Breakdown cover - Why you need it

What would you do if your car broke down? Even if you’re handy with the spanners you might not have the tools or parts to fix it.

All you need to do is leave the interior light on overnight or suffer a component failure and you’re on your own. Unless you take out breakdown cover beforehand.

Breakdown cover is effectively an insurance, so you’re paying out for something you may never need. But like any insurance, when you do need the cover, you’ll be so glad you took it out. 

And unlike car insurance, everyone pays the same fee. Even better, if you live with your parents and they’ve got breakdown cover, you can probably be included on their policy for little or no extra cash. 

Breakdown cover is effectively an insurance

Run out of fuel, call out a garage to help, and you’ll pay £60-£100 plus the cost of the fuel. Suffer a flat battery and you can kiss goodbye to £60-£100 while relaying your car 150 miles will lighten your wallet by hundreds of pounds, depending on who does it and what time of day it needs to be done.

There are loads of companies offering breakdown cover, offering a whole range of products, from basic roadside assistance to a full-on package that’ll provide a courtesy car or hotel accommodation should your car throw a wobbly – prices range from £30 to £150 or more. 

For roadside assistance and recovery, expect to pay around £60. To look at what packages are available, check out

Don’t take out breakdown recovery as an alternative to maintaining your car though; fail to service it and trouble is guaranteed. 

The most common problems

  • Flat battery
  • Flat tyre or tyre blowout
  • Keys locked in vehicle or lost
  • Electrical fault (including engine management system faults)
  • Transmission failures (including clutch)
  • Running out of fuel
  • Blown head gasket
  • Starter motor issues
  • Other engine problems
  • Mis-fuelling

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