What is Breakdown Cover and Do You Need it?

In short, breakdown cover offers total peace of mind. Should your car ever breakdown, no matter where you are, and no matter what time it is, help will be available.

Some insurers include breakdown cover as part of their standard insurance policies, while others allow you to add it to your policy as an optional extra. Sometimes you’ll have to go directly to a breakdown recovery firm to get your cover straight from them.

Breakdown cover is certainly worth getting. But before you buy a policy, it’s worth knowing a little bit more about what breakdown cover is, and how it works. That way you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about what sort of cover will suit your specific needs as a driver.

What Is Breakdown Cover?

No matter when and where it happens, it’s always stressful when your car breaks down. It’s also extremely inconvenient to have your journey cut short like this. But when a breakdown occurs at night and on an unfamiliar stretch of road that feels like the middle of nowhere, the situation can feel hopeless.

This is where breakdown cover helps. It means you can rest assured that, even in the worst case breakdown scenario, you’ll be able to get all the help you need to fix your car and finish your journey.

Breakdown cover policies usually offer roadside recovery and roadside rescue. This means that, should your car breakdown, all you’ll have to do is call your breakdown company and they’ll send a trained mechanic straight to you. They’ll try to fix the problem at the roadside, and if they can’t, they’ll have your car towed either to the nearest garage or to your home.

What Is Home Start Breakdown Cover?

Roadside recovery and roadside rescue breakdown cover policies often specify that you must be a set distance away from your home before they’ll send a mechanic. In most cases, this distance will be small, like a quarter of a mile. But still, it means that if you can’t start your car from your home, your breakdown cover won’t apply.

To get round this, most breakdown companies offer home start breakdown cover as an optional extra. It’s sometimes referred to as “home assistance breakdown cover”, and it essentially means that you’re covered for breakdowns at every stage of your journey – even if they occur before you’ve even set out.

How Much Is Breakdown Cover?

The amount you pay for your breakdown cover will depend on the level of cover you choose. Beyond the roadside assistance and home start breakdown recovery we’ve already mentioned, let’s take a look at some of the other factors you might consider.

Are extra labour and parts covered?

With roadside assistance and vehicle recovery, if your car can’t be fixed at the roadside it’ll be taken to a garage. In this case, your policy might cover a set amount of free labour – usually up to 60 minutes – but it may not include cover for parts.

Onward travel or accommodation

Onward travel cover is another thing to consider. While most breakdown cover policies will rescue you from the roadside, some can provide replacement cars to get you home, or to your intended destination. Some policies may even provide free accommodation while your car’s getting fixed.

European cover

Many breakdown companies offer European cover, which will provide essential assistance should your car breakdown on the continent. Getting help overseas can be stressful enough. But crucially, this level of cover ensures that you’ll deal with mechanics and representatives who speak the same language as you. This will certainly make the whole process swifter and easier.

So how much is breakdown cover?

It depends on your circumstances, and on the level of cover you need. This is why breakdown companies tend to offer quotes rather than set prices, as it’s all determined by your specific needs as a driver.

Is Breakdown Cover Right For You?

Breakdowns can occur without warning for all drivers, so it’s certainly a good idea for all drivers to invest in breakdown cover. You can’t put a price on peace of mind!

But that said, some drivers arguably need breakdown cover more than others. If you’re driving an older second-hand car, breakdowns might be more likely, so good coverage is essential. And if you live in the country, or if you regularly drive through rural areas, breakdown cover will enable you to get the help you need should you ever breakdown miles away from a garage.

It all depends on what sort of driver you are. Do you need your car for commuting or to regularly travel long distances for work? In which case, your car is basically your livelihood, so you’ll probably want to get breakdown cover. But on the other hand, if you only ever use your car for short journeys in your local area, breakdown cover is still useful, but it’s probably not absolutely essential.

Breakdown Cover Made Easy

We’ve teamed up with the RAC so you can get good breakdown cover as an added extra to your existing new driver car insurance policy.

You can choose from a number of levels of breakdown cover, including roadside assistance, recovery, home start, onward travel, and European breakdown cover. Take a look at our policy features and benefits for more details of how we can help in every worst case scenario.

Our aim is to take the stress and hassle out of car insurance, giving you all the cover you need at a price you can afford. Getting breakdown cover as part of your existing policy means you don’t have to compare different quotes from different companies, but you can still be sure that you’re getting exactly the cover that suits your specific requirements.

We specialise in driving down the cost of cover, and you can get a quote with added breakdown cover for your new driver car insurance in a matter of minutes.