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Looking for breakdown cover?
At Quotezone we compare UK breakdown providers to provide online quotes. We can provide cheap breakdown and recovery quotes for car, van and motorcycle.
Breakdown insurance can provide peace of mind especially if you use your vehicle on a daily basis for the commute to work or it may a vital part of your business. By using the Quotezone comparison system we search a range of well-known companies so you can choose the level of cover that is suitable for you.
Getting a quote is simple and quick. Just fill in our short online form and we will return quotes from different UK providers. The age of the vehicle will be an important factor in the price you will pay for breakdown insurance as well as the level of cover that you will require.
As well as comparing prices we also clearly show what is included in each of the policies and the level of cover provided. We will display Home Start, Roadside Assistance, European cover, car hire and if a relief driver can be provided so you can purchase the breakdown cover that is appropriate for you.
Breakdown Insurance Guide
Vehicle breakdowns are stressful, but with breakdown cover a driver could get their car fixed and back on the road quickly, any time of day or night.
Types of Coverage
There are generally two main types of breakdown insurance in the UK.
Standard breakdown insurance is typically the most convenient option, and is the basic option that most breakdown insurance companies offer. With this kind of insurance the driver tends to choose the level of coverage that is best for their needs, and pays up front for breakdown services. The fee is payable annually, and entitles the driver to breakdown assistance for the following year, at no additional charge. With this kind of breakdown insurance most providers operate their own breakdown assistance service
Standard breakdown cover offers a choice between personal and vehicle-based insurance. With the personal option the policyholder is covered in any vehicle in which they travel. In contrast, with the vehicle-based option the driver nominates a vehicle for coverage, and that vehicle is covered.
Note that most policies cover only the first 60 minutes of labour when a driver needs roadside assistance, and most policies do not cover the cost of any parts that are needed to fix the car. If a driver wants coverage for all repair costs, including parts, this typically entails paying a higher premium, and possibly also paying an excess on each claim.
Pay and claim cover is similar to standard insurance, in that an annual fee is paid up front for breakdown services. There are two main differences between this and standard breakdown insurance. First, the breakdown company contracts its services out to local providers, rather than running its own. Second, when a driver calls for assistance, they usually must pay the local provider, and then send their receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. Pay and claim cover could be cheaper than standard breakdown insurance, so essentially the policyholder could be paying a cheaper price but misses out on some of the convenience of the standard policy.
Note that neither kind of breakdown insurance is intended to be an alternative to maintaining a vehicle. Most providers could decline to help a driver who calls multiple times for the same problem, without repairing their vehicle after the first instance.
Components of a Breakdown Insurance Policy
Most policies may provide at least some of the following components, if not all.
- Roadside assistance: The defining feature of a breakdown insurance policy. This provides a driver with help if their vehicle breaks down when they’re away from home. When the driver calls for assistance, the breakdown company will send someone out to provide help. Note that there’s typically a minimum distance the driver needs to be away from their home in order to qualify for assistance. This is usually around a quarter of a mile, or 400 metres.
- Vehicle recovery: If a driver calls for roadside assistance and the problem can’t be fixed immediately, the vehicle is towed to their home or their nearest garage. Usually the destination is whichever is closer, or depending on what the policy specifies, the policyholder may designate a location.
- Home assistance: This feature, which isn’t provided by all policies, provides assistance when the driver’s car breaks down at or near their home.
- Onward travel: If travel plans are interrupted due to a vehicle breakdown, this feature covers the cost of alternative travel arrangements. Some policies may also cover accommodation if the breakdown happens far away from home.
- European cover: Most breakdown insurance providers offer the ability to extend breakdown coverage to European countries.
Drivers could compare breakdown insurance online by first narrowing their options to those policies that have the options they need. Depending on a driver’s circumstances, and the way they use their vehicle, extra coverage features might provide some needed utility. For example, features such as onward travel and European cover are useful and highly convenient for someone who travels frequently for personal or business purposes, but are a mostly pointless expense for a driver who only uses their car for travelling locally.
When making this comparison drivers should ideally also look at policy exclusions, as neglecting this aspect could lead to unpleasant surprises in the future. Most policies have some or all of the following exclusions or stipulations:
- Annual (or policy) limit on the number of call-outs.
- Vehicle weight limit.
- Human error incidents such as lost keys, running out of fuel, or flat battery due to lights being left on.
Some policies don’t provide cover for wheel changes, which means it’s the driver’s responsibility to keep a roadworthy spare and whatever accessories are needed to change the wheel.
Minimising Premium Costs
Drivers looking for cheap breakdown insurance might find it useful to compare fixed-price premiums versus calculated premiums. This could be an important consideration because calculated premiums are based on factors such as annual mileage and the age of the designated vehicle. So the older the car is, or the more often the driver travels, the higher the annual premiums will be. This might mean that sometimes it may be cheaper to opt for a fixed-price policy, but drivers could also keep in mind the differences in coverage level between these kinds of policies.
As well as this, a household that runs multiple cars may be able to get a discount on premiums by having all the vehicles insured with the same breakdown provider.
Picking the pay and claim option over standard breakdown insurance could also reduce costs, but the trade-off may be a lower level of service.