A guide to breakdown cover

You likely rely on your car almost daily; from allowing you to commute to work and pick up your kids from school to filling the boot with your groceries for the week, your car is responsible for ensuring that your day-to-day life runs smoothly. With this in mind, it is important to have the appropriate cover in place for every eventuality, and this includes breaking down.

Breakdown Cover mentions that “Car breakdown insurance can be a confusing subject, with its unique vocabulary and small print that many find off-putting.” Cars of all makes and models, no matter whether it’s fresh out of the showroom or well-loved and second-hand, can breakdown, yet so many people are forgoing breakdown insurance. With many different options on the market, it may take a little bit of scouting around to find the right option for you. However, should a problem arise you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re covered.

What is breakdown cover?

breakdown cover

From punctured tyres to a dead battery, breakdown cover can help get your Ford second hand car back on the road when your car lets you down. This extra layer of protection can be a great reassurance if problems arise when out and about and can even be used if your car fails to start at home.

According to Money.co.uk, you should “think about which cover is best for you. For example, if you often travel long distances, vehicle recovery and onward travel could be useful. If you only drive now and again, roadside assistance may be enough cover.”

There are different levels of cover available, so it is important to pick the best option for your situation. Many drivers are intimidated by the potentially high cost of this; however, some companies even include breakdown cover as standard inclusion to their existing policy.

What types of breakdown cover are there?

Types of breakdown cover

There are four main types of breakdown cover that are on offer to drivers. Depending on the level in cover, you can expect the policies to vary in price. However, when it comes to making your decision, it is important to note that each type comes with its own benefits, so it is worth checking which policy works best for you.

Roadside assistance

The most basic level of breakdown cover, and therefore the most common, is roadside assistance. This type of cover, which is included in all breakdown policies, ensures that if you breakdown, your provider can get you up and running again. Most policies of this type require you to be a certain distance away from your home in order to come out to you – normally quarter of a mile away.

If your provider is called out to assist you, a mechanic will normally try to fix the problem there and then; however, should they be unable to get you back on the road, your car will be taken to a nearby garage to be fixed.


Although this policy may fall under a variety of different names such as home start, the premise is the same. Home breakdowns are all too common; from a dead battery to cold engines causing problems, you may prefer to know that you can be assisted during these situations. As with all policies, there will be some exclusions to your policy, such as a dead battery as a result of forgetting to turn your lights off, so it is important to keep this in mind before calling someone out.

Home breakdown cover can be a great help if you depend on your car to get around. This policy means that if your car has trouble starting, your provider will send out a mechanic to sort out the issue. This is often a more expensive option but should be considered if you make lots of journeys within a quarter of a mile from your home.

National recovery

For those who regularly make long journeys, perhaps for work or to see friends and family, national recovery could be something to consider. If you find your car has a problem and you have broken down, your provider will send a mechanic out to fix the problem. Can’t be fixed? This policy ensures that your home will get to where it needs to be, meaning that your car can be towed to any location in the UK.

Onward journey

Onward journey works great if paired with national recovery breakdown cover, as it provides you with an extra level of assistance in case of emergency. A benefit of having onward journey breakdown cover is that if you find yourself stranded, your policy will cover a courtesy car or alternative transportation and can even help you to arrange alternative accommodation whilst they work to get your car operating again.

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