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Breakdown cover

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  • Find cover for your car, van or motorbike

  • Compare a range of cover levels to suit your needs

  • Get quotes from some of the biggest UK providers like AXA, Greenflag and RAC

What is breakdown cover and do I need it?

Breakdown cover can provide roadside assistance if your vehicle breaks down. It can also help to cover the cost of recovering your vehicle if it can't be fixed at the roadside.

At some point, your car might break down. So even if your vehicle is brand new, it's worth considering breakdown cover just in case you run into difficulties.

The most common reasons for breakdown call outs include:

  • Engine issues
  • Flat/faulty batteries
  • Flat tyres
  • Losing your keys or misfuelling

If any of these happen to you and you don’t have breakdown cover, you might have to pay more for a breakdown company to recover your vehicle.

What type of breakdown cover do I need?

With breakdown cover, you get the option to cover yourself or your vehicle. There are 2 types of policies:

Personal cover

This covers the person rather than the vehicle, so you're covered if you breakdown in any vehicle that meets the requirements of your policy. You can extend this policy to cover up to 4 people who live at the same address. This type of cover can be handy if you use different cars in your household.

Vehicle cover

This type of breakdown policy covers a specific vehicle or vehicles. If you want to cover more than 1 vehicle, they have to be registered at the same address. This cover is useful if you or your family share 1 vehicle.

What are the different features of breakdown cover?

A cheaper breakdown policy generally offers basic cover, but a comprehensive policy offers more.

When comparing policies, look out for these key features:

Roadside assistance provides cover to help get your car restarted at the roadside.

Local recovery means your breakdown company can tow your vehicle to a local garage if they can't fix it at the roadside.

National recovery means if your breakdown company can't fix your car on the roadside, they tow it to any location in the UK.

Home start covers you if you break down close to your home within a set number of miles. Your breakdown company comes to your vehicle and tries to repair it. If they can't repair it they can arrange to have it towed to a local garage. If you break down outside your home start radius, you may have to pay extra fees.

Onward journey covers the cost of a replacement vehicle or public transport to your destination. This usually happens if your vehicle can’t be repaired at the roadside.

European cover provides cover if you break down while driving your vehicle in Europe. The number of countries covered and the length of cover varies depending on the provider.

What do I do if I break down?

Here's what to do if you break down:

  • Pull over safely before doing anything else.
  • Turn your hazard warning lights on. If it’s dark, turn on your sidelights too.
  • Get out of the vehicle. Use the passenger doors rather than the driver door to reduce the risk to you and your passengers from traffic passing on the right.
  • Keep a safe distance. Keep yourself and your passengers away from the carriageway and hard shoulder. Use the bank or get behind the barriers if possible. If you have animals, it’s best to leave them in the car, but in an emergency keep them under control and away from the road.
  • Call your breakdown cover provider to let them know where you are. Look out for driver location signs to help pinpoint your location. If you’re not covered you need to call the Highways Agency for assistance. You can also call a breakdown service or local garage but you would be subject to call-out charges.

For more information, take a look at our guide on what to do when you break down.

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