August 1, 2013
A Guide to Breakdown Cover
It is important to research breakdown cover to get the best deal for you. Otherwise you could be like many other people and lose out on hundreds of pounds by simply auto-renewing breakdown cover.
There are 3 main cover types in the UK:
- Basic Cover – Your car is covered to be fixed by the roadside. Doesn’t include cover for breaking down near home
- Home Start – Add on to basic cover. Means they’ll come fix your car if it won’t start at home
- Onward Travel – You’ll get a hire car if your car is in a garage for repairs plus one night’s accommodation. Can also cover public transport costs
The first thing to do is to research how much cover you’ll need. Consider the following points:
- Haggle – Retaining your custom is key for breakdown and insurance firms so don’t be afraid to haggle for a better deal.
- Car Condition – Is your car new or old? If it is new, you’ll just need basic cover. If you car is old and had a history of breakdowns, you’ll need a more comprehensive policy
- European Cover – If planning to take your car abroad, consider taking out European Cover. The option to do this and the cost varies by provider and policy
- Car or person? – If you cover a car, it means every journey the car takes is covered. For a person, it means every journey they take is
- Automatic Service or Pay and Claim – Automatic service is the more popular cover and means you call when you break down and they send a patrol out. Pay and claim is when a company sends out a local recovery firm for you that you then pay and then send receipts to claim money back
Compare Policies –
Once you decide on the cover you’ll need, compare policies from different companies to find the cheapest one for you. Remember to use the above points to figure out what cover you’ll need. Some of the cheapest prices for each cover are outlined below:
- Basic Cover – £13 a year (AA)
- Comprehensive Cover – £53 a year (AutoAid)
- European Cover £53 a year (The Green Insurance Company)
Also consider one off and specialist policies to help reduce costs.
Always consider any protection you may have if your chosen company goes bust. Unlike normal car insurance though, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will not protect you. So with this in mind, remember that the less you pay for a policy the less you will lose. If the breakdown company damages your car for example, then don’t sign the document and report the damage to the recovery company. Also consider reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you can’t resolve the problem between yourself and the company. The FOS will settle arguments between customers and businesses, without costing you money.
Following these steps should give you a better understanding of different breakdown covers and will help you to save money on your own policy.