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Breakdown Cover FAQs

No one likes to think their car or vehicle is going to breakdown, but according to official statistics from the UK's many breakdown services, over 20,000 vehicle breakdowns occur every single day. That's almost seven and a half million breakdowns every year, often for things such as punctures, flat batteries and common engine problems

In the time it will take you to read this page, 75 people will have broken down, and it's very unlikely that any of them thought that they'd end up stranded. Having suitable breakdown cover is essential, but with so many different companies now offering breakdown cover, it can be difficult to know how to compare them all, and hard to work out what it is you should be looking for.

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Breakdown Assistance

Your own needs will vary depending on a number of factors. For example, some people will be happy to keep costs down and pay only for breakdown assistance should their vehicle breakdown away from home. If their car won't start, but they're at home, then breakdown assistance won't be available, but this is likely to be a less difficult or hazardous situation than if the vehicle was stranded miles from anywhere on a winter's night, with a child in the car.

For those who are happy to pay a little more, breakdown cover will also be able to provide assistance by the roadside, wherever you happen to be in the UK, including at home. With breakdown assistance figures showing that now around 85% of callouts result in the breakdown company being able to fix the problem by the roadside, allowing the driver to continue safely in their journey, this represents a good options and great peace of mind.

Roadside Recovery

However, in 15% of cases a repair by the roadside isn't possible, and in these situations the car may need to be towed. This can be very expensive, with a tow from a motorway costing several hundred pounds if you don't have suitable breakdown cover to include recovery. For a little extra on your annual premium you should be able to add recovery to your roadside cover, which means that your vehicle will be towed to a garage if it can't be fixed by the road.

If you don't want your car towed to a garage straight away, then you can usually request that your car is either towed back to your home, or to your destination. However, if you choose to have your car towed to your destination, it will be your responsibility to make sure it's repaired and able to be driven back to your home, as the recovery firm won't usually allow you to call them out for the same problem twice, unless you can show that you have paid a garage to have it fixed in between callouts.

Additional Roadside Cover Benefits

Additional options are also usually available from most breakdown firms, including the option to provide you with an alternative vehicle if your own vehicle can't be repaired by the roadside, and even overnight accommodation. If you have a baby or young children with you this is a particularly reassuring option to have.

It's also worth remembering that increasingly these days breakdown firms are covering the person, not the vehicle. This means that if you have breakdown cover, then you can still call out the recovery firm even if you happen to be a passenger in someone else's car. Cards and membership aren't usually transferable, and it's wise to have some other form of ID to hand to prove you really are who you claim to be. But knowing that you're covered in any vehicle is reassuring, since often you have even less idea of the reliability of the car.

Quote Professor is a trading name of Leyton Solutions Limited. Registered in England and Wales, Company Number:7022117.

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