I’m sure we have all been guilty of overlooking the importance of breakdown cover at some point or other, maybe in a bid to save a few extra pounds for Friday nights at the pub or even a trip abroad. It’s the moment when you’re driving down the motorway at 60 and you lose power that the reality of not having cover really hits you.
After insurance, breakdown cover is the next must-have motoring essential, yet possibly the most overlooked. Although it’s not and probably never will be a legal requirement, it could single-handedly save you a small fortune and a whole load of heartache in the long run.
Of course, simply deciding to go ahead and purchase the best breakdown cover is only the beginning, there are literally dozens of company’s out there all vying for your business with their own unique offerings. So, in order to aid you in making an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the most common levels of breakdown cover, and here they are. Of course, policy names and the finer detail may vary across providers.
Roadside is a low-priced entry-level breakdown policy and comes with some pretty major limitations. There’s no courtesy car, home start, or European cover. As is the case with all levels of cover, the basic roadside option will provide cover in the event of a breakdown out on the road. A qualified patrol will attend and wherever possible strive to carry out a roadside repair, but if an immediate roadside repair isn’t possible, both you and the car will be taken to the nearest garage.
Essentially the same as roadside cover, but with the addition of transportation for you, your passengers, and your vehicle to a destination of your choice, which is usually limited to the UK mainland. A key benefit with this level of cover is the ability to have the vehicle taken directly to a mechanic of your choice, one you already know and trust, rather than simply relying on a garage within the vicinity of the breakdown.
Home start is particularly useful if you rely on your car to commute to and from work. Giving you the added benefit of assistance at your home address, which includes the attendance of a patrol and repairs. Without home start a patrol will usually only attend if your vehicle breaks down a specific distance from your home address.
Onward Travel Cover
Family self-explanatory, onward travel cover enables you to claim for the cost of any unexpected accommodation or car hire incurred as a result of a breakdown. This is the most substantial domestic policy available and also includes the features listed under the previous three levels of cover.
If you’re a keen road tripper, a regular on the Continent, or simply off on a family holiday across the channel, you’ll need to upgrade your cover. Most providers will allow you to add European cover on a per-trip basis as well as for the duration of your breakdown policy.