Whether it's for getting to work, taking the children to school or for going shopping, most of us rely on our vehicles for getting us where we need to be, when we need to be there.
A breakdown is inconvenient at the best of times. At best it's probably a puncture or a flat battery that's often fixed by the side of the road within an hour or so. At worst it might be a few days or longer waiting for parts to be ordered so that your car can be fixed and running again.
Many people therefore take out breakdown cover so that should the worst happen, they can be back on the road again in the shortest time possible and with the minumum cost.
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What's Usually Covered?
The basic level of cover is usually called something like "Roadside". Should your vehicle break down by the side of the road, a patrol or mechanic will be sent out and they will usually attempt to repair your vehicle, providing it is safe to do so. The labour charges are usually included (up to a certain amount) but you'll probably have to pay for parts.
Bearing in mind in can cost well over £ just to have your vehicle towed off the motorway to the nearest junction, you might be very pleased to have spent the small premium on roadside cover should you find yourself stuck on the hard shoulder!
If it's not possible to repair your vehicle within a certain period of time, you'll usually then be towed to the nearest garage. They will carry out the repairs (at your cost) and it's up to you to find your own way home.
Recovery and Onward Travel
The next level of cover is often called something like "Recovery". In addition to the benefits of "roadside", recovery will usually take you, your passengers and your vehicle to any destination in the UK. That might be back home, to your intended destination or perhaps, to your own local garage.
Some policies may also give you the option of a hire car for a couple of days and pay for your return travel to enable you to pick up your vehicle once it has been repaired.
Extras such as "home start" can be added to breakdown cover policies. Usually you're only covered once you're a certain distance from home, so if you're concerned about not being able to start your car at home, this might be something worth thinking about.
It's also worth thinking about whether you want to cover the vehicle itself, or the people likely to drive it. Covering the vehicle means your covered if it breaks down, regardless of who's driving it. Covering a person, couple or family means they have the benefits of the breakdown policy irrespective of the vehicle they are driving or travelling in.
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