Car Breakdown Service Guide

Car Breakdown Cover GuideWhen your car has a breakdown on the road, it is immensely reassuring to know that you have breakdown cover, a way to recover and repair your car with a minimum of fuss and expense.

Breakdown cover, also known as roadside recovery or roadside rescue among other names, is a way motorists can receive assistance when their car is stranded on the road due to mechanical failure. Getting this service is undoubtedly a wise choice for a regular motorist. It’s particularly helpful for people with older cars, for those who drive at night, and for those who travel far from home.

There are two types of breakdown cover available: standard breakdown cover and pay and claim cover.

Standard Breakdown Cover

This is the service offered by most breakdown companies because customers find it the most convenient way. After paying an annual fee, a customer can make as many callouts as necessary to get their car recovered and repaired.

You can choose between either covering yourself, which is called a personal breakdown cover, or your vehicle, which is called a vehicle breakdown cover. A personal breakdown cover can protect any vehicle you’re in whether as a driver or a passenger and whether you own it or not. On the other hand, a vehicle breakdown will only cover a nominated car.

Different companies have different ways of providing roadside assistance to someone who has had their car breakdown. For example, companies like AA and RAC send out their own recovery patrols, while a company like Green Flag will contract local recovery services to provide roadside rescue.

Pay And Claim Cover

This is a cheaper alternative to standard breakdown cover. Although, like with standard breakdown cover, an annual fee is paid, the service provided is slightly different. For one thing, a local recovery service is contracted to help you should your car breakdown. For another, you will be required to pay the recovery service after they have helped you out. You will then be reimbursed after you send the breakdown company your receipts.

Deciding Between The Two Options
While both options provide the same basic service, recovery within about 40 minutes, they differ in price and in convenience. The standard breakdown rescue is more convenient while the pay and claim cover is cheaper. Your decision then depends on your needs, which will depend on the age of your car and on your cash flow.

Breakdown Cover Levels

Breakdown companies define levels of service in different ways, but there are four options they share in common: roadside assistance, home assistance, vehicle recovery, and onward travel

Roadside assistance
If your car is more than a quarter mile away from home, then a patrol team will come out to assist you, and if the car cannot be fixed then it will either be towed to your home or the nearest garage, depending on which is closer. Usually, one hour of labour is provided at no charge to try and fix your car. However, if it is necessary to replace parts, you will have to pay for them.

Home assistance
If your car is at home or within a quarter mile from home, then the patrol team will come and help you out.

Vehicle recovery
If your car can’t be repaired, it is towed to the nearest garage or your home. You and your passengers will also be transported.

Onward travel
If your car has to go to a garage, the breakdown company will offer you car rental or alternative ways to reach your home or your chosen destination.

These four services may differ slightly from one company to another and not all are offered in a breakdown policy.

In addition to these services, breakdown companies often include European cover. This can be applied as a standalone or as an additional option. This is useful feature in a standard breakdown cover if you travel aboard, as it can be difficult to get help after a breakdown when you don’t know the language. The European patrol will have representatives who speak English.