If you're driving a car, you'll know breakdowns are unpredictable and always tend to happen at the worst possible moment. Asking a friend to help is not always a practical option. You may not be in a local area and you may be miles away from the closest inhabited place. This is when you need breakdown cover, and ideally, cheap breakdown cover, which will ensure that you're sufficiently covered in any eventuality.
The cheapest isn't always the best option
Going for the cheapest breakdown cover is not always ideal, whilst you may think that you're getting a bargain, this may not be the case. Because there are so many options to choose from when buying break down cover, there is also the risk that the cover you're buying, doesn't apply in certain instances.So make sure you explore and choose add-ons that will work for you, as well as reading through the terms and conditions thoroughly.You may also wish to think about how you use your car, for example, if you often travel long distances, go for breakdown cover that will cover you nationwide; or, if you travel abroad frequently, choose a package that will cover you in the foreign countries you visit.
When choosing your break down cover, be sure to shop around between providers to get an idea of what the market has to offer; try using compare engine websites, as well as calling providers directly (not all providers are listed in compare engine websites, so its important to call directly to see what they can offer you).
Also bear in mind that you want to be comparing like for like, most compare engines make this easy, but you should always check the details of the cover if you are to be sure.
Don't just renew your policy at the end of the term
Whilst you may be tempted to leave your breakdown cover with your current provider, it's not always cost effective to do so. You should always be on the look out for other deals, as the breakdown cover market is extremely competitive, and offers tend to change regularly.
Additionally, you should check whether the cover renews automatically, as in this instance, you will need to notify them of cancellation at the end of the term to ensure that you're not locked in for a further 12 months.
- Roadside assistance -- this covers a car breakdown if it happens more than 1/4 mile away from your home.
- Home start -- this is an extension to the roadside assistance to your home. This will be helpful if you have problems starting your car in the morning.
- Nationwide assistance -- this option will ensure you receive breakdown assistance anywhere throughout the UK.
- Vehicle recovery -- if your car can't be fixed on the spot, it will be taken away to the closest garage or your home -- whichever is closer.
- Onward travel -- if you have this option you will be able to continue your journey with a courtesy car or taken back home. Some policies might include accommodation while you wait for your car to be repaired.
- Parts & garage cover -- this option will help you towards the extra parts and garage work needed for your car.
- European breakdown cover -- this option extends the policy's cover area to Europe.
- Vehicle breakdown cover -- this policy cover one and only this one car in event of breakdown. Anyone driving the car will be able to call out the company for help if needed.
- Personal breakdown cover -- this policy applies to the person named on it. It won't matter if you're a passenger or the driver; you will receive help in case of a car breakdown.
Well known breakdown cover providers are the AA breakdown cover. Their basic roadside assistance starts from just £30 a year. They guarantee 24/7 service with repairs completed for less than 30 minutes and every 4 out of 5 cars being fixed on the spot. For the highest level of breakdown cover prepare to pay £191.90 per year but you can spread it on £18.69 monthly charges.
Other good providers are RAC breakdown cover and Kwik Fit breakdown cover. They promise to reach you within 40 minutes. The cheapest cover is roadside assistance starting at £29.99. If you want the most comprehensive breakdown cover prepare to pay £183 a year. Their current promotion offers free onward travel if you buy roadside and recover cover.