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Low-cost car breakdown cover policies
The majority of us own a car (or several) and although they provide us with a great service most of the time, they can break down! This is when breakdown cover comes to the rescue! Asides from ensuring peace of mind, it’s often a lot less costly than having to arrange cover on the spot.
From fixing the issue on-site to towing your vehicle to the nearest garage, all of these expenses add up. When you have a quality cover in place, you pay a small monthly or annual fee meaning someone else takes care of the upfront costs in the event of a breakdown.
As with most policies, be it car insurance, house insurance or breakdown cover, there are numerous providers and levels of cover to choose from. Here at Utility Saving Expert, we want to help you decide on the best policy for your needs, so we’ve provided an insight into the many different options below, as well as information on what this cover involves exactly.
What Is Breakdown Cover?
Do I Need Breakdown Cover?
What Does a Breakdown Policy Cover?
All in all, there are five key elements of breakdown cover to choose from, spanning from van breakdown cover to national recovery, cheap car breakdown cover, UK breakdown cover and more.
This makes vehicle breakdown cover a bespoke motor insurance option as the package you choose is dependent on the level of instant cover you require.
You can further tailor these packages with add-ons, such as alternative transport (should your car not be able to be fixed at the scene of the breakdown), flat battery cover and more.
Local roadside assistance
If you break down when driving in your local area, your breakdown service will send a patrol car to your exact location, ensuring you have roadside assistance on hand.
If they’re unable to fix your car at the scene, your breakdown provider or insurance provider will tow both you and your vehicle to a local garage of your choice.
National vehicle recovery
If you break down a significant distance from your local area, national vehicle recovery will ensure you are privy to roadside assistance, irrespective of where you break down in the UK.
They will attempt to fix your car on site and if they are unable to do so, they will tow you and your vehicle to a garage nearby. With the majority of breakdown policies, this is included along with roadside recovery.
National vehicle recovery is a good option for those who travel for work and leisure, for example, if you frequent an office in another part of the country or have family and friends at the opposite end of the country! If your car or motorcycle breaks down, this type of cover will ensure you get back home safely with as little hassle as possible.
Often referred to as ‘home start’, at-home breakdown recovery will ensure you’re up and running should your vehicle break down before you’ve even left home.
If your car has been sitting for a while, it may simply need a jump start, which is when your breakdown service will come to the rescue. If it is something more serious, that they’re unable to remedy on the spot, they will tow the vehicle to a garage.
The distance covered varies between providers, which means it is important to read the T&Cs. It often spans anything from more than a quarter of a mile to a mile from your home.
This section of the policy covers additional transport, should you require it to get you to where you need to be if your car is unable to be fixed on-site.
This often comprises solutions including a hire car or the fees required to purchase a bus, train or flight ticket. This is a must for those who use their car to make long journeys, especially for work.
The majority of providers tend to offer onward travel as an add-on. However, certain providers include a level of alternative transport in all cover levels, meaning you will never be left without transport to your final destination. In terms of options, the standard cover tends to include the price of a taxi ride for up to 20 miles.
The advanced cover typically boasts a combination of taxis, hire cars or a hotel for up to a value of £150 over two days.
The ultimate cover can boast a combination of taxis, hire cars or a hotel stay for up to £500 over seven days.
European breakdown cove
If you often use your car in Europe, European breakdown cover is a must as it will cover you whilst overseas, and for the length of your journey.
Trying to tow a broken down vehicle back to the UK without this cover is not only time-consuming, but it is also a huge expense.
European breakdown cover is often offered as an add-on to additional car insurance policies, as opposed to standalone breakdown cover, however, some do include it as standard.
This is why reading your policy agreement is a must, as it may already be included in your current breakdown cover so be sure to check before you choose to add it on.
Parts and Garage Cover
Parts and Garage Cover, often referred to as Breakdown Repair Cover, assists with repair costs in the unfortunate event of your vehicle breaking down.
If you have a particularly bespoke car or wish to avoid hefty on-the-spot bills for necessary car parts, you should choose a breakdown option that includes this in the policy.
Parts could include anything from a replacement for a flat battery to a new fan belt. Knowing your vehicle breakdown firm has your back in this situation offers motorists peace of mind.
What Extras Can I Include In My Breakdown Insurance Policy?
When it comes to breakdown cover, you can make it as bespoke as you wish. From adding extras such as the replacement of keys to misfuelling cover, tyre replacement extras, the option of a hire car as alternative transport and more – there are numerous add-ons to consider, many of which will save you money in the long run…
When considering a breakdown cover quote, it is always a good idea to check what additional extras are already included in the policy you have chosen and what extras you’re able to add.
Some companies have several levels of the same cover, with the lowest level being the most basic and the premium option boasting an array of handy extras.
Misfuelling is unfortunate, however, it does happen. Whether you’re not paying attention or using someone else’s car, adding the wrong fuel to a vehicle can cause a great deal of damage unless you drain and clean the tank.
This requires the services of a professional and can be a costly job if you don’t have cover in place. Adding misfuelling cover as an optional extra ensures your insurance company will cover the costs for cleaning and draining the fuel tank, whether at a local garage or a filling station. Certain policies will also cover all or some of the costs of the fuel wasted.
If you have started to drive your vehicle with the wrong fuel, it is important to pull over immediately and turn on your hazard warning lights to notify other drivers of your presence.
Driving with the wrong fuel can cause a great deal of damage to your car, which is why it’s important to allow your breakdown company to tow you to a garage.
Replacement of keys
Car key cover is another optional add-on, and one certainly worth investing in. Acquiring a replacement key for a modern-day car without a breakdown cover can set you back a small fortune.
On top of this, it can also cost you a great deal of time as a new key isn’t something that can be produced on the spot. If this incident occurs and your cover doesn’t feature alternative transport as an extra, you may have a very expensive journey ahead of you.
Whether lost or stolen, with this add-on, your insurance company provider will replace the key on your behalf. This is certainly something those who own only one key should look into.
A set of new replacement tyres, on the spot, could set you back around a whopping £520. Adding tyre replacement as an extra to your breakdown cover will likely only set you back in the region of £6 per month – irrespective of whether they have been damaged maliciously or accidentally punctured.
On top of ensuring you keep costs down, having tyre replacements as an added extra will ensure a much quicker service. Certain breakdown providers will also be able to fit the new tyres on-site, meaning you will be able to get on your way in little to no time.
If they can’t replace the tyres on-site, they will provide a recovery vehicle to tow you to the nearest garage or a replacement car.
A standard battery costs in the region of £160. This is a hefty and unnecessary cost that can be avoided by adding battery replacement as an extra to your standard breakdown cover policy.
With battery replacement, your breakdown cover company will replace your existing battery should you break down if they are unable to recharge it on site. This add-on will save you both time and money.
Common Breakdown Cover Exclusions
Results appear very quickly on the website, and it is very easy to use. Upon selecting the right insurer, it takes you to their website for completion. As a result, I saved almost £100 over the quote I received from my previous insurer. I’m impressed!
Date of experience: 06 December 2022
2nd time I’ve used the site. There quite new as comparison sites go, but, what I really like is that not only do they save me plenty of £££, they also donate to fuel poverty charities to help those in need.
Date of experience: 03 March 2020
Used to get insurance for delivering as an Uber Eats driver. Got a few quotes from brokers and ended up with a great deal.
Date of experience: 04 March 2020
Good service, easy to use. Will use again as helped me save some money.
Date of experience: 04 March 2020
Why Compare Breakdown Cover with Utility Saving Expert?
When it comes to choosing a quality breakdown provider, choosing the correct policy for your needs can be a difficult feat. In fact, with so many providers to choose from, the choice can seem overwhelming. This is when using an online comparison site such as ours at Utility Saving Expert is key, as we do the hard part for you and allow you to choose the best policy for your circumstances.
By entering a handful of details, such as information on the car or cars you wish to insure, how many people you wish to add to the policy and whether or not you wish to add European cover or any other extras, like replacement keys or tyres to the policy, will ensure you find a breakdown policy that suits both your needs and your price range.
You will be met with a list of breakdown cover provider options able to cater to your requirements, as well as quotes from each breakdown service. The best part about using our comparison tool is that when you compare breakdown policies, only trusted providers regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority will be revealed in the search results, so you can relax knowing you will have reliable coverage no matter what option you pick.
This is a great way to source everything from UK breakdown cover to the cheapest breakdown cover, to a vehicle recovery service for those wishing to take their car to Europe to options that allow you to pay monthly as opposed to annually.
This depends on which provider and which deal you choose. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to invest in both a breakdown policy and car insurance as separate packages. Although, this can be more hassle and necessitates two separate direct debit payments – one for car insurance and one for roadside assistance.
For best results, use our comparison site, to compare both standalone and packaged breakdown policies to ensure you get the best vehicle cover deal for your needs and budget.
This is entirely dependent on your roadside assistance cover policy – certain covers will allow for a specific number of callouts, included in the price of the policy, that are capped when you reach the limit.
Other breakdown cover providers will let you make an unlimited amount of call-outs. It is however important to review your policy’s T&Cs as you may be charged an additional fee or excess for each callout made.
Certain car breakdown cover companies will exclude the recovery of cars involved in accidents in their entirety. The policies that do cover accidents will arrange the towage of the customer’s car from the scene of the accident but only after authorisation has been given by the emergency services on-site or the police.
It is important to read the terms and conditions of your breakdown assistance cover policy carefully to understand exactly what your specific agreement covers and doesn’t cover.
You can learn more about this in the breakdown cover FAQs. These can be viewed on the website of most providers at the bottom or in the ‘about us’ section. In addition, when you compare breakdown cover providers, you will likely receive a list of all the items they do cover in the policy in the shape of a handy information table.
Yes, your vehicle breakdown covers you from the date you take the breakdown cover policy out. Providing the incident occurred after you signed the breakdown policy (and you can prove this), you will be able to make a claim straight away.
This is irrespective of whether you have signed up for cheap breakdown cover, national recovery or breakdown cover for classic cars.