be able to claim for alternative travel or overnight accommodation on this level of cover, and if you are towing a trailer or caravan at the time of breakdown, that won’t be included in the recovery.
There is also no European cover on this plan.
If you want to include a few more options in your cover, you can look at the 1Call plan, which is one step up from UK Standard. It offers more benefits, including home assist, alternative travel and overnight accommodation, but your unlimited call-outs fall to just one call-out permitted within 12-months.
Dynamo Cover’s most extensive cover is their European + level, which includes all of the above, as well as European coverage, as you’d expect. Trailer cover is included, and call-outs are back to unlimited status.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Dynamo profile.
Some of the features and benefits of ERS’s breakdown plan:
- Breakdown cover for specialist vehicles
- Includes cover for trailers and non-motorised caravans
- Flexible cover options to suit your needs
- Competitive pricing
- Recovery in difficult conditions such as mud, sand, and snow
- Misfuelling and lost key cover included as standard
ERS is a specialist insurance company offering breakdown cover for cars, vans, and motorbikes. Unlike most other breakdown cover providers, ERS also protects different kinds of vehicles such as trailers, non-motorised caravans, motorhomes, and minibuses. They even offer breakdown cover for horseboxes and horse trailers!
ERS hasn’t released information about the cost of its breakdown and recovery policies, perhaps because the company prices policies according to the age, weight, and type of vehicle you own. However, ERS says it offers competitive pricing—though we recommend that you contact them directly to obtain a more personalised quote.
The company offers a range of cover options, such as roadside protection, roadside and recovery policies, and comprehensive breakdown and recovery throughout the UK, among others. Its essential Roadside cover plan includes assistance if you break down more than 1/4 mile from your home plus recovery to a garage within 20 miles of the incident.
ERS’s Roadside plan generously includes protection in the event of typical mechanical or electrical malfunctions, as well as troublesome issues such as flat batteries, running out of fuel, and tyre punctures. The Roadside plan also ensures you can call for assistance if you lose your keys or put the wrong type of fuel in your vehicle. They’ll even help if you find yourself stuck in the mud, sand, snow, or a flood.
That said, the company only covers up to one hour of roadside assistance, and they won’t pay for the cost of any repairs once your vehicle is at the garage.
Want a more comprehensive cover? ERS’s Roadside and Recovery plan includes benefits such as overnight accommodation, onward transportation, and a replacement driver if the only driver becomes medically unfit. The Total UK plan consists of all of the above, plus roadside assistance within 1/4 mile of your home. There’s also an option to purchase European cover, should you need it.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our ERS profile.
29. Swift Cover
Some of the features and benefits of Swift Cover’s breakdown plan:
- 24-hour garage call-out service
- Free recovery of car, caravan and trailer to a local garage
- Up to one hour of free labour when calling for roadside assistance
- Cover for anyone else to use your car with your permission
- Option to add on European cover to keep you safe in European locales while in your vehicle
To get a price for Swift Cover’s breakdown cover, you need to provide them with your vehicle registration information to get access to their pricing structure.
Once your car has broken down, you can call Swift Cover’s 24-hour emergency line for assistance. As with all breakdown plans, the repairs will be attempted at the roadside first for a limit of up to one hour.
If this isn’t possible, the vehicle will then be recovered to the nearest garage within 10 miles of the original location to have the repairs commenced there instead.
Depending on the level of cover you’ve opted for, you can either take advantage of Swift Cover’s Roadside option which will recover you, your vehicle and up to six passengers and get you to any location within a 10-mile radius of the breakdown; else arrange for your vehicle to be taken to the nearest garage within 10 miles to receive assistance there.
Swift Cover aims to be with you within 40 minutes of the report of your incident, although this time varies in mainland Europe depending on your exact location. It’s worth noting that, in some circumstances, if you call up for help in the evening you may be advised to call back the following day so that garages are open for your vehicle to receive assistance.
As with most policies, you can choose to upgrade them to enhance your level of cover, with options to keep you safe while driving in mainland Europe if your vehicle breaks down, as well as home cover and other optional extras.
For more information on pricing and reviews, read our Swift Cover profile.
30. High Street Banks
Many banks now offer breakdown cover as an added service for current account holders. Below are some of the types of breakdown cover offered by some of the largest high street banks:
NatWest provides breakdown cover from their partner Green Flag and is available for UK customers. This cover is for any vehicles owned by you and registered at your home address, and will help you get home or to your preferred destination within the UK after a breakdown has happened.
You are limited to five call-outs per 12-month period, and either car hire or overnight accommodation can be provided if a repair can’t happen within the same day.
Halifax’s Ultimate Reward Current Account provides you with AA breakdown cover. This includes roadside assistance and home start and keeps the customer covered as an individual, not the vehicle they own.
It’s worth noting that AA Relay is excluded from this plan, which means they won’t be able to transport you to a destination of your choice.
Lloyds Bank can provide you with AA breakdown cover if you have certain Packaged Bank Accounts held with them. You can choose the level of cover you want with this offer, so it can range from just roadside assistance to home start and accident management, including message relay and stay mobile, which will give you overnight accommodation and onward travel in some situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Breakdown Cover?
Though some car insurance companies offer motor insurance that includes breakdown cover as standard, others don’t.
There are several good reasons to consider purchasing this extra insurance. First, breakdowns are a common occurrence. A report from The Sunday Times indicates that there was a 20% increase in the number of breakdowns between 2014 and 2019. More than 220,000 cars broke down in the period between April 2018 and March 2019 alone—that’s almost 26 cars every hour!
Breakdowns can also happen at any time. Most problems occur in the summer when many of us head out to see family or to spend a day at the seaside.
However, nearly 23% of breakdowns take place during the chilly months of January, February, and March.
Though car problems can strike anywhere, tens of thousands of motorists break down on the motorway each year. Nearly 140,000 drivers broke down on the M1 between London and Leeds from 2014 and 2019, while over 125,000 had problems on the M25.
More than 124,000 broke down along the M6, Britain’s longest motorway.
Whether your car suffers a tyre puncture, an engine fault, or you simply lock your keys inside your vehicle, cars are complex pieces of machinery, so it’s well worth ensuring that you’re adequately protected just in case things go wrong.
Is Breakdown Cover Worth It?
All of these costs quickly mount up so the money you save from not having breakdown cover is much less than the amount you would have to pay should you break down without any cover.
Are There Different Types of Breakdown Cover?
There are two main types of breakdown cover: standard cover and “pay and claim” cover.
Standard breakdown cover is the most popular type of policy available. You’re covered for a year and, should you break down, you’ll be helped out at the roadside either by a contracted independent local garage or by the breakdown cover company’s fleet of vans or vehicles.
Coverage starts from around £25 per year but the amount you pay can quickly rise depending on the optional extras you select for your policy.
If you select vehicle-centred breakdown cover, it’s only the car or cars that you specify you’ll be covered for. If you select person-centred breakdown cover, you’ll be covered in case the car you’re travelling in breaks down, regardless of who owns or drives it?
Pay and claim breakdown cover is a budget form of breakdown cover. It’s cheaper than the standard policies that most people take out because of the annual fee, and the lack of recovery service staff and vehicles.
If you break down on the road, they hire a local recovery agency to assist you.
You need to pay for the service upfront when they come and recover your vehicle. Your insurance provider will then reimburse you for the costs.
What Are the Different Levels of Breakdown Cover?
Roadside recovery is the most basic form of breakdown cover. If you have roadside recovery and your car breaks down away from your home, somebody will come out and either fix it at the scene or tow it to a garage for repairs.
Roadside recovery is also the platform from which customers build their policies to suit their individual needs. When you build your policy, the “roadside recovery” box is always ticked and you then select additional types of cover on top of it to generate your quote.
Home assistance is an optional extra which covers you if your car breaks down at home (or within a set distance from your home). The distance from your home that this policy addition covers is typically around a quarter of a mile.
Additionally, if your car breaks down within a set distance from your home and cannot be repaired, the policy covers the transportation costs to get your car to the nearest garage.
When choosing a breakdown policy, it is important to consider whether you want local or national breakdown cover. Local coverage means that your car can be taken for repair to a garage within 20 miles (this varies depending on your provider) from the location at which you broke down.
With national breakdown cover, if your vehicle cannot be serviced at a local garage, you can ask for it to be taken to any garage in mainland UK capable of making the necessary repairs.
When choosing a breakdown cover, you’ll also need to decide whether you want personal cover or vehicle cover. Personal cover means that you will receive the benefits of the breakdown cover if you are a driver or a passenger in someone else’s car as well as your car.
A vehicle breakdown policy covers up to four single vehicles and only the vehicles themselves benefit from the coverage provided. This is usually the cheaper option.
Onward travel cover means that, should you break down, you will still be able to complete your journey as well as get your car in for repair. If your car cannot be fixed at the roadside, the costs of reaching your destination are covered by the policy.
Depending on your provider and your policy, this could mean that the cost of hiring a car, your accommodation, and the costs of special medical assistance are all covered.
European breakdown cover is a stand-alone policy you must buy separately from your UK policy. This is changing however as some providers now allow them to be combined.
A standard European breakdown policy typically includes roadside assistance, onward journey, and accommodation costs.
Many policies even cover you before your journey starts so that if you break down in the UK, you’re still covered.
If you do break down when you’re abroad, European breakdown cover also provides English-speaking call centres for customers needing help. Many companies will now give you the choice between single-trip and annual or multi-trip cover. Single trip cover gives you all of the benefits of your breakdown policy for one-time use.
This is the cheaper of the two options.
Multi-trip cover, or annual cover, extends to all the trips you make in a year to specified countries. You’ll get up to 90 days’ coverage per trip depending on your policy.
There may also be a limitation on the number of consecutive days you are covered for, again depending on your policy.
Which Type of Breakdown Cover Do I Need?
If you do the majority of your travel within a certain distance of your house, you should consider getting home assistance.
For motorists who travel further than most, you should consider an onward travel package. This ensures that you will arrive at your destination without too much of a delay.
Additionally, for those who visit Europe regularly by car, European cover is a necessity.
Which Companies Provide Breakdown Cover?
Some other companies offer a “white label” service. What that means is that they sell the breakdown cover services of the companies which do own the vans and employ the mechanics but they put their branding on the service instead.
The last type of car breakdown cover company works with independent vehicle garages all over the UK. They don’t own the vans or employ the staff but what they do is send out independent experts to the roadside to help motorists who are having problems with their car.
Examples of companies that offer breakdown cover include the AA, Direct Line, Emergency Assist, Hastings Direct, RAC, and Asda, among many others.
Does Motor Insurance Include Breakdown Cover?
You should not expect any add-on breakdown cover to be as comprehensive as one which you build up for yourself.
What’s the Best Breakdown Cover Policy?
A motorist with an old car who travels more miles regularly will need a different policy to a motorist who has a new car that they use sparingly.
Finding the best policy for you isn’t a difficult process. Consider where and when you do the majority of your driving.
As long as your policy covers these eventualities and that it provides you with the protection you need, that’s the best policy for you.
How Much Is Breakdown Cover?
Additionally, factors including the age of your car and your expected annual mileage will be reflected in the price of your policy.
If you drive multiple vehicles, it is nearly always cheaper to get personal cover than to find individual vehicle cover policies for each of them.
Can I Get Breakdown Cover for 1 Month?
All of the standard benefits of breakdown cover are included including roadside assistance, onward travel, and optional national coverage.
Personal cover and European cover are also available on a monthly basis.
However, paying for cover on a rolling basis is almost always more expensive than paying for an annual policy.
Can I Get Breakdown Cover for 2 Cars?
The majority of policy providers will offer you multi-car breakdown cover as an option. It can be a cheaper way of getting cover for all of your vehicles however it is always worth getting individual quotes on each car so you can compare overall costs.
Basic multi-car breakdown cover extends to up to four vehicles. It covers these vehicles for roadside repairs and recovery to the nearest garage if necessary.
Onward travel options are also available for multi-car policies but you will need to check the details of these policies with your provider.
Does the Age of My Vehicle Affect the Cost of My Breakdown Cover?
Even if the breakdown cover quotes you receive are high though, the cost will also be significantly lower than paying for the collection of and repairs to your car out of your own pocket.
What Is Excess on Breakdown Cover?
You must then pay the remainder of the bill. This is called your cover excess.
The amount of cover excess that you are required to pay depends on the kind of breakdown you have and on the eventualities that your car breakdown policy covers.
Do High Street Banks Offer Breakdown Cover?
For example, Lloyds Bank offers AA Breakdown Cover to customers with a Select, Silver, Gold, Platinum or Premier account with them.
For a run-down of the best accounts available for different types of earners, see this page on Money Saving Expert for full information.