That feeling when you realise your car
won’t move right in the middle of a line of traffic definitely
ranks as one of life’s less pleasant experiences. Before you have a
chance to flick your hazards on, horns start blaring around you and
your mind races with thoughts of how this is going to mess up your
Then, just as you thought your stress
levels couldn’t go any higher, it hits you - you haven’t even got
breakdown assistance on your insurance and you’re not a member of
any of the big roadside recovery specialists. With your car not
budging, you’re going to have to call a mechanic directly. And it
is probably going to cost you handsomely.
It is the sort of experience most
people are only prepared to go through once. You might not be able to
guarantee your car doesn’t break down in the future. But what you
can do is make sure you are protected so that getting help doesn’t
cost the Earth and can be easily arranged whenever you need it most.
They are certainly two weights off your mind in a tricky situation.
Unlike road traffic accidents,
mechanical faults with your car are not usually covered automatically
by your motor insurance policy. That means that unless you take
action to protect yourself in the event of a breakdown, you are on
your own when it comes to arranging (and paying for) help.
Breakdown assistance comes in two
forms. You can join one of the ‘motor clubs’ - the AA, RAC or
Green Flag being the biggest - which offer roadside assistance and
recovery to members. Alternatively, you can look for insurance
policies which offer breakdown cover as an extra.
Many people find the service provided
by the big clubs to be convenient, reliable and high quality.
However, there are advantages to taking out breakdown cover as part
of your main insurance which suits a lot of people more. For one, it
means you have everything all in one place, and you call the same
people to get help whether your car has packed in or you’ve been
involved in an RTA. You could even get cost savings from having both
services bundled into one package, rather than paying twice.
Different insurance providers offer
breakdown assistance in different ways and attach different
conditions. Most will offer it as a paid-for optional extra, but it
is possible to find higher-value policies which include it as part of
the core package. It is important to look at the details of the cover
and select an option that will make it worthwhile for you. For
example, there is little point in having a breakdown policy that
kicks in when you are 30 miles from home if you do most of your
driving and commuting in the same town or city.
Another thing to consider is whether to
take out personal breakdown cover or vehicle breakdown protection.
The former means you can call for help if any car you are in breaks
down, whether you are a driver or a passenger - great if you often
get lifts in a car pool, for example, or have more than one vehicle
in your household. Vehicle protection, however, means help is
available whoever is driving that car - great for concerned parents
of newly qualified drivers sharing the family car, for instance.
*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.