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When to consider breakdown cover

If you drive your car further than to the local shop, for example to a place or work, to visit new places or even on a staycation, you should consider purchasing breakdown cover so you are not left stranded, miles away from home.

What is breakdown cover

Breakdown cover, or roadside assistance, is designed to offer assistance if your car should breakdown whilst out on the road due to a fault with the car or something that renders your car undrivable. This can be anything from a punctured tyre to complete engine failure.

If your breakdown provider cannot fix the car at the roadside for whatever reason, your car will be recovered and taken to a local car garage who will be able to fix your car or to your home address.

Why you should consider breakdown cover

A lot of people neglect breakdown cover for a number of reasons, but if you find yourself in a precarious position, breakdown cover can be a lifeline. It can also be much more expensive for you to arrange for your vehicle to be towed without breakdown cover in place.

Going on a staycation

Heading off on a staycation means it’s likely you’re going to be doing a lot of driving – getting to your destination, visiting local attractions and exploring new places.

The last thing you want with a full car is to breakdown in an area that you are completely unfamiliar with. If you don’t know the area, it might be more worrisome as you won’t know where to head to for safety, what local garage to call or how you are going to get back to your accommodation.

Even more problematic is if you are towing a caravan that you will be sleeping in – you will need to rely on your car even more so. If this is the case, you should check that your policy covers your car for towing before you start your journey.

Being stuck on a staycation without a car can really dampen the holiday as you’ll have to rely on public transport or stay in the immediate vicinity.

If you are heading away for a staycation, you should check that your breakdown cover meets your requirements.

You commute to work

Whilst working from home has become more prevalent over the past few years, it doesn’t apply to everyone.

If you commute to a place of work that is a good distance from your home, you should certainly consider having breakdown cover in place.

Whilst you may be familiar with your route and know how to get home should your car breakdown, you still need to ensure your car is recovered if it cannot be fixed by the roadside.

You do lots of motorway driving

It is one thing being stuck on an A or B road that you are unfamiliar with, but being abandoned on a motorway is a new level – it’s more dangerous and there is certainly no public transport to get you back home.

Most motorways have hard shoulders, with some being turned into smart motorways to ease congestion, so if you do happen to breakdown, you are not in a live lane, although this can happen if your car fails as you sit in standstill traffic.

Being stranded on the hard shoulder of a motorway can be a frightening experience, with cars thundering by at 70mph. Having breakdown cover offers assurance that there is help on the way.

What does breakdown cover offer?

Breakdown cover will usually not apply if you happen to breakdown within a few miles of your home. If you are any further afield, your breakdown provider will send a trained technician to fix your car at the roadside. If the car cannot be fixed at the roadside and requires additional assistance, your car will be taken to your local garage.

There are generally two levels of cover; breakdown cover and roadside assistance. If you opt for roadside assistance only, you will be responsible for the recovery of your vehicle if it cannot be fixed at the roadside.

Vehicle or person policy

When the time comes to choose a policy, you will be given the option to either cover your vehicle or the occupant of the car.

Vehicle cover will cover the car, no matter who is driving, whereas covering the person will cover any vehicle that person drives.

Home start or onward travel

You will have the option to add on home start and onward travel if they are relevant to your needs. Home start offers assistance if you hit any issues whilst close to home (most standard policies won’t cover this). Onward travel helps you get home if your vehicle cannot be fixed at the roadside and needs to be recovered.

Unlimited callouts

Some providers offer unlimited callouts, so even if you had one breakdown, it would cover the cost of the policy. Without the policy, you would be paying much more to recover your car and get back to your home.

Unlimited callouts are only valid if the fault is different from a previous callout.

24/7 cover

Most providers will offer 24/7 breakdown cover, so if you find yourself in a tricky situation during the night, your breakdown cover will help you get back on the road. Without breakdown cover, you would be hard pushed to find a recovery company that is on hand overnight.

National recovery

Breakdown providers will usually cover your vehicle nationally, so if you are away from home, perhaps on a staycation or on a day trip, you are still covered under your policy.

Compare breakdown providers

You can compare breakdown policies to see which is best for you and your requirements.

Provider

24/7 cover

National cover

Unlimited callouts

Distance from home

Onward travel

AA

¼ mile

RAC

Available

Available

Home rescue available

Green Flag

Available

¼ mile

Available

AXA

Available

Unknown

Home start available

 

Be sure to read to policy details clearly so you are covered for when you need it most.

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