When you compare cheap car insurance quotes, you can choose to add car breakdown cover for a small cost, but is it worth the price? Here, comparison site mustard.co.uk, explain what it is, and what’s included so you can decide whether it’s right for you.



What is car breakdown cover?

It’s a type of insurance policy that can help get your car back up and running if it breaks down at the side of the road.

You can buy breakdown cover as part of your overall car insurance package or as a standalone policy. Some banks also include it as a perk for some account holders so check if this is something you already have, otherwise you could unwittingly double up on cover.

What does car breakdown cover include?

You can choose from different levels of cover so what’s included will depend on the specific policy you buy. Remember that what’s included will also vary according to the insurer so don’t assume that plans with the same name will include exactly the same things.

Here’s what you’ll usually be able to choose from:

  • Roadside assistance — if your car breaks down at the side of the road, your insurer will arrange for a mechanic to come to you. If your car can’t be fixed, it will be towed to the nearest garage.
  • National recovery — if your car can’t be repaired there and then, it will be taken to a garage anywhere in the UK that’s convenient for you.
  • Onward travel — if you can’t get back on the road in your own car, your insurer will help you continue your journey, for example, with a hire car or taxi. They may also arrange overnight accommodation if needed.
  • Home start (at home assistance) — if your car won’t start at home or breaks down very close to home, a mechanic will come and try to fix it.
  • European breakdown — provides roadside assistance while you’re in Europe, always check the country you’re visiting is covered by your policy.

Insurers will also offer a range of optional extras which you can add to your policy for a small cost. Popular add-ons include:

  • Replacements for lost or stolen keys.
  • New replacement tyres instead of using your spare.
  • Battery replacement if the current one is the cause of the breakdown.
  • Misfuelling cover which will involve draining the fuel tank and topping up with enough petrol or diesel to get you on your way.

How much does car breakdown cover cost?

Cost will depend on the level of cover you choose and whether you then add on other features.

As a rough guide to price, roadside assistance policies from some of the larger breakdown and recovery providers start from around £50, while policies that include national recovery and onward travel can exceed £150. That said, there are several smaller but well-established providers who offer the same level of cover for a lot less, so it’s well-worth comparing quotes.

If you’re in two minds about the price of a policy, think about the potential cost of not having breakdown cover in place. This includes factoring in call-out charges, repairs, onward travel and accommodation, which could quickly exceed policy premiums.

Can I pay for breakdown cover monthly?

Most insurers will let you pay for cover on a monthly basis, but it might not be the most cost-effective option.

Although instalments can help you spread the cost, you’ll pay more overall as interest will be added.

Can I buy breakdown cover after my car has broken down?

If you break down and don’t have cover, you can buy an emergency policy from providers including the AA and the RAC. While that can help you resolve the problem relatively quickly, an emergency policy will cost considerably more compared to a standard policy bought beforehand.

Compare quotes for the best value car insurance

Whether you choose car insurance with breakdown cover or decide to buy a standalone policy, comparing quotes can help ensure you get the best value for money. 

At mustard.co.uk, not only can you compare policies from dozens of leading UK insurers, their Cheapest Price Guarantee* is a promise to beat any other online quote. You can start your search online right now or speak to an expert on 0330 022 8812.

* T&Cs apply. See mustard.co.uk for details.

Tagged in