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Admiral

AA car insurance logo

AA

Churchill car insurance provider logo

Churchill

Hastings direct car insurance

Hastings Direct

Quotemehappy.com car insurance provider

Quotemehappy

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RAC

Tesco Bank car insurance logo

Tesco Bank

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AXA

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Mechanic fixing car insured for breakdown cover

What sort of breakdown cover do you need?

Answer these questions to work out what’s best for you...

How far do you travel?

How far from home do you drive and how many miles do you drive in a year?

How many people drive your car?

If you need breakdown cover for just one car, how many people will it need to cover?

Do you drive several cars?

If you own several cars, or if you drive other people's cars, you may need personal breakdown cover, not just cover for a named vehicle.

Do you use your car abroad?

Some policies can be extended to cover European breakdowns too, insuring you for holiday travel or business trips.

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What were the coronavirus MOT rules? From 30 March, 2020, MOT certificates were automatically extended for six months because of Covid-19. This relaxation was itself meant to last for six months but a government U-turn meant it stopped on 31 July 2020. All cars that had their MOT extended will need to get a new test between 1 October 2020 and the end of January 2021. When the pandemic struck, some MOT testing centres closed. But the government also advised against non-essential travel.

Read our full guide

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Breakdown cover FAQs

Last updated: 3 June 2021

There are different levels of cover:

  • Roadside assistance is the most basic, meaning a mechanic will try to fix your car where it has broken down

  • You can add on vehicle recovery (being towed to a garage) and home start

  • Other options such as accommodation and onward travel are included as part of a comprehensive package, or you can add them on as individual items

Breakdown insurance is another name for breakdown cover. Breakdown cover is often sold as an add on to a car insurance policy. It can also be sold on its own - as a standalone policy.

Vehicle breakdown policies cover the car, not the driver. Anyone driving the car will be covered. This could be a good option for a family car shared by two or more drivers.

Why you might need vehicle breakdown cover:

  • If you only ever travel in your own car, vehicle cover can give you the policy you need and may work out cheaper

  • You can also get vehicle breakdown policies that cover more than one car, which could be a good alternative to personal breakdown cover if you have more than one car in your household

Roadside assistance covers you if you break down anywhere in the UK, typically at least a quarter of a mile away from home. A mechanic will come and try to fix your car at the roadside, or tow it to a garage.

Home assistance insurance will cover you if your car breaks down at home or less than a quarter of a mile away from your address – if your car won’t start in the morning. Your car will either be fixed at home or taken to a garage for further repairs.

If your car can't be fixed at the roadside, vehicle recovery means your UK car breakdown cover will pay and arrange for it to be towed to a garage or your home.

Onward travel breakdown cover can get you where you want to go even if your car cannot be used.

It covers you whether it's a lift home or dropping you off to the destination you were travelling to, as long as it's in the UK. Onward travel breakdown cover can even be more comprehensive and can include a courtesy car or even accommodation while your car is being repaired.

Breakdown cover was originally offered to members of the RAC and the AA, which are two of the UK’s oldest driving clubs. Other providers of car breakdown in the UK have since been established such as Green Flag.

There are other companies offering breakdown cover as part of any fully comprehensive car insurance policy. These include AXA and Swiftcover.

Always compare prices and policies when looking to take out breakdown cover to make sure you're getting a good deal.

Breakdown cover was originally offered to members of the RAC and the AA, which are two of the UK’s oldest driving clubs. Other providers of car breakdown in the UK have since been established such as Green Flag.

There are other companies offering breakdown cover as part of any fully comprehensive car insurance policy. These include AXA and Swiftcover.

Always compare prices and policies when looking to take out breakdown cover to make sure you're getting a good deal.

The Automobile Association, is a form of breakdown cover which it offers to AA members as well as those who have AA car insurance.

The RAC, like the AA, offers its own form of breakdown cover to members and those with its car insurance. 

However, some other insurers also offer the RAC’s breakdown cover as part of their package.

These will vary from policy to policy. Usually the cheaper policies limit your call outs to four or five a year. Some comprehensive policies don’t have a limit.

Different providers can offer additional extras such as:

  • Battery cover 

  • Replacement key cover

  • Cover if you fill your car with the wrong fuel

It’s worth carrying out a car breakdown cover comparison to make sure you are getting the best deal

When you buy car breakdown insurance cover you can choose whether you want a van, car, or motorcycle to be covered. If you are looking for breakdown cover for special vehicles, such as a large campervan or a car with a trailer, you will need to make that clear.

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