Van breakdown cover

Compare cheap van breakdown cover policies from multiple providers

family stuck on the road with a broken down car

What is van breakdown cover?

It’s specialist breakdown cover to get your van back up and running should it break down - whether that’s because of something like a flat or faulty battery, a burst tyre or a burnt-out clutch cable.

Your breakdown recovery company will send out a mechanic to help you get your van back on the road.

Policies provide roadside assistance cover as standard, but you can include other levels of cover which give you added protection.

These include things like home assistance cover, where help will be sent if your van won’t start at your home address. Plus national recovery, where your van can be recovered from anywhere in the UK and taken to any garage that you choose if it can’t be repaired roadside.

Woman smiling while sitting in the driver's seat of a van

Why do I need van breakdown cover?

It isn’t a legal requirement, but breakdown cover can provide peace of mind that, should your vehicle break down unexpectedly in the middle of a journey, help will be sent.

If you drive your van for commercial purposes - perhaps you’re a plumber, builder or even a dog-walker - then any delays on the road could cost you money. You might miss a job, the chance to provide a quote for new business or let down your customers. And organising for a tow truck to pick up your van can be expensive and lead to hours of wasted time, as well as money.

In most cases, with van breakdown cover, a mechanic can fix your van at the roadside and get you back in business swiftly.

What are the different levels of breakdown cover?

Consider which one is right for you:

Roadside assistance

All breakdown policies offer roadside assistance as standard. If you break down over a certain distance from your home - typically a quarter of a mile - your breakdown provider will send someone to assist you at the roadside.

If your vehicle can’t be fixed at the side of the road, you can expect it to be towed to the nearest garage. For this you need vehicle recovery included on your policy, either local or national. Local recovery usually comes as standard.

If you're looking for a more comprehensive policy, you'll be able to opt for any of the additional four cover options listed below when you compare with us.

National/nationwide recovery

If you drive your van long distances, perhaps as part of your business, then national recovery could be a wise investment.

If your van can’t be fixed at the roadside, a national policy can tow your vehicle to any garage, back to your home, or to your destination from anywhere in the UK

Onward travel

If you break down away from home and prompt repair isn't possible, onward travel cover could provide you with a replacement van, overnight accommodation, or reasonable travel expenses while your van’s being repaired. Some restrictions may apply, depending on your insurer's policy and terms

Home assistance/home start

If your van won’t start at your home address, or within a defined distance of your home - usually about one mile - your provider will send help to solve the problem and get you out on the road as swiftly as possible. Terms will vary according to your provider's home assistance policy, so check before you buy

European cover

European cover provides protection when driving on the continent. You can buy single-trip cover or an annual policy that covers each trip you make to Europe. Both types of policy cover trips up to a set amount of days

What’s the difference between personal or vehicle cover?

Personal breakdown cover is assigned to you as an individual. That means, no matter what vehicle you’re driving, your provider will come to your rescue if you break down. So, it’s a good option if you drive more than one van or vehicle regularly.

What’s more, this sort of cover even applies if you’re a passenger in a vehicle - you don’t have to be driving.

With vehicle breakdown cover, on the other hand, it’s the vehicle that’s protected, no matter who’s driving. It can work well, therefore, if you share your van with someone else.

Do I need business cover?

If you own more than one van as part of your business, you might want to consider fleet or business breakdown rather than individual vehicle cover.

You can choose how many vehicles you want to cover as part of a fleet. And, as is the case with individual van cover, roadside assistance is included as standard. Then, you can opt to add different levels of cover, such as nationwide recovery and home assistance.

Fleet insurance should cover any vehicle that's part of your business, along with any authorised driver.

Are there any vehicle size or weight limits?

Most breakdown services will cover vehicles that weigh under 3.5 tonnes, and measure no more than about 6.4 metres long (including tow bar) and about 2.55 metres wide. Size and weight restrictions may differ between providers so check their terms and conditions.

How can I save money on breakdown cover?

Shopping around to compare prices and policy features can help you find the best deal for your needs.

Policies offer varying levels of cover, so only choose what you need to ensure you’re not needlessly paying extra.

For example, if you don’t drive your van abroad, then you won’t need to add European breakdown to your account. And if you only make local trips in your van, then national recovery will be unnecessary.

Also, check that you don’t already have breakdown cover as part of your van insurance policy or as a perk with your bank account, for example.

What do I need to get a quote?

You’ll need to provide your personal details and, if you’re choosing vehicle cover (as opposed to personal cover), details of your van, including the registration and age of your vehicle.

Frequently asked questions

You could call a local garage and face a hefty bill to have your van recovered and towed for repairs. Or you can pay a police removal fee.

Some breakdown cover firms offer ‘instant membership’. So, if you break down, you can call and they’ll arrange immediate cover and send out a mechanic to help you. This will cost a lot more than an annual breakdown policy normally does, so it pays to think ahead and to get cover sorted.

With a basic roadside assistance and local recovery policy, if the mechanic can’t fix your van right away, you'll get towed to the nearest garage.

If you have national recovery in place, then your van can be towed to a location of your choice, anywhere in the country.

Check your V5C logbook and look for the ‘vehicle category’ line.

M1 means it’s a car, whereas N1 or N2 means it’s classed as a van.

Only if you’ve taken out European breakdown cover. Then, you can call your provider who will arrange for a mechanic to come out to provide roadside assistance.

If your vehicle can’t be repaired at the roadside, then your provider will arrange for it to be taken to a local garage for repair. You can buy single-trip or annual European breakdown cover. What you choose will depend on how often you take your van abroad.

It depends on the type of breakdown policy you’ve paid for.

If you have personal cover, then it should cover you for any van you drive, including if you’re a passenger in the van.

If you’ve bought vehicle cover - which is usually a cheaper option - then you’ll only be covered when you’re in the particular van covered by the policy.

It depends on the policy - providers have different rules.

Some may place a limit on the total number of callouts they’ll attend within your period of cover (say, perhaps six callouts a year), while others offer unlimited callouts.

If your provider thinks you’re using the service excessively, though, they’ll want to see evidence that your vehicle is well-maintained, regularly serviced and has a valid MOT.

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