How Does Car Breakdown Cover Work?

When you renew your car insurance, are you ever unsure about whether to add breakdown cover? In this post we’ll be discussing breakdown cover, how it works and the various types of breakdown cover available so you can decide what’s right for you.

What is Breakdown Cover?

Breakdown cover means that if your car or van suffers a mechanical failure while you’re on the road, all you need to do is call your insurer’s approved breakdown assistance provider. They will then dispatch a mechanic who will attempt to fix your vehicle at the roadside. If this isn’t possible, they’ll take your vehicle to the nearest garage, and give you whatever support you need to get to your destination, or to return home.

But there are different levels of breakdown cover available, and not all of them are suitable for all drivers.

All breakdown policies will also vary depending on the provider so make sure that you read the breakdown policy wording to ensure you know what is included.

Below is an example of what may be included with our chosen breakdown provider:

RAC Roadside Cover

This covers you for roadside repairs so long as you’re more than a quarter of a mile away from your home. If the RAC mechanic is not able to repair your vehicle at the roadside, they will tow you for up to 10 miles – either to your home, or to one of our approved garages.

Home Start Cover

The standard RAC Roadside cover will only cover you if you breakdown more than a quarter of a mile away from your home. If you want the cover to extend to breakdowns that happen closer to home, you’ll also need Home Start cover.


As well as Home Start and Roadside cover, this will also cover you, your vehicle, and up to seven passengers, for onward travel to any single destination in the UK.

If you’re injured or taken ill and you cannot drive, and if none of your passengers can drive, we can also arrange for transportation for your vehicle.

Onward Travel

This gives you additional cover for a number of onward travel options. Depending on your situation, you can choose one of the following:

  • Replacement vehicle hire while your vehicle’s repaired. This can cover you for a maximum of two consecutive days, provided you’re aged 21 or over.
  • Reimbursement for rail, air, or other public transportation costs. This can be for up to a determined amount per person or per group as set out in your policy wording.
  • One night in a B&B for up to eight people.
  • Special medical assistance if one member of your party’s hospitalised more than 20 miles from home.

Europe Breakdown Cover

Get European Breakdown Cover and, if your vehicle experiences a mechanical breakdown on continental Europe, we’ll cover you for roadside assistance, for local garage repairs, and for repatriation expenses.

European Breakdown Cover can also cover you for temporary vehicle replacements, for additional accommodation expenses, for replacement drivers, for custom claims, and even for loss or damage of certain camping equipment.

When you get home, your European Breakdown Cover policy can provide additional cover for any legal costs associated with your breakdown, along with the loss of your no claims discount. If you were forced to leave your vehicle abroad, we can cover the overseas collection of your vehicle, along with a replacement vehicle while you wait for its return.

Do I Need Breakdown Cover?

Without breakdown cover, to get any support you’d need to pay a callout fee, and you’d also have to pay for any necessary maintenance and repairs, along with certain other fees. But with breakdown cover, you instead pay a small extra fee on-top of your monthly car or van insurance premiums.

Some breakdown providers will allow you to purchase emergency cover if you’ve broken down and you’re not already a member. But this can prove very costly. Again, you will have to pay a number of fees, and you might have to pay even more if you’ve broken down outside your house.

Plus, breakdown assistance providers generally prioritise their members. This means that, with cover in place, you will probably get the help you need much faster than you would if you weren’t a member.

Adding Breakdown Cover to Your Policy

Adding breakdown cover to your car insurance policy means you get the help you need when you need it and claiming on your breakdown policy will not affect your no claim bonus.

Get breakdown cover added to your vehicle insurance policy with Insure 2 Drive. We’ll give total peace of mind with the level of breakdown cover you need at a price you can afford.


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