There are a large number of car breakdown insurers in the UK and the list appears to grow constantly. At the time of this article there are 95 companies offering breakdown and recovery assistance for motorists.
However, in reality most of the companies offering cover are using white label solutions from a small number of core breakdown recovery providers. So it is important to understand who the main players are when you are considering which breakdown recovery service to go with.
The RAC was established in 1897 making it one of the oldest Automobile Clubs in the world. However, like most motoring clubs these days it is no longer run for the benefits of it's members having been bought in 2005 by the huge insurance company AVIVA.
The RAC is one of the big three breakdown cover providers in the UK along with the AA and Green Flag and has approximately 1,800 patrols operating around the UK.
The RAC offers a range of cover options, ranging from basic roadside rescue for a named car at £28 up to personal cover with at home, recovery, onward travel and European cover at £208.
The RAC is one of the main providers of breakdown insurance for other brands and provides policies for the following companies Tesco, Aviva, and Barclays Bank.
The AA are another major player in the breakdown market and are probably the most recognized brand in the marketplace. The AA was formed in 1905 as an Automobile Club but as with the RAC is now under private ownership. As of today, the AA is ultimately owned by three venture capital companies - Charter House Capital Partners, Permira and CVC Capital Partners.
AA breakdown insurance starts at £28 for the basic roadside assistance package up to £223 for a breakdown policy which includes roadside assistance, home start, national recovery, onward travel and parts and garage cover.
The AA doesn't provide breakdown cover for many other companies, however it does provide it for SAGA. Saga also being owned by the same venture capitalists as the AA.
Green Flag is probably the third major roadside assistance provider after the AA and the RAC. It was formed in 1971 as the National Breakdown Recovery Club and changed it's name in to Green Flag in 1994. The company is currently part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group which acquired it in 2003.
Green Flag provides breakdown recovery and assistance services for a number of companies in the RBS Group including Direct Line and RBS.
Unlike both the AA and the RAC, Green Flag does not own it's own fleet of patrols, instead the company maintains a network of locally based mechanics. The company claims this gives it an advantage of local knowledge leading to quicker response times for motorists.
Green Flag Breakdown Cover Insurance starts from £20 for it's rescue package up to a starting price of £115 for it's Eurocover which includes roadside rescue, national recovery and European Cover.
Britannia Rescue was formed in 1983 by the CSMA to provide roadside assistance insurance for it's members. As with most of the major breakdown cover companies, it is now owned by a large insurance company, in this case Liverpool Victoria which acquired it in 2007.
Britannia Rescue offers roadside assistance policies starting at £29 for roadside assistance. Not surprisingly, the company also provides white label services for it's parent company London Victoria which is known as LV. It's other major white label client is the retailer Asda which markets Brittania's services as Asda Money Breakdown Cover.
Call Assist is a company you have probably never heard of as it does not sell roadside recovery services to the public. However, they provide white label breakdown services to a large number of providers. Their clients include Admiral and Kwik Fit to name just two.
Axa Assistance is another company you have probably never heard of, although again they are a major provider of breakdown quotes in the UK. Owned by AXA Insurance, AXA Assistance not only provides it's parent companies breakdown policy it also provides roadside assistance for the following companies
- Auto Trader
- Swift Cover
- The Co-Op