A roadside assistance policy should be held by all drivers which will protect you if your car breaks down whilst travelling. There are various types of roadside assistance and you should ensure you have the correct level of cover for you, your car and the type of travel you do. The tow main types of roadside assistance cover is basic and national/nationwide, if these packages do not suit The AA and The RAC have various options you can add onto your cover to build it into a package that suits your individual needs.
Basic Roadside Assistance
The basic roadside assistance package which is available from The AA, Green Flag and the RAC. This is the lowest package you can buy and includes assistance if you break down and you are over ¼ mile away from your home. With this level of roadside assistance you are limited to 5 breakdowns per year. If you breakdown you will be attended to as quickly as possible, this on average is up to 45 minutes.
With this level of roadside assistance the recovery driver will aim to get you and your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible free of charge. If this is not possible you and your passengers will be towed to the nearest garage for repairs. You would then have to make your own way home from the garage if you car cannot be immediately fixed, so not the best option for those who do a lot of travelling far away from home or those with young children who need to get home as soon as possible.
You can make additions to this package such as Home Cover so you can get roadside assistance at home.
National Recovery Roadside Assistance
The main flaw in basic roadside assistance is only being towed to a garage if your car cannot be fixed by the roadside which could be very impractical for many people, especially those with children or those who need to reach their destination by a deadline, such as those driving for business purposes. National recovery which is offered by The AA, RAC and Green Flag means your roadside assistance will transport you to any UK destination.
The AA and RAC have an add on to their Nationwide Recovery option called “Onward Travel” this is ideal for those that cannot be without their car if it needs to spend time being repaired in a garage. This add on features car hire for 3 days, an overnight stay in B&B accommodation and reimbursement of public transport costs up to £500 and a maximum of £150 per person. Green Flag have a similar option called “Recovery Plus”.
The ultimate roadside assistance package also includes any garage and parts bills required if your vehicle breaks down. The AA offers £500 per break down up to 5 times per year. The RAC’s equivalent package is called “Breakdown Warranty” and pays £500 per breakdown which you can upgrade with Enhanced Warranty up to £2000 per breakdown up to 5 times per year.
European Breakdown Cover
If you do a lot of travelling on the continent or even just planning a one off trip then European breakdown cover should be essential to prevent you being stuck in a foreign country facing potentially large repair bills.
Person or Vehicle Cover?
There are two types of cover; person and vehicle. Get Motoring Assist and The AA offers person cover which means if you break down, no matter what car you are in you will be covered by your policy, this would be a recommended option if you often drive cars other than your own or frequently change your own car. Personal membership can either cover an individual, couple or whole family up to four people who live at the same address. This can make this type of cover great value for money!
Vehicle cover which is available from The RAC and Green Flag covers one vehicle, no matter who is driving it. This is great if you only drive one car or there are lots of people that are insured to drive the car which has the breakdown cover.