Breakdown Cover Basics

There was a time when most of us would have a fairly good idea of what to do if our car broke down in a remote spot. The vehicles of 20 years ago were straightforward and relatively easy to fix. You checked all of the basics and if all else failed you called your other half to give you a tow to a local garage. These days, cars are much more complicated and if they breakdown by the side of the road you would be well advised to have breakdown cover, because the chances are you will never be able to fix it yourself.

You can now buy breakdown cover as part of your insurance policy. In many cases it is actually cheaper to do this than to buy it separately. In general, breakdown cover will offer you a number of options depending on the type of cover you have purchased.

Breakdown cover with roadside assistance is exactly what it says on the tin. The breakdown company will come to you when you have broken down and will either fix your car so you can drive away and continue your journey or they will recover you to the nearest garage where you can arrange for your car to be fixed.

If you wish you can add roadside recovery to your breakdown cover. This means that as well as trying to fix the car by the side of the road and getting you to the nearest garage, the company will also agree to help you continue your journey in any way possible. This might mean providing transport to your final destination or even arranging a hire car or accommodation if that is required.

If you fall ill while behind the wheel and you are the only driver, your breakdown cover with extra roadside recovery is there to help. The company will take you to hospital and provide your passengers with a means to continue their journey if they wish.

If you are planning a holiday in Europe and you want to take your car it is important to arrange European breakdown cover. In many cases your standard policy will also cover you for travel in Europe, but it important to check the limitations on this before you set off.

In most cases the cover offered will provide breakdown recovery to a local garage and even legal expenses in any European country. In addition, many policies also offer car replacement, accommodation, continuation of your journey and accidental damage cover. If you are forced to leave your car in Europe and return back to the UK, the breakdown cover may even arrange for your car to be returned to you.

One of the best advantages of having a breakdown policy with European cover is that you will be put in touch with customer service operators who speak your own language and are experienced in dealing with tricky situations in foreign countries. They will be able to talk to the local breakdown services and arrange the details for you.

While breakdown cover is a necessity these days, it is important to recognise the limitations that each policy will have. For example, most policies will have a set number of callouts which they will attend over the course of a year. They may also charge more for certain types of cars or if your vehicle is over a certain age.

Other policies may restrict how far away from your home you need to be before they will consider coming out to you. To counteract this it is important to ask for a policy that allows home visits. This is a good idea if you have a habit of leaving your lights on and depleting your car battery.

When buying breakdown cover you should start by looking at a policy which comes with your car insurance. As already mentioned, these are often cheaper; however, the cover may be limited. If you feel you would like additional cover there are plenty of companies to choose from.

A quick online search for car breakdown cover will soon bring up the three main companies that deal with this type of policy. If you have forgotten to buy breakdown cover and you find yourself stranded, you can actually purchase it over the phone from most companies and they will agree to come out to you. Of course, being prepared is always the better option.

Breaking down may seem like one of those things that will never happen to you, but it is likely to happen to every motorist at some point in their driving life. With the current wintery conditions, it is happening even more often. So, search around for the best deal and be prepared.


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