What is Breakdown Cover?

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What is Breakdown Cover?

Last updated on: April 4, 2024

Breakdown cover is a type of insurance that provides drivers with assistance should a fault occur when driving the vehicle. In some instances, the vehicle can be repaired at the roadside, although there will be instances when the car needs to be towed to a garage.

However, there can be a different type of breakdown cover, and the correct policy must be in place should the worst-case scenario arise. The following is an overview of the breakdown cover available, and some of the frequently asked questions regarding policies.

What Different Types of Breakdown Cover Are Available?

To ensure that drivers are acquiring the correct breakdown cover, it is important to understand the differences between the available options. An overview of the different breakdown cover available is as follows.

Personal Breakdown Cover

Personal Breakdown Cover covers drives in an eligible vehicle, regardless of whether they are a passenger or driver. This type of breakdown cover can give drivers confidence that they’re always covered, regardless of the vehicle they’re in. However, if a vehicle is damaged and the person with breakdown cover is not present, then it is unlikely that help will be provided.

Vehicle Breakdown Cover

As the name suggests, Vehicle Breakdown Cover covers a specific vehicle. This means a vehicle will be covered if other family members use it, but the breakdown cover cannot be used for other cars the person may be driving or travelling in.

Different Levels of Breakdown Cover

In addition to different types of breakdown cover, there are also different levels. The following is an explanation of the different levels of breakdown cover available and the different levels they cover.

Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance, also known as Roadside Recovery, is a basic level of cover and will cover breakdowns that occur a quarter of a mile from a home address or further. If the vehicle cannot be fixed by the side of the road, then it will be towed to the nearest garage.

Home Breakdown Cover

Home Breakdown Cover aids drivers who break down on their driveway within a quarter mile of their home address. Examples of when Home Breakdown Cover would be used include flat batteries and non-starting vehicles.

Vehicle Recovery

Although some instances of breakdown cover will include the towing of a vehicle, there can be instances when distance limitations are in place. Vehicle Recovery allows a vehicle to be towed for a greater distance, which is perfect for those who reside in isolated or quiet areas.

Onward Travel – Vehicle Hire

Onward Travel is an alternative name for vehicle hire and ensures your lifestyle is not affected following a defective vehicle or motor accident. There can also be instances when the company providing the breakdown cover will supply travel expenses and accommodation fees, but this will depend on the circumstances.

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Can a Vehicle Be Repaired if No Breakdown Cover Is in Place?

One of the biggest fears for drivers is breaking down and realising they have no breakdown cover in place. Drivers can still request assistance, but will often have to pay an excess for the service. As such, it is often more cost-effective to ensure that breakdown cover is in place in the first instance.

What Does Breakdown Cover Include?

Many things can go wrong with a vehicle, so some drivers can be confused as to the type of assistance they’re entitled to. Any uncertainties regarding breakdown cover must be discussed with the business, but those with breakdown cover can expect the following to be covered.

  • Dead Batteries
  • Flat Tyres
  • Punctures
  • Engine Failure
  • Lost Keys
  • Keys Locked Inside Vehicle

It is worth noting that not every business will provide the same level of cover, so it is essential to explore the options available before committing. The more flexible a business is, the easier it should be for drivers to find breakdown cover that fits their requirements as well as their budget.

When Does Breakdown Cover Start?

In most instances, breakdown cover will start as soon as the first payment is received. However, there can be instances when a standard period of cover is in place, which is usually the first 24 hours. Drivers who are unsure when their breakdown cover starts should double-check with the business to ensure they’re not caught short when driving.

How Long Do You Have to Wait for Assistance?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding breakdown cover is how long a driver can expect to wait for assistance. The answer can depend on the professional used.

For example, one of the most popular breakdown policies in the UK is offered by Dynamo Cover and according to their site, if you take out breakdown cover with Dynamo, their target response time is just 40 minutes.

A lot of people focus solely on the price of a policy, but this can be detrimental should there be an incident with the vehicle. Of course, drivers should never pay more than they should for breakdown cover, but it is essential that the policy meets all the driver’s requirements, including the amount of time waiting for assistance. 

As such, taking some time to choose the right policy ensures that breakdown cover provides peace of mind and plenty of value for money.

Why Is Breakdown Cover Cost Effective?

Drivers who take care of their vehicles and can contend with repairs themselves may feel that paying for breakdown cover is an unneeded expense. However, the costs associated with breakdown cover are often less should a professional be needed, and the time needed to carry out a repair could mean cost is incurred in other ways.

Breakdown cover allows drivers to focus on other aspects of life while having the peace of mind that cover is in place should the worst-case scenario arise when driving.

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