Breakdown insurance does what it says on the tin, if you’re out in your car and it breaks down, the policy will cover you to have your motor repaired and to get you back home. There are different levels of cover available and the kind you buy will depend on the age and condition of your car, along with your own driving experience. Therefore it’s worth doing a little research first to make sure you’re getting the right policy at the best price before you buy.
There are three main types of breakdown insurance
The cheapest type of breakdown insurance available is a basic policy which will cover you if your car breaks down at the side of the road and you need it repaired. A company will come out to you and either fix your car if it can or will tow it to a local garage to fix it.
For an extra fee, if you add ‘home start’ cover to this, you will also be able to get help if your car won’t start from home.
An ‘onward travel’ policy costs more still but also includes a hire car if you need one, and accomodation where necessary if your car is kept in a garage for repairs for a few days.
If your car is brand new and doesn’t have any problems, a basic policy will usually provide enough cover. While if your motor is older and therefore more likely to breakdown, a more comprehensive policy may be better for you.
Breakdown policies cover can protect a driver or a car
When you buy a breakdown policy, this can either cover a driver for each car they drive or are a passenger in or it can cover a specific car. A personal policy is generally more expensive because it needs to cover multiple cars so you’ll only need this if you often drive different cars.
A joint policy could work out cheaper
It might be cheaper to buy a joint breakdown policy, such as for two partners who share a car, rather than two single policies. Some insurers, including the AA and the RAC offer discounts when you insure two people so it’s worth checking the price against two single policies.
You might not be covered for driving in Europe
If you’re planning on taking your car to Europe, such as a family holiday to France, it’s worth checking to see if the breakdown policy includes this. Usually you can either pay for the days you’re away for a small fee, or buy a policy with European travel included. The kind of policy you choose will depend on how often you’ll need the extra cover.
Never auto renew your policy
As with most types of insurance, if you auto renew your policy you’ll almost always end up paying more in the long run. This is because insurers like to push the price up each year and rely on customers not switching regularly to do this. With breakdown insurance, the best prices are generally reserved for new customers so if you do switch regularly, you’re likely to save a lot of money.
Haggling can slash the price of your policy
If you’re looking for a way to cut your existing policy, or to save on a new policy, it’s always worth haggling to save money. For new policies, run a few different quotes (a comparison website is a quick way to do this), to get a rough idea of how much a new customer will be looking to pay.
Then ask your insurer - either your existing insurer or a new insurer - to match the price you’ve been quoted or beat it. If it can’t you’re free to go somewhere else. If an insurer won’t budge on price, it might throw in an extra freebie or discount - such as free European cover or home start.