Cars break down. Here at I Love meet and greet we have seen many vehicles which have failed to start and we have seen customers experience different levels of service from a range of operators. In this post we have outlined the different types of cover available and made some suggestions on points to consider when buying your breakdown cover.
All types of cars break down, whether they are new or old. We see very expensive cars and extremely cheap cars fail to start so arranging for some assistance is a sensible approach.
The first thing to is to decide whether you want to cover yourself or your car. It is cheaper to just cover one car but the advantage of knowing that you are covered for all cars you drive can provide better peace of mind.
Roadside assistance is the most basic level of breakdown cover. A mechanic tries to repair your vehicle where it has broken down. If they can’t repair it, they’ll normally tow it to a nearby garage.
Vehicle recovery offers the opportunity to choose any location for you and your vehicle to be towed to if your vehicle can’t be fixed.
At-home breakdown brings the mechanic to your home to attempt to fix the problem.
Onward travel: With onward travel cover as part of your breakdown cover, you’ll be provided with more options for getting to your destination. Depending on the provider and level of cover you take out, this may include courtesy vehicles, overnight accommodation, or alternative public travel arrangements.
Driving in Europe
You should also consider what extras you might need such as overseas cover, key replacement, battery replacement, tyre replacement, wrong fuel assistance or special vehicle (if you are towing a trailer or caravan).
Some credit cards, often those which charge a fee, provide basic breakdown cover as part of their package of benefits. It is worth reading through the small print to check exactly what level of cover this is, and you can sometimes add your own extras by contacting the breakdown operator directly.
The three big brands you are likely to have heard of, are as follows:
The AA is a British motoring association founded in 1905 and has bright yellow vans which service its 3.3 million breakdown service members.
The RAC is older at 122 years and currently covers eight million UK roadside customers with its highly visible orange vehicles.
Green Flag’s numbers are not provided but the big difference is that in addition to their 200 branded vehicles they use a national network of independent recovery specialists.
Interestingly it is not always the well known companies which score best in independent tests as this recent survey from AutoExpress demonstrates. It is also worth remembering that nearly cover is provided on an annual basis so if you are not happy with the service, just make a note to shop around for next year.