Breakdown Cover Explained
Becoming stranded at the roadside is a horrible experience, especially if you aren’t covered for a breakdown. If you are unsure as to which type of breakdown cover you should purchase, we have explained everything you need to know below.
From the different types of policy, to different levels of cover and whether to cover yourself or the vehicle, we have information on it all, to help you decide which is best for you.
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Levels of Cover
Most companies offer several different levels of cover from basic roadside assistance to the full recovery packages and European breakdown assistance. The covers are named differently depending on the company offering them but can generally be split into five packages as shown below.
|Details||Option 1||Option 2||Option 3||Option 4||Option 5|
|Recovery to a
|Recovery to any
|Recovery for you
and your passengers
|Fix at home|
|Onward travel costs|
|European breakdown cover|
There are two main types of policy you can opt for, one is the standard automatic service most people will be familiar with and the other, you pay for the repair upfront when the engineer is called out and then claim the money back. Below are the benefits of each type of cover and who offers each.
This is the most common policy that people decide to take out. You pay an annual fee and anytime your vehicle breaks down, you simply call out the service to fix your problem. You pay nothing extra for the specific call out, it is included in your subscription. You will usually have a limit to the number of times you can call out the service during your subscription period. Providers which offer automatic service include BreakdownDirect.co.uk, The AA and RAC along with many others.
Pay on Callout
Rather than the company send out their own engineers, they use a local firm and send them to fix your vehicle. You pay at the time and then you have to claim the money back from your breakdown provider. Providers who offer this service include GEM Motoring Assist who offer it with their Recovery RECLAIM policy.
Which is best?
There are benefits to both types of service, for example when you take out full cover with the AA or RAC, you simply get the problem fixed there and then – you do not need to pay any money and then have the hassle of claiming it back. The huge benefit to using the pay on callout service is that it is considerably cheaper overall.
Deciding on your Cover
As well as deciding what level of cover you will need, you also need to decide whether covering your vehicle or yourself would be best for you.
- Covering Yourself – If you drive more than one vehicle, it is a good idea to get cover for yourself, that way you will be able to call on your breakdown cover no matter what vehicle you are in. This is not normally offered as standard, but is available from most breakdown providers at an extra fee.
- Covering your Vehicle – If you are not the only person who drives your vehicle, for example a partner or spouse may use it as well then it would be worth getting cover for your vehicle. This is normally offered as standard and may cost you less than covering your person in any car. In case of a breakdown it wont matter that your not driving as its the vehicle that’s covered rather than the person.
Driving Abroad in Europe
Are you planning to drive your car abroad this year? If the answer is yes, then the first thing you need to think about is purchasing European breakdown cover for your car or motorbike or even caravan. A breakdown in the UK can be costly, but in Europe it can ruin your whole holiday, as well as leaving a large hole in your wallet.
There are different ways in which to purchase European breakdown cover, you can either purchase short trip cover as and when you need it, or you can add European cover to your UK breakdown policy, which will cover you all year round. Whichever option you choose, it is essential that you do choose to buy European breakdown cover.
Take a look at our guide to European breakdown cover policies to find out what you will be covered for, and in which countries you will be covered.
Do you have a fleet of vehicles?
Do you need breakdown cover for you fleet of business vehicles? Make sure you know what to look for in a good fleet breakdown cover policy.
Take a look at our fleet breakdown cover information for some useful tips, and a list of the best providers for this type of breakdown cover.