Breakdown Cover Explained

Breakdown Cover Explained

Breakdown cover is a special type of insurance that can be taken out for most vehicles. However, it is up to you to get it organised. Find out how you can, before you get stuck on the side of the road!

car broken down cover

Unlike regular car insurance in the UK, breakdown cover is usually taken out to cover emergency situations. Regardless of how reliable your car is, problems can strike at any time.

This can often leave motorists and their passengers stranded at the side of the road with a vehicle that’s just given up.

It means that unless a mechanic kindly happens to walk by, you’ll end up spending a lot of money for help. With breakdown insurance, this help comes with for a flat fee. Otherwise, you’ll be paying not only for garage service but also for their callout charge.

Some of the most common reasons for breakdowns include flat tyres, faulty/flat batteries, lost, keys, problems with fuel and dodgy clutch cables.

NOTE: You should probably have a breakdown kit handy in your car as well!

Breakdown cover: What types are there?

Of course, there are many different types of breakdown cover and insurance. Here, it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. Basic levels of cover are offered by cheaper breakdown policies, but they may not cover everything. The pricier a policy is, the more comprehensive it will be and the more features it is likely to have.

Overall, there are five features breakdown cover will offer:

  • Roadside Recovery: Help with getting the car restarted when it’s waiting at the roadside. Transport to the closest garage is also given, when necessary.
  • Vehicle Recovery: The features of roadside recovery are given, as well as extras that ensure your vehicle is returned either to your intended destination or your home.
  • Home Start/Assistance: The breakdown cover feature is quite popular but it can also be more expensive. It helps with restarting your car if you’ve broken down within a mile of where you live.
  • Onward Travel: This provides either a replacement vehicle or covers the cost of public transport. If necessary, accommodation is also provided.
  • European Breakdown Cover: This type of insurance covers motorists who breakdown not only in the UK, but anywhere in Europe as well.

In order to understand everything, it is important to compare breakdown cover and see what choices are available. There are actually quite a lot – it all depends on specific needs and requirements.

Breakdown cover: What would I need?

Basic breakdown cover is often enough for those with very new cars. Older cars, on the other hand may need extra insurance. In addition, there are exclusions to look out for, which will not be there unless your policy states otherwise:

  • Labour costs and the cost of parts after a certain amount of money. This includes claims which exceed a specific limit (i.e., your car’s market value).
  • Claims made after going over the agreed mileage limit.
  • Recovery after accidents.
  • If you broke down recently for the exact same reason.
  • The number of callouts per year is usually limited (for example, you may only get five).
  • Usually, small domestic pets can be transported but not larger animals such as livestock or horses.
  • Faults due to human error (lost keys, etc.)

Some people may ask about wheels when it comes to breakdown insurance. Typically, it’s a good idea to have a spare wheel. A key to remove wheel nuts is also a good idea. Breakdown cover can also be refused by a provider if your car isn’t up to a roadworthy standard.