Until you experience a vehicle breakdown for the first time
- inevitably at the most inconvenient time possible - you’d be forgiven for not
giving a second thought as to what you need to do in that situation.
There you are, pulled up on the side of the road, hazards
flashing, rain pouring, best clothes soaked through and covered in engine oil,
without a clue what the problem is. Who’s going to come and sort this out for
you? How will you get home? How much will it all cost?
Then it hits you - that’s
why people take out breakdown cover! It’s not a mistake you ever intend to
When the proverbial does hit the radiator fan, having a
contingency plan for how to get yourself out of a highly unpleasant situation
is invaluable. But is joining one of the roadside assistance services like the
AA or RAC the best way to go? Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks.
Breakdown cover pros
The main advantages of joining a breakdown cover service can
be summed up in two words - convenience and cost. If your trusty car does fail
you at just the wrong time, all is not lost, of course. The vast majority of us
carry smartphones around with us these days. It takes seconds to do a Google
search for local garages that offer roadside recovery close to where you’ve
broken down and call them for assistance.
The big negative with this is cost. Your average mechanic
might be happy to leave the comfort of their workshop to help you, but they
will charge plenty to make it worth their while. And if it turns out they can’t
fix the issue there and then - well, arranging for your vehicle to be towed
will cost considerably more, plus the time and stress of arranging it all.
With breakdown cover, any help you need is already paid for
as per the terms of your subscription. You also don’t need to start searching
around for local mechanics who may or may not have access to a towing vehicle
if required. Your breakdown and recovery service come to you, with all the help
Breakdown cover cons
One of the biggest issues people have with breakdown
services is having to choose different levels of service. With the most basic
type of cover, roadside assistance, you get someone to come out to you and see
if they can fix the problem. If they can’t, you’re back to square one - vehicle
recovery and onward travel cover are different, usually more expensive
And then there is the favourite gripe about home start. If
you get up in the morning to go to work and your car won’t start, you have to
have the right plan, otherwise your breakdown assistance service provider won’t
attend. So you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place - do you pick and
choose, knowing one day you’re bound to need the service you haven’t paid for,
or do you take the financial hit of paying for everything?
Another reason people might baulk at the idea of paying for
full service breakdown cover is that they already fork out enough for car
insurance. Especially if you pay for comprehensive cover, you may well wonder
why you are protected for accidents but not for mechanical failures. Isn’t
there a way just to pay to be looked after whatever problems you might have
with your car?
Well yes, there is. Some insurance providers do
include breakdown cover in their policies, and will even link this to a
roadside assistance service. That way, whether you have a prang or a conk-out,
you can rest assured that you will get the
*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.