Shopping for breakdown cover for your vehicle may seem like a minefield with so many different types of cover, exclusions, levels and fees. It is important to know what you are paying for and to ensure that you have the help you need in the event of a breakdown. Our beginners guide to breakdown cover will help demystify the process somewhat.
There are a number of different services on offer when it comes to breakdown cover or insurance and the most common are roadside recovery, coming to your aid wherever you are, home assistance which guarantees you a mechanic who will come to your home and get your car going again and vehicle recovery which means that you, your passengers and your vehicle will be taken to a local or nominated garage if it can’t be fixed on the side of the road. You may also choose from personal cover or vehicle cover.
These are simply a few of the options available and so it would be wise to think about how and when you use your car before deciding what cover level and policy features you really need.
What Cover Will You Need
What type of breakdown cover you need will depend entirely on your personal circumstances. If you rarely use the car and when you do you only using it locally for social reasons and commuting to and from work it is unlikely that you would need to pay extra on a policy to cover you for European travel. If you do travel a lot for business or indeed any reason it would be wise to consider a more comprehensive policy which covers you wherever you are and includes features that are necessary to your way of life and your way of driving.
Watch out for the small print. Your policy could offer you everything you need, a discount and perhaps even a free gift if you pay for the year up front. Don’t get over-excited by these offers however until you have read through the policy exclusions.
Common exclusions may include the policy holder only being able to claim fully for a limited number of breakdowns or recoveries over a set period of time. There may be weight limits on your vehicle; your policy may not cover human-error situations such as losing your keys or putting the wrong fuel in your vehicle (easily done) as well as delays between organising the cover and it actually starting.
Having decided what you need from your breakdown company make sure that you look at cashback offers, discounts, read reviews and ask for recommendations from others who have used them. Realising that a company’s call out time is significantly longer than advertised when you are stuck on the motorway in the dark is hardly a great situation to find yourself in.
Different companies may employ different terms for the same sort of service so make a checklist of what you want and need and be clear exactly what each policy includes. Realising you needed home recovery and don’t have it when your car has broken down and you are already late for work is certainly not the best way to start the day.