While you don’t have to have breakdown cover by law, it can be very useful if your car breaks down and you have no means of fixing it.
Car breakdown cover acts as an additional form of car insurance, so you can have peace of mind that you’re covered if your car breaks down or refuses to start.
Car breakdown cover means:
Most car breakdown policies cover the cost of towing your vehicle to a garage where it can be repaired if it can’t be fixed at home or at the roadside.
When you compare breakdown cover, there are a few different types and different features you can choose from.
So, the main considerations are price and convenience.
This can provide breakdown cover if you’re the driver or passenger in either your own car or another vehicle.
Here the policy applies to the car, not the driver.
Why you might need vehicle breakdown cover:
If you need to insure several cars you might want to compare multi-car insurance policies.
Levels and features of car breakdown insurance vary greatly between different companies – but the main features of most breakdown policies are:
This covers you if you break down anywhere in the UK, typically at least a quarter of a mile away from home.
This will also cover you if your car breaks down at home or less than a quarter of a mile away from your address.
If your car can't be fixed at the roadside, vehicle recovery means it will be towed to a garage or your home.
This covers the cost of any parts and labour needed to fix your car.
Onward travel breakdown cover can get you where you want to go.
While most policies only include breakdown cover for the UK, European cover will come to your aid if you break down elsewhere in Europe.
Different providers can offer additional extras such as:
It’s worth comparing lots of different policies.
There are also different levels of vehicle recovery, and onward travel. The best car breakdown insurance is the one that will most suit your lifestyle.
Finding the best breakdown cover for your needs will depend on many different factors. The cheapest breakdown cover may not have all the features you need, so it's important to take a minute to consider what's important to you.
Always check the terms and conditions to make sure you are getting the level of breakdown insurance you require.
The best way to find cheap breakdown cover is to shop around and see what options are available at different prices. The cheapest cover may not always be the best, or the one that best suits your needs.
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 shop around when looking to take out breakdown cover.
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 insurers offer the RAC’s breakdown cover.
There are different levels of cover:
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.
Most car breakdown insurance policies don’t charge an excess. Instead, you’ll be charged for the parts you need. So if the mechanic needs to fit a new tyre or battery, you will just be charged for the cost of the replacement.
Some car breakdown policies do provide a courtesy car, either while your car is being repaired, or for onward travel. However, this is usually an extra that you will need to add on.
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.
Some car insurance policies may include a level of breakdown cover. However, it may not be comprehensive cover.
You can find out more about car insurance here.
It is simple to get started with car breakdown cover.
Decide what level of cover you want, whether it is for you or a specific vehicle, enter some details about you and your car, and then compare quotes.
You don’t need to own a car to get car insurance. Unlike a full car insurance policy you won’t build up a no claims bonus, but it does mean you can drive someone else’s car, as long as you have their permission. If you are only planning on borrowing a car you can also compare quotes for short-term or temporary car insurance.
If you are needing to insure several cars search multi-car insurance policies.
Multi insurance might also be suitable:
Last updated: 1 October 2020