Breakdown Cover

Types of Breakdown Cover: Your Complete Guide

Imagine the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected in case of a vehicle breakdown. With so many options available, understanding the different types of breakdown cover is essential to make the right choice for your specific needs. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of breakdown cover options, personal vs vehicle-specific cover, European travel considerations, and more, ensuring you have the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the range of breakdown cover options to select an appropriate policy for individual needs.
  • Consider lifestyle factors, coverage levels and optional add-ons when selecting a policy.
  • Leverage comparisons to find the best deal and ensure your classic car is covered with specialized services.

Exploring the Spectrum of Breakdown Cover Options

Breakdown cover, also known as vehicle breakdown cover, is a form of insurance that provides assistance in case of a vehicle breakdown and can significantly impact your travel experience by offering peace of mind and support during emergencies. From the most fundamental type of breakdown cover, roadside assistance, to more comprehensive options like national recovery and home start services, there’s a policy suited for every driver’s needs. With breakdown cover explained, you can make an informed decision on the best policy for your situation, and choose the right breakdown cover provider.

Roadside assistance is the minimum coverage offered by most companies, providing basic help in case of a vehicle breakdown. On the other hand, national recovery services offer more extensive coverage, enabling drivers to choose any UK destination for repair and minimizing travel disruption. Home start services provide assistance for car breakdowns at home or within a certain distance, including tow service to a local garage.

Given the wide range of options, understanding the unique features and benefits of each type of breakdown cover is key to finding the policy that best fits your needs.

Essential Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance is a form of breakdown cover that offers essential support to drivers, such as:

  • Towing to the nearest garage if required
  • Sending an engineer to the scene to attempt repairs
  • Arranging for the car to be towed to a nearby garage of the breakdown provider’s choice, within a specified radius of the incident
  • Once repairs are complete, the car can be collected.

However, bear in mind that this type of breakdown policy generally does not include the cost of any replacement parts used by the engineer or any repairs carried out at the garage. For instance, AA’s Roadside Assistance offers 24/7 assistance in the UK, but if they are unable to repair your vehicle at the roadside, they will tow it to a nearby garage for repair.

Comprehensive National Recovery Services

National Recovery Breakdown Cover offers drivers the ability to select any destination in the UK for repair services. This type of cover ensures that you and your car are taken to any destination in the UK for repair, which can help to minimize the disruption to your travel plans.

Comprehensive National Recovery Services provide the option of selecting any destination in the UK for repairs, thus reducing travel disruption. This coverage is included in Extra and Complete cover levels, offering more flexibility and support for drivers in the event of a breakdown.

Home Start Services for Peace of Mind

Home Start cover provides assistance should you experience a breakdown at home, or within a specified distance of your home. An engineer will be dispatched to attempt to kick start your vehicle, ensuring that you’re not left stranded in your own driveway.

Most Home Start policies offer a tow service to a nearby garage for your convenience. This additional coverage can be added as an optional extra to the majority of basic policies, offering peace of mind and extra support when you need it most.

Personal vs Vehicle-Specific Breakdown Cover

The distinction between personal and vehicle-specific breakdown cover is important to understand when selecting the best policy for your needs. Personal breakdown cover provides coverage for an individual, regardless of whether they are the driver or a passenger, rather than the vehicle. On the contrary, vehicle-specific breakdown cover provides coverage for a single vehicle, regardless of who is driving it when a breakdown occurs.

Personal cover offers the advantage of coverage for passengers and drivers in any vehicle, while vehicle cover safeguards one single vehicle in your household, regardless of the driver. Depending on your driving habits and vehicle usage, one type of cover may be more suitable for your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Cover for Your Lifestyle

Choosing the right cover for your lifestyle necessitates considering factors like family size, travel habits, and the types of vehicles you use regularly. For instance, if you have a large family and frequently drive multiple vehicles, personal cover may be the better option. However, if you only drive one vehicle and rarely travel as a passenger, vehicle-specific cover may be more suitable.

Evaluating your individual needs and selecting a compatible breakdown cover will provide the necessary support and assistance during any potential breakdown situations.

Journey Continuation with Onward Travel Cover

No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road, and onward travel cover can help ensure that you can continue your journey even if your vehicle cannot be repaired on the spot. Onward Travel Breakdown Cover assists drivers who are stranded and require their vehicle to be repaired at a garage by providing them with the necessary means to complete their journey.

This type of cover typically includes coverage for standard class train travel for you and your passengers to complete your journey, as well as the option for a hire car. Onward travel cover helps minimize travel disruption and allows you to focus on your journey, with the assurance of alternative travel options and cost coverage if needed.

Navigating European Roads: European Breakdown Cover

If you’re planning to travel to Europe by car, European Breakdown Cover is an essential consideration. This tailored assistance for European travel provides various benefits, including hotel accommodation and hire car provision, in case of a breakdown while abroad.

European breakdown cover is offered by numerous providers, such as, which offers coverage for cars and motorcycles in more than 40 European countries. This type of cover provides peace of mind and support when navigating unfamiliar roads, ensuring that your European road trip is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

Deciding If You Need European Cover

Deciding whether you need European cover involves considering your travel plans and how often you travel abroad. If you only plan to drive in Europe once or twice a year, a single trip European breakdown cover may be more cost-effective than other options. However, for more frequent travelers, an annual cover providing protection for all trips made within a year may be a better choice.

Not having European Breakdown Cover when traveling abroad can present several potential risks, such as becoming stranded, incurring expensive repair or towing costs, and encountering safety hazards in the event of an accident. Having European Breakdown Cover helps mitigate these risks and contributes to a smooth travel experience.

Extra Protection Through Optional Cover Add-Ons

Beyond the standard breakdown cover options, several optional add-ons offer additional protection and assurance. These may include:

  • Battery rescue
  • Parts and labor coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Vehicle recovery
  • Onward travel coverage, which can provide alternative transport if needed

By considering these additional coverage options, you can tailor your breakdown policy to suit your specific needs and preferences.

For example, key replacement cover provides reimbursement for lost, broken, or stolen car and home keys, and may also cover the cost of new locks and a hire car. Misfuel cover provides coverage for towing, draining the tank, and any other necessary work to get you back on the road in the event of mistakenly filling your car with the wrong fuel.

Battery Rescue and Replacement

Battery rescue and replacement is an optional add-on in breakdown cover policies that can be beneficial for drivers who want to ensure their vehicle’s battery is always in tip-top condition. The cost of battery replacement in cars can range from £100 to £460, including both the battery and labor costs. By adding battery replacement coverage to your breakdown policy, you can avoid these unexpected costs and ensure your car is always ready for the road.

In the event of a car battery failure, battery replacement breakdown cover provides assistance. A technician will be dispatched to your location to assess the situation and, if necessary, install a new battery. The cost of the battery and service is typically covered by the breakdown cover policy, providing peace of mind and financial protection.

Coverage for Parts and Labour

Standard breakdown policies typically cover only the cost of roadside assistance and towing to a garage, excluding the cost of parts and labor. Parts and labor coverage can be acquired as an extra add-on to provide more extensive coverage for repairs.

This type of coverage assists in covering the costs of replacement parts and any necessary garage work that may not be included in a standard breakdown policy. By considering parts and labor coverage, you can ensure that you’re protected against the financial implications of unexpected repairs and avoid any unpleasant surprises on the road.

How to Select the Ideal Breakdown Policy for You

Choosing the ideal breakdown policy involves assessing your needs, weighing the financial implications, and selecting a policy that best fits your requirements. By understanding the different types of breakdown cover and the benefits each one offers, you can make an informed decision and find the most suitable policy for your unique situation.

Reviewing each policy and considering factors like:

  • price
  • coverage
  • provider reputation
  • additional benefits
  • any exclusions or limitations

is key. By comparing breakdown cover options and leveraging comparison tools, you can find the most suitable and cost-effective breakdown cover policy for your needs and enjoy peace of mind on the road.

The Intersection of Car Insurance and Breakdown Cover

Breakdown cover can sometimes be included as an optional extra on car insurance policies, providing convenience and additional protection. While combining both car insurance and breakdown cover in a single policy can offer increased assurance and potentially save money, it’s important to understand the benefits of standalone cover as well.

Having breakdown cover does not directly affect car insurance premiums or no claims bonus, as breakdown cover and car insurance are distinct policies, even when provided by the same company. When selecting the best option for your needs, consider the level of assistance needed, geographical coverage, and any additional services like home start or onward travel to create a breakdown policy that fits your preferences and needs.

Leveraging Comparisons to Find the Best Deal

When you compare breakdown cover options, it can help you find the best deal and ensure you’re only paying for necessary coverage. By utilizing online comparison tools you can compare policies side-by-side and evaluate the different levels of coverage, prices, and provider reputations.

When comparing breakdown cover policies, factors to consider include:

  • Price
  • Coverage
  • Provider reputation
  • Additional benefits
  • Exclusions or limitations

By leveraging comparisons, you can find the cheapest breakdown cover policy for your needs, ensuring you have peace of mind while on the road.

The Impact of Breakdown Cover on No Claims Bonus and Premiums

A common misunderstanding is that breakdown cover can influence car insurance premiums and no claims bonus. However, breakdown cover and car insurance are distinct policies, even when provided by the same company. As a result, having breakdown cover will not have a breakdown cover affect on your no claims bonus or raise your car insurance premiums.

In fact, including breakdown cover in car insurance policies can provide:

  • Convenience
  • Assurance
  • Cost-efficiency
  • A selection of coverage options

By understanding the relationship between car insurance and breakdown cover, you can make an informed decision and select the best coverage for your needs.

Breakdown Cover for All Types of Vehicles

Breakdown cover isn’t solely for cars; it also extends to various vehicles like:

In addition to these vehicles, transfer breakdown cover is also available for those who need coverage when switching between vehicles.

Whether you drive a single vehicle or have multiple vehicles for work purposes, there is a car breakdown cover policy suited for every driver’s needs.

For classic car enthusiasts, there are breakdown cover options specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of vintage vehicles. By understanding the different breakdown cover options for various vehicles, you can ensure that you have the appropriate level of protection and support for any potential breakdown situation.

Special Considerations for Classic Car Enthusiasts

Classic car enthusiasts need a breakdown cover policy tailored specifically for vintage vehicles. These policies often offer specialized services and expertise for repairs, ensuring that your classic car receives the care and attention it deserves.

Breakdown cover for classic cars can include:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Local recovery
  • Unlimited callouts
  • Running out of fuel
  • Flat battery
  • Punctured tire
  • Driver illness coverage

By researching and comparing different classic car breakdown cover options, you can find the best policy that suits your needs and provides peace of mind on the road.


In conclusion, understanding the various types of breakdown cover and the benefits each one offers is essential to making an informed decision and selecting the most suitable policy for your needs. From basic roadside assistance to comprehensive national recovery services, personal vs vehicle-specific cover, European travel considerations, and additional optional add-ons, there’s a policy suited for every driver’s needs. By evaluating your individual requirements and leveraging comparisons, you can find the most suitable and cost-effective breakdown cover policy, ensuring peace of mind and support on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better RAC or AA in UK?

Given the number of vehicles and cost, RAC appears to be a better option than the AA in the UK.

What is the difference between personal and vehicle-specific breakdown cover?

Personal breakdown cover provides coverage for an individual, while vehicle-specific cover covers a single vehicle. Both options provide protection when a breakdown occurs.

What types of vehicles can breakdown cover policies cover?

Breakdown cover policies can cover cars, vans, motorbikes, caravans, campervans, motorhomes and trailers, offering comprehensive protection for a range of vehicles.

Can breakdown cover be included in car insurance policies?

Yes, breakdown cover can be included as an optional extra on car insurance policies, offering added protection and convenience.

Does having breakdown cover affect car insurance premiums or no claims bonus?

Having breakdown cover does not affect car insurance premiums or no claims bonus, as they are two separate policies.