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UK and European
vehicle breakdown recovery

Frequently Asked Questions

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If your vehicle breaks down in the UK, use our mobile app or call our 24-hour rescue line and request assistance.
You will need to provide your registration number details of your location as well as a contact telephone number.
We will first attempt to repair your vehicle by the roadside, but if this is not possible we will arrange vehicle recovery to the nearest garage able to undertake the repair.
If this is not possible, providing you have purchased our Two to Five Star levels of cover, we will arrange transport for you, your vehicle and the passengers to your home address or original destination.
If you have chosen our One Star breakdown cover, we will recover you to any chosen destination within a 10 mile radius from the scene of the breakdown. For our One Star level of cover, if you require recovery further than 10 miles we can offer a separate quotation to assist you.

Customers who stay with us, never pay more than our website retail prices! You’ll be offered a lower price at renewal than a new customer buying directly from our website, at our advertised retail prices, based on a like for like quote.

You may find that your renewal price increases as your vehicle gets older or if you upgrade your level of cover, however, as a renewing customer, you’ll still benefit from lower prices compared to new customers buying from our website. If you have any questions in relation to your renewal price, please contact us by logging in to the online Customer Lounge.

We offer unlimited callouts  for each insured vehicle or (in the case of Personal Cover) insured person in any one period of insurance.

If you are one of our policyholders, are experiencing temporary financial difficulty and your demands and needs have changed, please contact us and we can let you know the policy options available to you.

If you have purchased our One Star breakdown cover and require a vehicle recovery further than your 10 mile entitlement, we will gladly take you to your chosen destination, but will require payment for any additional mileage. Payment must be made over the phone by credit/debit card at the time assistance is required.

If you think that you may need recovering more than 10 miles, you should consider if any of our other levels of cover would suit you better, from Two star to Five star.

Provided you have purchased our Three or Five Star level of breakdown cover, we will assist you at home or within a quarter of a mile radius of your home address. If we are unable to repair your vehicle, we will arrange vehicle recovery to the nearest garage able to undertake the repair. If it is late in the evening, we may advise you to call for assistance the following day when garages, able to effect a repair, will be open

Your policy documents are located in your online Customer Lounge. Simply log in, select the policy and click on the ‘View Your Current Documents’ tile. 
You can download the documents or if you would prefer them to be sent to your registered email address, click the ‘email documents’ tile.

If you don’t have a policy with us, we may still be able to help you. Visit our Contact Us page to find the right method of contact for you or download and use the App and tell us what the problem is and we can discuss the options available to you.

You can re-set your password by clicking on the Forgot Password link on the Customer Lounge login website page.
You will need the email address you originally used to set up the policy. If you have changed the email address or forgotten which one you used, then you will need to call the Customer Services Team

Yes, if your vehicle is involved in an accident, service will be provided in accordance with the breakdown cover level you have chosen and purchased. Please check your policy documents for more information

.

Log in to your online Customer Lounge. Choose the policy you would like to amend. Click on ‘ Upgrade Personal Policy’.
You will be presented with the cover options available and the additional premium payable.  Choose the upgrade that meets your needs and follow the online instructions to complete the upgrade.

If you cancel your annual policy within the 14 day cooling off period, there is no charge and you will receive a full refund, providing you have not made a claim.
If you cancel after the 14 day cooling off period, no refund of premium is payable.
No refund of premium is available for any policy with a policy period of less than one month.

Log in to your online Customer Lounge.  Choose the policy you would like to amend.
For vehicle based policies click on ‘upgrade Vehicle Cover’.
And for personal policies click on ‘ Upgrade Personal Policy’. 
You will be presented with the cover options available and the additional premium payable.  Choose the upgrade that meets your needs and follow the online instructions to complete the upgrade. 

We aim to have a Recovery Operator with you in 60 minutes, however, this may vary due to factors outside of our control due to traffic caused by accidents or local events or weather conditions at the time.
The time may also vary in mainland Europe, depending on your location.
We reach 4 out of 5 customers within an hour.

Yes, we provide electric vehicle breakdown cover for  electric vehicles across the UK and Europe, using our vast network of well-trained, experienced recovery operatives. 

Depending on the symptom you report, we will first try and repair your vehicle roadside and if this is not possible, recover you to the nearest suitable garage for repairs. We may offer you alternative options of assistance in accordance with the breakdown cover policy wording to ensure you are inconvenienced as little as possible. If the vehicle cannot be repaired within a reasonable amount of time, to be agreed between you and our Rescue Coordinator, we will recover you, your vehicle and the passengers back to the UK.

  • Already have a policy?: You won't need to change the address from your home to University. If you breakdown at University (whilst studying away from the registered address) we can recover you back to your University accommodation. Alternatively, if you're on the way home to the registered address you can be recovered to your home or University accommodation, providing you have nationwide recovery.
  • New customer?: If you are purchasing cover with us, you can either register your University accommodation address or your home address and amend when necessary. You won't need to change the address when outside of term time to your home or change back to your university address when term time resumes. Don't forget to pick the cover that is most suitable for your needs and situation.

 

No, any work carried out, other than roadside assistance, will be a separate contract between you and the repairing garage. You will need to pay for all parts fitted roadside or at the repairing garage. 

You can re-set your password by clicking on the Forgot Password link on the Customer Lounge login page.
You will need the email address you originally used to set up the policy. If you have changed the email address or forgotten which one you used, then you will need to call the Customer Services Team

Depending on your circumstances we may decide to provide alternative accommodation. Within the UK, we will pay a maximum of £150.00 for a lone traveller or £75.00 per person towards the reasonable cost of overnight accommodation including breakfast for you and the passengers whilst the vehicle is being repaired. The maximum Emergency Overnight Accommodation payment per incident is £500.00.

For European policies where breakdowns occur abroad and the vehicle cannot be repaired on the same working day and which results in you not being able to stay at your pre-booked accommodation, the limit is increased to £150.00 per person for one night. The maximum Emergency Overnight Accommodation Abroad payment per incident is £1000.00.

This service is subject to the prior authorisation of our Rescue Co-ordinator and will be offered on a pay and claim basis.

If you purchased your policy directly using our online Quote and Buy tool at startrescue.co.uk, there is no excess to pay. 

 

If you originally purchased your policy through a Comparison Site and wanted to reduce the annual premium you would need to pay, you may have purchased a policy which requires you to pay an excess each time you breakdown.  Your policy schedule will detail if you chose to pay an excess.  You can upgrade your policy to remove the excess mid-term or at renewal via the online Customer Lounge.  The payable excess will still apply to any claims that occurred before you upgraded the policy or for any claim within 24hours of the time the upgrade was made.

If our repairing Recovery Operator is unable to repair your vehicle within the same working day, or a period agreed between you and our Rescue Co-ordinator, we will pay up to £250.00 (maximum) within the UK or £500,00 (maximum) for claims in Europe, towards the reasonable cost of alternative travel or a hire vehicle up to 1600cc to allow you to complete your original journey.

We will also pay up to £150.00 within the UK, towards the reasonable cost of alternative travel for one person to return and collect the repaired vehicle. This limit is increased to £200.00 within Europe for our Four and Five Star levels of cover, for two people to return and collect the vehicle.

This service can only be used to complete a journey if your vehicle is being repaired a minimum of 20 miles from your home address.

This process is on a pay and claim basis and authorisation must be gained from our Rescue Coordinator.

Unless Personal Cover is purchased, our policy only covers the vehicle registered on our database. The registered vehicle is covered for any driver.

Let us know as soon as possible if you change your vehicle so we can update our database, you can do this via the Customer Lounge or contacting our Customer Service team over the phone.

Unless Personal Cover has been purchased, our policy only covers the vehicle registered on our database. Therefore, any change must be notified immediately by either contacting our Customer Services Department or logging in online to our website’s Customer Lounge. Please provide us with your policy number, the new registration, make and model of the vehicle and the date you wish us to make the change. If you do not notify us of the new vehicle details, we may not be able to supply you with a service.

Where a change in vehicle results in your new vehicle being in a different age bracket than your existing one, you may be charged an additional premium, in no circumstance will a refund or credit be provided.

You will not be covered for the first 24 hours of updating your vehicle details with us.

Yes. If you lose, break, or lock your keys in the vehicle, you’ll be covered for the call out and recovery back to the operators base or your home address if closer. 

Additional services such as cutting/programming new keys, or specialist equipment used to move your vehicle is not covered by the policy, you will need to pay for these services.

We will arrange and pay up to £250 (inclusive of VAT) for a recovery operator to either conduct the fuel drain and flush at the roadside or, to recover your vehicle and the passengers to the recovery operator’s base where a drain and flush to your vehicle’s fuel tank can be conducted.

In addition to the fuel drain and flush, we will also include 10 litres of correct fuel, subject to the overall £250 (inclusive of VAT) claim limit.

If you would prefer for the fuel drain and flush to be conducted by your preferred repairer, we will arrange and pay for a recovery operator to recover your vehicle and the passengers to a repairer of your choice within 10 miles of the scene of the breakdown. (or 20 miles for our 2, 3, 4 and 5 Star policies).

This service is subject to the prior authorisation of our rescue co-ordinator and will be offered on a pay and claim basis.

Yes. You can do this online by logging into the Customer Lounge and selecting Manage Automatic Renewal Settings & Saved Cards’ .  You can delete an existing card and add a new card.
If you need to update your card details as your policy has the Automatic Renewal Protection setting enabled, please remember to set the card to the renewal.

Yes.  You need to make sure that the registered card holder is present and can provide permission for any payments. If you have the Automatic Renewal Setting enabled, we will take the renewal payment from this card next year  Please ensure you have the card holders permission to use the card again at renewal. If you do not want to renew using the card you will need to delete the card from the ‘saved Cards’ area of the Customer Lounge.

Yes you are entitled to assistance for lack of fuel or running out of charge. We will recover you, the vehicle and the passengers to the nearest fuelling facility or charging point.

Our Rescue Co-ordinator will offer you a quotation to assist on a pay on use basis.  If you proceed with the quotation you will need to pay for the assistance at the time by credit or debit card.

No, we will only take you to your chosen destination under the initial call out. You are only entitled to one call out per fault and vehicle recovery to one destination. If you are at home and garages are closed, provided you have purchased the right level of cover we may advise you to call for assistance the following day. If we can't effect a repair, we will be able to recover you straight to a repairing garage.

In the event that your vehicle is stolen or vandalised, you should contact your insurance company. 5 star policy holders have the benefit of the Theft/Break in Benefit when on a trip in Europe and should call our 24-hour rescue line if they intend to use it.

Within the territorial limits UK provided you have purchased Two, Three, Four or Five Star cover, there is no limit.
If your vehicle cannot be repaired at the roadside within 60 minutes and a  local garage would be unable to assist within a reasonable amount of time, we will take you, your vehicle, and the passengers home or to your destination anywhere in the UK.
If you have purchased our One Star breakdown cover, you are entitled to a recovery within 10 miles of the scene of your breakdown.

Within the territorial limits Europe, provided you have purchased Four or Five star cover, there is no limit.
If your vehicle cannot be repaired at the roadside within 60 minutes and a local garage would be unable to assist and the vehicle is unable to be repaired within 48 hours or by your intended return whichever is due to occur last, we will take you, your vehicle, and the passengers home or if you would prefer and it is closer, your original destination within the territorial limits Europe.

You can purchase a multi-car policy by adding all the vehicles you wish to cover during the quote process. All additional vehicles qualify for a 10% discount which is added automatically. 
You can also add additional vehicles to an existing policy, providing all vehicles on the policy are registered to the same address. You can add additional vehicles online by logging into the Customer Lounge
There is a 24 hour inception period when adding an additional vehicle.

 

Your policy only covers the registered vehicle in the event of a breakdown. If your vehicle breaks down and your caravan or trailer is attached, providing it is fitted with a standard 50mm tow ball coupling hitch and does not exceed 7 meters/23 feet in length (not including the length of the A -frame and hitch), it will be recovered with the vehicle.
The policy will not cover you if there is a problem with your caravan or trailer and not the vehicle. However, our Rescue Co-Ordinator will offer you a quotation to assist, but you will need to pay for the vehicle recovery service immediately on a pay on use basis by credit or debit card.

Recovery of a trailer containing livestock is not covered as part of the policy and will be totally at the discretion of the Recovery Operator which attends the scene. If the trailer cannot be recovered with the livestock inside, providing you do not know anyone locally who can help you, we will try to contact a local company which can provide assistance in transporting the livestock separately. You will need to pay for the additional service immediately on a pay on use basis by credit or debit card.

We have a dedicated EV network of fully trained EV recovery operators who are competent in dealing with high voltage battery systems, and the many other parts of a modern electric car that can go wrong.

Our EV Recovery Operators, who receive ongoing training to ensure we maintain high standards in EV recovery, will aim to get you back on the road safely and quickly.

If we’re unable to fix your vehicle, our team of experts will find the most suitable local garage to repair your vehicle and if a local repair is not possible, we will be able to recover you inline with your policy’s recovery limits.

We will ask you, to find out if there is a particular garage you wish to be recovered to and ask you to book it in. We can also source a garage for you if necessary and pass you the details so that you can book in your vehicle.

We recommend you to wait for assistance to ensure the vehicle is functioning correctly. If you do not wait for assistance and the vehicle breaks down again with the same fault, you will be charged for the second and any subsequent call outs.

If you have purchased the appropriate cover, the following countries are covered under the European extension:  Andorra, Austria, Balearics, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Isles, Corsica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.

Any work carried out, other than roadside assistance, will be a separate contract between you and the repairing garage. You will need to pay for all parts fitted roadside or at the repairing garage. 

We will pay ferry and toll fees only within the confines of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

If you have our Four or Five Star level of cover and have broken down please contact our Control Room asap so assistance can be arranged.
If you have broken down on a toll or private road in Europe, you must first obtain assistance from the local authorities by using the phones situated along the route. Once you have been recovered off the toll road, you can then contact us as normal for assistance using the numbers printed in the policy wording.

Yes, it is your responsibility to ensure you comply with the laws of the countries you will be visiting. As a minimum, you will need to take your driving licence including any additional documentation, your V5 vehicle registration document and insurance documents with you. Last but not least, don't forget to take our policy with you.

We repair 84% of vehicles roadside, this figure is subject to change.

If your vehicle breaks down on the motorway in the UK and you are unable to use your mobile phone, you must use the emergency telephones situated at 1-mile intervals. Police services will take your details and contact us to arrange the vehicle recovery.

We cannot cover vehicles in excess of 3,500 kg (3.5 tonnes), minibuses, limousines, motorhomes or horseboxes, any request for service if the vehicle is being used for motor racing, rallies, public hire, private hire, courier services or any contest or speed trial or practice for any of these activities. Please refer to your policy wording for full terms and conditions.

If you have opted for Automatic Renewal Protection to be enabled you will not have to do anything providing the card you have assigned to your policy will still be in force at the time of the renewal. We inform you of the upcoming renewal about 30 days prior to the renewal date, and if there are any issues such as there not being enough funds in your account we notify you asap to inform you that the policy has not renewed.
If you have not enabled Automatic Renewal Protection you will need to Log in to your online Customer Lounge and choose the policy you would like to renew.
Click on ‘View Your Current Renewal’, and review your renewal, you can amend your renewal quote by clicking on ‘AMEND QUOTE’. Once you are happy with your renewal quote please click ‘RENEW NOW’ and following the online instructions.

We email all renewal communication to your registered email address, 30 days prior to your policy expiry date.
Your renewal quote may have been caught in spam/junk, so check there.
If you’ve changed your email address you will need to update this in the Customer Lounge or by contacting our customer services team.
Maybe you have entered the email address incorrectly when you arranged the cover with us? If you think this has happened you will need to contact our customer service team so they can put it right.

If you do not have the necessary parts to enable us to change the wheel, we will recover your vehicle up to 10 miles to effect a repair.
If you need to be recovered further than 10 miles, you will need to pay for the additional mileage immediately on a pay on use basis by providing debit or credit card details

We will gladly pass on up to 2 messages to friends, relatives and colleagues to inform them of your situation.

Start Rescue provides a Mobile App for breakdown recovery assistance which is free of charge to all Start Rescue customers in addition to their breakdown cover. Registration takes no time at all and it's quick and easy to report a breakdown via the app which will save you on call costs and mobile phone battery life. We will know who you are and where you are as well as your policy number. We will call you to confirm the final details, saving you further costs.

If you have not enabled Automatic Renewal Protection you do not need to take any action. Your policy will eventually expire on the date detailed in our renewal reminders to you.
If you have enabled Automatic Renewal Protection, you will need to Log in to your online Customer Lounge and choose the policy you don’t want to renew.
Click on ‘Manage Automatic Renewal Settings & Saved Cards’ and click on  ‘OPT-OUT OF RENEWAL PROTECTION’

You can switch your Automatic Renewal Protection on or off at any time by changing your settings online within the Customer Lounge or by calling our Customer Services Department.
Your Automatic Renewal Protection setting will show as either Enabled or Disabled.

If you have taken out a new policy, you will have to wait 24 hours from the time the policy is purchased for the cover to start if you want it to start as soon as possible, alternatively you can select a date more than 24 hours in the future and the policy will start at the beginning of that day.
Unless you provide more than 24 hours’ notice, any amendment to your policy will contain a 24-hour inception period from the time you request the change.
For all renewing policies that have not lapsed, you have continuation of cover and there is no 24 hour inception period.

There is no age limit for vehicles within the UK, as we can provide breakdown cover for any age of car, motorcycle or van.
If you would like European cover, we only offer cover for vehicles 10 years old and under.

Providing your vehicle is 10 years old or under and is a car or motorcycle you can upgrade your annual policy to either our 4 Star Cover (Roadside, Nationwide Recovery and European Recovery) or our 5 Star Cover (Roadside, Nationwide Recovery, Home Assist and European Recovery). 
You can do this in the online Customer Lounge or contact our Customer Services Team.
We do not offer European Cover for Vans, or our annual Personal Cover Policies. However, if you have an eligible vehicle which is less than 10 years old, we do offer Short Term European Cover up to 31 days.

If you have received an email advising we can no longer provide breakdown assistance for your vehicle, unfortunately, this is due to the age of the vehicle that you require cover for.

We can currently only provide European breakdown cover for eligible vehicles 10 years and under.

 

Vehicle Cover – Provides cover for your vehicle, regardless of who is driving.

Personal Cover - Covers you when you are a driver or passenger in any eligible vehicle.

During recovery, pets may have to stay within your vehicle to keep both them and everyone else safe. For larger animals such as those within a livestock trailer or horsebox, we will endeavour to help arrange alternative transport. The cost for this would not be covered by your breakdown policy.

 

Yes, if you have European breakdown cover with us then we can still assist you with your breakdown. There may be some localised limitations related to Coronavirus, so it’s best to check the restrictions on your route before setting off.

If you have European cover and have been unable to benefit from it due to restrictions related to Coronavirus, then please contact us to discuss your options.

Initially upon leaving the EU, it was announced that UK drivers would require Green Card insurance to drive in the EU after Brexit.

However, the European Commission took the step to scrap the Green Card requirement in the summer.

As of 2nd August 2021, there has been no requirement for UK drivers to get Green Card insurance to drive in the EU, EEA, Switzerland, Serbia or Andorra,

Imported vehicles can only be eligible for cover if: 

  • HMRC have been notified and any applicable VAT is paid
  • vehicle has gained approval (if required),
  • vehicle is registered and taxed with the DVLA,
  • vehicle has a valid MOT certificate;
  • vehicle is insured.

We’ve teamed up with Cornmarket Insurance Services Limited. Existing members have access via the Exclusive Deals section of our website or via the online Customer Lounge. Login to unlock special discount rates! If your insurance is not yet due for renewal, don’t worry, register your details and someone will call you back closer to the time.

We aim to provide a high standard of service at all times. Please telephone us if you feel we have not achieved this and we will do our best to rectify the problem immediately or email us at Customerservices@startrescue.co.uk, providing your name, policy number and details of your complaint.  
If you would prefer, you can write to us : Customer Services, Call Assist Limited, Axis Court, North Station Road, Colchester, Essex CO1 1UX

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All competitor prices have been based on our most popular 3 star level of cover for a vehicle aged up to 5 years old. Cover includes roadside assistance, nationwide recovery, home assistance, alternative transport, overnight accommodation and key assist. Last updated 05/08/2022.

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