8 Things You Must Know Regarding Vehicle Breakdown Cover
Roadside assistance sounds like such a simple thing, doesn’t it? You pay some money upfront and if your car breaks down a very nice patrol turns up, repairs it, and then sends you on your way with a cheery wave.
In many cases that is exactly what does happen but, as with so many things in life, the devil is in the detail; what is covered? What isn’t? Who is covered? What happens if they can’t repair my car at the roadside? What to do when you break down?
These are just some of the questions that you need to ask before parting with your hard-earned money.
1. What is a Vehicle Breakdown Cover?
At its most simple breakdown cover is insurance. You are paying a premium to the breakdown company and they are insuring you against your car breaking down. If your car doesn’t break down (and modern cars are incredibly reliable if they are serviced regularly) then the company will make a profit. If your car does break down then they will send someone out to try and fix it and take you to a garage if they can’t.
Another way to look at it is as a bet. You are betting the cost of membership that you will break down – and the breakdown company is betting that you won’t!
2. Do I Really Need A Vehicle Breakdown Cover?
The RAC answer up to two phone calls a second when they are at their busiest and the AA attends to 3.5 million breakdowns a year – and they are just two of a dozen or more companies providing breakdown cover, helping motorists get on their way as quickly as possible, helping them get on with their lives. It’s a fact of life that cars will break down, I’m afraid.
Breakdowns aren’t just an inconvenience; they can cost a lot of money. You will pay well over £100 to be towed off the hard shoulder of a motorway and then £50 an hour or more in garage labor charges for a mechanic to fix your car.
“But my car has never broken down!” I hear you cry. Well, even if your car is the most reliable in the world you could still lose your keys, run out of petrol, have a punctured tire, be involved in an accident, or suffer a flat battery – and the recovery and labor charges don’t get any cheaper just because it’s a smaller problem!
3. What Does It Cover?
In most vehicle breakdown covers, your membership will cover all of the straightforward problems such as your car breaking down on a journey, running out of fuel, having a puncture, or being involved in an accident.
The better policies also cover you against more esoteric problems including the driver becoming ill and being unable to continue to travel and even your car not starting while it’s outside your home.
4. Are There Different Levels of Vehicle Breakdown Cover?
Yes, there are. The simplest cover – and the cheapest – provides a service whereby the company sends out a patrol who will try and repair your car at the side of the road, something that they manage to do in about 4 out of 5 cases. If they can’t do so they will tow you to the nearest garage, where you will have to make your own arrangements to get it repaired.
The next step up is to buy a cover that pays for the breakdown company to take you on to your destination if they can’t fix your car at the side of the road. This is very useful if you are going away on holiday or need to get home. This is the lowest level of cover that is appropriate for most people.
With many car problems originating at home, all the breakdown companies also sell covers for your car when it is at your home address or close to it. This does cost a little bit more but it does mean that when you get into your car to go to work and find that it won’t start, you’ll be covered. After all, it does sound much better when you phone your boss if you can tell them that the breakdown company is on the way, doesn’t it?
More expensive policies can cover the cost of the labor and parts that are needed to repair your car, the cost of a hire car, public transport, or a hotel room if your car can’t be repaired quickly – and even a replacement driver if the main driver becomes ill and is unable to continue.
5. Who Are the Main Providers of Vehicle Breakdown Services?
These are the most reputable breakdown cover companies on the UK market in 2022:
1. The AA
The AA is the largest vehicle breakdown service provider in the UK. They have over 15 million members and repair over 3.5 million cars each year. The AA has a good reputation and they claim to repair a car in 30 minutes on average. Two of the largest breakdown service companies in the UK are the RAC and the AA. Due to our existence since 1897, The RAC is the most seasoned provider of breakdown services in the UK. In 1908, The AA was established. Check what is included in every level of insurance coverage before you buy because the perfect provider for you will depend on your demands.
RAC is one of the most recommended breakdown cover providers in the UK. It has a long history and a great reputation. RAC is used by over 7 million customers. Cut-outs, non-starts, punctures, and battery issues are all handled. Even if you run out of petrol, we’ll still show up. With the RAC’s Breakdown Cover, you may resume driving with total assurance. The RAC offers exceptional roadside support.
3. QDOS Breakdown
QDOS breakdown is a highly rated breakdown cover provider. They offer both UK and EU breakdown cover, and they claim to fix 4 out of 5 vehicles at the roadside. Including up to 1-hour roadside assistance, vehicle home start, and unlimited callouts per year, QDOS breakdown is one of the amazing options available.
4. GEM Motoring Assist
Another recommended breakdown cover provider is GEM Motoring Assist. They claim to be up to 63% cheaper than their competitors. They offer unlimited callouts, a membership club, and a 5-star Defaqto rating.
5. Green Flag
Green Flag is the biggest challenger to the two industry leaders. Green Flag is a reliable company all around and offers its services at more competitive prices than the AA or RAC. Green Flag’s response time is on average 30 minutes and they repair 86% of all cars at the roadside.
6. Are There Any Cheaper Options?
Yes, there are. All of the companies listed above will come out and try to fix your car, or tow it to a garage, free of charge. You can save money, however, by using a company like AutoAid. With AutoAid you pay for a company to come out and sort your breakdown and then claim the money back from them. They will do all of the legwork including contacting the nearest approved breakdown company and they have an excellent record of paying back claims very quickly.
This is the cheapest way to get a full vehicle breakdown cover.
7. I Have Two Cars; Am I Covered in Both of Them? What About if I’m in Someone Else’s Car?
You need to check whether you have a ‘personal’ or ‘vehicle’ cover. With personal you have breakdown cover in any car, often even if you are just a passenger.
With vehicle cover, it is the car that has the policy, not you. This can be useful if a number of people use the same car.
Most companies, like the AA, Green Flag, and the RAC, offer you the choice of covering the person or the vehicle. Others might just cover the car OR the person.
8. Is My Car Covered when I’m Abroad?
All of the companies can provide cover while you’re motoring in Europe but it does cost extra. You’ll also need to check that they cover the country that you’re going to and whether they provide an English-speaking service to contact if you have a problem with your car.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about the vehicle breakdown cover. Please do ask and we’ll do our level best to answer you as quickly as possible!
Having insurance ensures that you can get assistance if your car breaks down is the breakdown cover. For instance, you can dial for roadside help if your engine quits or you acquire a flat tyre. When your mechanic gets there, they’ll try to fix your car right away. If they can’t, they will tow you to a repair facility (also known as “recovery”) so you won’t be left stranded by the side of the road.
It’s crucial to pick a reputable provider when purchasing breakdown insurance. Consider the degree of coverage that amazing meets your demands as well. While QDOS are the newbies on the block, they are well-rated amongst their customers. With 4 out of 5 vehicles fixed at the roadside, they are a worthwhile competitor to the big three. Hope you liked this article on the breakdown covers to be interesting.