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Personal or Vehicle Breakdown Cover: How to pick a policy

Nobody wants to be left stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere in the event of a breakdown. So when choosing your personal or vehicle breakdown cover, what should you choose and when? If you’d pardon the pun, we’ve got it all broken down for you.

Breakdown cover is divided into two different parts: personal and vehicle. Personal breakdown cover covers you as a driver or passenger in any vehicle, anywhere. Vehicle breakdown cover covers for your named vehicle only, regardless of who is driving it.

Do I need breakdown cover?

You’ll truly appreciate breakdown cover when your car stops in the middle of a busy road and you’re late for a business meeting or a flight, with no clue how to get help. Those with appropriate cover should be able to save their backsides with a simple phone call and in most cases, the problem will be dealt with at the roadside. However, it’s important to remember that there are different policies types to choose from, covering different things. So you must choose one which is right for you. 

Should I get personal breakdown cover? 

You should get personal breakdown cover if you drive more than one vehicle or you want to be covered when driving someone else’s vehicle, or if you’re a passenger in a mate’s car and you’re concerned their dusty rust heap will die on you at any moment. 

When should I get vehicle breakdown cover?

Vehicle breakdown cover is ideal if you want to save money, because it costs less. You should get it if you only have one car and if you don’t care about someone else’s car breaking down when you are in it. If you’re the sort of person that’s happy walking away from a stranded mate, then this is the cove 

Where can I find the cheapest breakdown cover?

The cheapest policy we could find from the ‘big 3’ is an offer from GreenFlag. The ‘Rescue’ option starts from £27 and includes roadside assistance, specialist equipment and unlimited callouts. This is a good option for those who want to save money or if you don’t drive very often.

Green Flag’s personal breakdown cover, also called ‘Rescue’, costs more. This option starts from £38, although at the time of writing there is a 2 for 1 offer so you and another member of your family can get cover in the UK.

Do I need European breakdown cover? 

If the thought of getting stranded in Europe on a road trip scares you, then you might want to consider European cover. This is available on a pay-as-you-go trip-by-trip basis or on a permanent basis if you’re a regular across the channel. If you’re just heading over on a booze cruise, RAC’s ‘European Rescue’ option gives you peace of mind on your road trip from £7 per day. It’ll cover you in 20 countries and their offshore islands in continental Europe. If you break down, you can get your vehicle fixed on the side of the road or have it taken to a local garage for repair.

If you regularly drive through Europe, or you plan on spending a long time on that side of the pond, GreenFlag offer an option called ‘Euro Plus’, which starts from £116. For this price, you get 90 days European cover on top of everything included in the ‘Rescue’, ‘Rescue Plus’, ‘Recovery’, and ‘Recovery Plus’ options. This includes roadside assistance, national recovery, onward travel and misfuelling cover. 

Can I get a courtesy car with my breakdown cover?

The AA offers ‘Onward Travel Options’ with its personal breakdown cover. This offers a choice of car hire, public transport or overnight accommodation. It costs £80.98 for the first year or £8.10 monthly, which is more pricey than GreenFlag’s ‘Rescue Plus’ at £45 for the year. GreenFlag’s ‘Recovery Plus’ includes a hire car, alternative transport or overnight accommodation if your car can’t be repaired locally that day.

What do I do if I put the wrong fuel in my vehicle?

GreenFlag offers misfuelling cover under its vehicle breakdown cover. The company say it will drain the tank for “free” — provided you’ve bought a ‘Rescue Plus’, ‘Recovery’, ‘Recovery Plus’ or ‘Euro Plus’ policy. This service is not included in the basic Rescue option. Rescue Plus starts from £45.

What if I break down on my driveway?

Yes. GreenFlag, RAC and The AA all offer home rescue under their vehicle breakdown covers. GreenFlag’s ‘Cover At Home’ option is included in its £45 Rescue Plus package.

The RAC and the AA charge more, but they also offer more. The RAC’s ‘At Home Rescue’ option will see them attend if your car doesn’t start within a quarter mile of your house. You cn even choose a time for them to attend to make it more convenient. This will set you back in the region of £113 as part of the a broader package that also includes roadside rescue.

The AA’s ‘At Home’ option also allows you to call them if you have broken down within ¼ mile of your house and you can book a time for them to come and fix your car. Prices for the ‘At Home’ option start from £85.99.

Do you have personal or vehicle breakdown cover? What works best for you? Share your comments in the comment section below. 

Looking for cheap breakdown cover? Check out our amazing breakdown cover comparison tool!

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