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Breakdown cover

Compare breakdown cover quotes for your car, motorbike or van

What’s breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover helps cover the cost of roadside repairs or recovery if your car breaks down.

For example, if your car battery died or a tyre was punctured it’ll mean you’re not stranded on the side of the road for long.

There are five levels of breakdown cover, ranging from roadside recovery to full onward journey protection.

breakdown cover

Covid-19 and breakdown cover

Breakdown providers have continued their patrols, with responders wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing during call outs. If you have coronavirus, or have been in contact with someone who has, you must tell your provider when you call for assistance.

If you’re struggling to pay for your breakdown cover because of coronavirus, contact your provider to see if it can help.

What’s covered by a breakdown policy?

There are five main elements of breakdown cover that you can pick from to give you the level of cover you need:

Local roadside assistance

If you break down during a local journey, your breakdown provider will send their patrol to your location for roadside assistance. If your vehicle can’t be fixed at the roadside, they’ll tow to you to a local garage.

More about Local breakdown cover >

National vehicle recovery

If you break down far from home, national recovery will send out roadside assistance wherever you are in the UK. They’ll also tow you to a garage if they can’t repair your car at the side of the road. It's included along with roadside recovery on most breakdown policies.

More about National breakdown cover >

At-home breakdown

Also known as ‘home start’, it’ll get you up and running if your car breaks down outside your house. The distance from home that you’re covered for varies between providers, but it’s usually between a quarter of a mile and a mile from your home.

More about home breakdown cover >

Onward travel

This’ll cover alternative transport to get you to your destination. This usually includes solutions such as a hire car or covering the cost of a train, bus or flight.

More about onward travel cover >

European breakdown cover

If you’re driving in Europe, European breakdown cover will cover you for the duration of your trip. It’s usually offered as an add-on to other vehicle insurance policies, rather than as standalone breakdown cover so it’s worth checking whether you’re already covered.

More about European breakdown cover >

What’s not included in breakdown cover?

Each breakdown policy will have its own terms and exclusions. Look out for things like:

  • Limits on callouts in a year
  • Exclusions around leaving your lights on, running out of fuel and misfuelling

Most breakdown policies won’t cover:

  • Damage caused by neglect
  • Breaking down because of an accident
  • Breaking down on private land or somewhere with difficult access
  • Breaking down with animals or pets

More about breakdown cover exclusions >

Do you need breakdown cover?

It’s not a legal requirement, but it can offer you peace of mind to know that there’s help available to get your car moving or you back home if you break down.

What types of breakdown cover are there?

There are two main types of breakdown cover: personal and vehicle.

Vehicle cover

You specify the car, van, or bike you want to cover on the policy. It doesn’t matter who’s driving the car at the time, so it’s useful if more than one person drives your car or uses the van.

Personal cover

Personal breakdown cover is for an individual, no matter what vehicle you’re in – you can be the driver or passenger. If you’ve got more than one car to cover, it can be cheaper. The drawback is only you will be covered, so if anyone else drives the car they’d need their own policy.

Why compare breakdown policies with us?

We just need a few details to help you find the right cover – it only takes a few minutes.

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021

Next review due: 15 December 2021

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