Is breakdown cover really worth it?

When you look at how to get cheap car insurance, you’re often told to only buy the cover you need. But with some options – like car breakdown cover, it’s impossible to predict whether you’ll need it or not. Here, comparison site highlight what policies include so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What does car breakdown cover include?

What’s included will depend on the policy you choose. Bear in mind that policies will vary slightly depending on the individual provider, but broadly speaking, you can choose from:

  • Roadside assistance – your provider will arrange for your car to be fixed at the side of the road. If it can’t, it’ll be taken to the nearest garage.
  • National recovery – if your car can’t be repaired straight away, it will be taken to a garage of your choice anywhere in the UK.
  • Onward travel – your provider will arrange alternative transport so that you can continue your journey, this could be by taxi or hire car. If you need overnight accommodation, this will be provided too.
  • Home start (at home assistance) – if you can’t get your car to start while at home (or very close to home) your provider will send a mechanic to get it started.
  • European breakdown – provides roadside assistance if you break down in Europe; always double check the country you’re visiting is covered by your policy.

What extras can I add to my breakdown policy?       

Most breakdown providers will also offer you a choice of extras which you can add to your policy for a small increase in cost, including:

  • Replacement lost keys
  • New tyres instead of using your spare
  • Replacement battery
  • Misfuelling cover

What isn’t covered by my car breakdown policy?

Almost all car breakdown policies will have exclusions (events that aren’t covered) so it’s important to be aware of what they are to avoid disappointment. Typical exclusions include:

  • Breakdowns on private land
  • Onward travel for any pets you’re travelling with
  • Breakdowns caused by an accident
  • Breakdowns caused by poor car maintenance, for example, if you hadn’t topped up the oil.

How much does car breakdown cover cost?

The cost of your policy will depend on the level of cover you have and whether or not you’ve chosen to add any extras.

As a guide, you can buy cover for roadside assistance for around £50 from some of the larger providers, while policies for onward travel and national recovery start at around £150. That said, you can pick up the same level of cover from smaller providers for a lot less so it’s well worth shopping around to compare what’s on offer.

Is car breakdown cover worth the cost?

This really depends on your circumstances. If your car is new and not likely to break down any time soon, policies can feel like an unnecessary expense. But remember, breakdowns can happen to any car at any time.

Nevertheless, regardless of whether your car is new or old, breakdown cover can be valuable, simply for peace of mind and knowing that help is at hand should you need it.

Policies are also competitively priced and although the most comprehensive packages can feel pricey, you need to weigh up the cost of resolving the issue yourself. This will mean factoring in costs including call-out charges, towing, repairs and onward travel arrangements. On balance, even some of the higher priced car breakdown policies can look like excellent value for money when you consider how these costs can add up.

Compare car insurance and breakdown cover for the best deals

For the best deal on your car insurance and breakdown cover, you can search for quotes from dozens of UK providers at Plus, their Cheapest Price Guarantee is a promise to beat any other online quote so you can be confident about getting great value for money.

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