Breakdown Cover: The Most Frequently Asked Questions

November 26th, 2019

Read the most frequently asked questions about breakdown cover; see the answers, compare quotes and find the best deal to suit you.

For more information about the service:

Is breakdown cover necessary?

If you travel by road regularly and don’t carry lots of spare parts or have the know-how to safely make repairs breakdown insurance is well worth considering. If mechanical breakdown occurs, it could quickly get you moving and back on the road again.

You can read more in our beginners’ guide to breakdown cover.

Should I buy breakdown cover as an individual product or part of a package?

Either way is possible. Breakdown insurance can be purchased separately or as an extra to an existing product, such as through your car insurance or a packaged bank account.

It’s a good idea to compare the options but you need to check if the product you are offered covers you for your needs before purchasing either a package, an add-on or individual item. There are some dangers of doubling up on insurance.

For more information, read our article on ‘should I package breakdown cover with car insurance?’

What are my options for taking out breakdown cover?

There are two main types of cover:

  • Standard cover: the most widely available and convenient option. You pay an annual fee up front or a monthly direct debit which will cover you for any call-out fees you make.
  • Pay and claim cover: not so common and more complicated but often cheaper than standard cover. You pay an annual fee up front; however you pay the breakdown company’s contracted recovery services if you call them out. You can reclaim the cost by sending your receipts to the breakdown insurance company.

Do I insure myself or my vehicle?

Personal breakdown cover may be more suitable according to what you need but is generally more expensive than a vehicle-based option. Another option to think about is a family or multi-vehicle policy.

What are the levels of cover?

Roadside assistance and local recovery are features included in your policy as standard items on any product you compare through

Ensure your level of cover is appropriate to your needs and circumstances. You can read more about different areas here:

  • Home assistance
  • National recovery
  • European cover
  • Onward travel

What about cover for business use?

If you have a large number of vehicles, it may be a good idea to consider fleet cover. In general you do not usually get asked by breakdown providers about business use; however, it’s best to check your policy for exclusions. Read more in our article on vehicle breakdown cover for businesses.

Should I consider a relatively unknown breakdown company?

The AA, RAC and Green Flag are not the only breakdown companies although they are the most well-known. However, it’s possible a local recovery service with a small breakdown provider could offer you a service that is exactly what you need. Read more about weighing up the pros and cons of small v large providers.

Will my breakdown provider change my wheel if I get a puncture?

It’s best to check if your policy carries an exclusion for this. Some providers do and some don’t. There may also be a limit to how many call-outs you can make on this.

What if I accidentally put in the wrong fuel?

Many policies will cover this but it’s best to read your Terms to check and beware of exclusions.

Does it make any difference if I am towing?

It’s always best to read your Terms & Conditions but usually you get breakdown cover for a caravan or trailer as well as the towing vehicle.

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