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Car Breakdown Cover: Is roadside assistance good value?

Car Breakdown
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Think about getting cover before you break down

In today’s modern world where many families have 2 cars and busy lifestyles, we often take our vehicles for granted and assume they will always get us from A to B. It’s not until we find ourselves stranded on the side of the road, bonnet up and going nowhere that we realise our cars can and do breakdown. For those with breakdown cover, the silver lining is that there will soon be help on the way. For those without, it may be the first time they consider breakdown cover as they are trying to arrange expensive recovery, book the car in at the garage and prepare for a long wait.

Types of breakdown cover to suit your budget

There are so many types of breakdown cover available you should find something suitable for your needs and budget. You can have a basic policy such as roadside assistance right through to a fully comprehensive package which includes cover abroad, hotel costs and shipping your car back to the UK after a breakdown.  The amount and distance you travel should factor into your choice. If for example you only travel a very short distance every day or rarely travel, you might opt for the basic roadside assistance where your car will attempt to be fixed there and then and then taken to a local garage if the car can’t be fixed.

Added benefits of having Recovery policy

Recovery or Relay assistance will include the same features as the roadside assistance cover but will include the option to return your car to any address within the UK and usually take the passengers to a single UK address as well. This cover is more expensive that basic roadside assistance and suits those who travel longer distances, giving them peace of mind they can get themselves and their vehicle back home in the event of a breakdown.

Car Roadside Assistance

Home start assistance

The next level of cover is Home Start or Call Out. There is nothing worse than your car breaking down and you can’t even get it off the drive to take it to a garage. Home Start cover gives you that added reassurance that if you car breaks down on your driveway, assistance will arrive and attempt to fix the car at your home address unlike a basic roadside assistance cover. You car will also be taken to a local garage if it can’t be fixed at home and is a popular choice for those relying on their cars daily, though is more expensive.

Relay Plus

Another option available is known as Onward Travel/ Relay Plus or a host of other names. It covers you for features of other basic packages plus travel costs should you need to use public transport. It can also provide a replacement car in the event of a breakdown in which your car will be off road for some time. Depending on your cover, this may include flight costs and should also include accommodation costs for either you or your passengers. Be sure to check the policy wording to be certain of what is covered.

Do you need European assistance cover?

If you take your car abroad you should also consider European cover which can help arrange roadside assistance, towing, accommodation costs, repatriation costs and English speaking call centres – all of which can be difficult if you don’t speak the language. This can be added as a one off to an existing policy but can be expensive.

Some policies will cover your vehicle no matter who is driving the family car and others will cover you, even if you are just the passenger, but you should always check what is and isn’t covered in any policy to avoid any disappointment.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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