How to choose cheap break down cover
Imagine a day full to brimming, you have got to get to work, important meetings or appointments, get the kids to school and home again via no doubt a club or two and the car won't start, or even worse you? have been involved in an accident and your stuck on the hard shoulder somewhere too far from home? alone?.
With car breakdown insurance you have the reassurance that help is only a phone call away. You are never alone or truly stranded. There are a variety of packages to choose from, with some companies like the AA and RAC you become a member of a club which then entitles you to certain services, the level of the services being dependent on your membership level. With Green Flag for example you just join on a per claim basis.
Choose the best roadside recovery service for you
The key to good vehicle breakdown insurance is buy a policy with features that you will get the most benefit from and no more. There are many breakdown insurance companies, specialists like the AA, the RAC, Green Flag and those offering wider services Tesco, Sainsburys for example. They key for all of them is to follow a few simple steps before joining to ensure you get cheap cover. These are as follows:
Step 1 - Decide if you want breakdown cover for the vehicle or for you
If you choose cover for the car then anyone who drives the named vehicle can use the policy if they breakdown. With personal cover you are covered personally regardless of the vehicle you are in, so you can use your policy with any vehicle whether you are the driver or even the passenger. Personal cover can usually be for you, you plus one or you plus up to four other people. You all need to live at the same address though which makes it a good option for families or flatmates.
Personal cover is usually more expensive but may be useful if you travel in many different vehicles. Also, if you want to take out European cover some companies like the RAC insist you have personal breakdown cover.
Step 2 - Decide on the level of breakdown insurance you want
Decide on the level of cover, you will need to balance probability of use with the cost charged for each additional feature. The three best known providers, AA, RAC and Green Flag all offer a basic package with add-ons so you can create the policy that best suits your needs.
Basic Roadside Rescue Package
The basic car breakdown cover packages are each called different names by each of the providers, the idea being to make it as difficult as possible for you to make a comparison. However, in general each of the packages are very similar and offer near identical cover. The basic package is called Roadside Assistance by the RAC, Roadside by the AA, Rescue by Green Flag. The basic motor cover provides:
- Help if you breakdown at least 1/4 of a mile from your home
- Transfer to local garage if the breakdown patrol cannot fix your vehicle at the side of the road
To this basic package there are then three optional common add ons which are as follows:
(i) Breakdown recovery and assistance from your home
This is known as Homestart by the AA, At Home by the RAC and Rescue Plus by Green Flag and provides assistance within one quarter of a mile of the registered address of the policy holder.
(ii) UK wide transfer
Known as Relay by the AA, Recovery by the RAC and Recovery by Green Flag. This add on will transfer a vehicle plus 7 passengers to anywhere in the UK in the event of a breakdown which cannot be fixed at the roadside.
(iii) Support whilst your vehicle is repaired
Known as Stay Mobile by the AA, Onward Travel by the RAC and Recovery Plus by Green Flag this add on provide a few options, being either
- Replacement vehicle for 3 days; or
- Overnight accommodation
- Alternative transport costs