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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, call our 24-hour rescue line and request assistance. Please quote your registration and have ready the 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 the relevant level 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.

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.

Provided you have purchased the right 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

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

We aim to have a Recovery Operator with you in 60 minutes, however, this may vary in mainland Europe, depending on your location.

We will first try and repair your vehicle roadside and if this is not possible, recover you to a local 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.

Yes, we provide electric vehicle breakdown insurance to EV drivers across the UK and Europe, using our vast network of well-trained, experienced recovery operatives. 

  • 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 are purchasing cover with us, you can enter either 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. 

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

If you purchased your policy directly using our online Quote and Buy tool at, 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.

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, model and colour 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.

Yes. We will dispatch the most appropriate form of assistance to deal with the situation.

We will arrange and pay up to £250 (inclusive of VAT) for a recovery operator to either 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 or, to conduct the fuel drain and flush at the roadside.

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 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.

We can assist on a pay on use basis by taking credit or debit card details.

If you have run out of battery charge we will take you to the closest working charging point to get you back on the road!

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.

For territorial limits Europe please see the Four and Five Star section of the policy wording page 05.

You can purchase a multi-car policy by adding all the vehicles you wish to cover during the quote process. 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


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 meets the policy requirements, it will be recovered with the vehicle. If you have a problem with your caravan or trailer and not the vehicle, we will be able to help you 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 will 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, 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.

We would expect you to have adequate funds to cover the repairs as you would if you have your vehicle serviced.

We will pay ferry and toll fees only within the confines of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
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 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 or vehicles used for hire and reward. 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.

We will gladly assist you, although you must have a legal and serviceable spare wheel which can be fitted. You must also have all keys for any locks with you and the correct wheel studs for the spare wheel if it is a different size to the standard wheels. If you do not have the necessary parts to enable us to change the wheel, you will need to pay for the service 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.

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.

No, it’s not a legal requirement for you to have breakdown cover in place. However, it does provide you with the peace of mind that should your vehicle breakdown, you and your vehicle can be helped in an emergency without the cost of a large call out and recovery fee.

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,
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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 nationwide recovery, home assistance, alternative transport, overnight accommodation and key assist. Last updated 21/04/2022.

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Mrs Cecilia

I am a new member so cannot comment on the breakdown service. Before joining I had some queries and can say the live chat line was very helpful.

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Only had to use once but received great service, very professional

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Appears to be a decent company, although haven't had to use them yet.

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Mr Ronald

Only just signed up so can't say to much yet don't know till I need it

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Mr Leslie

very good price compared to other breakdown companies easy to join on internet and good to be able to join the date i need in 2 months time

8 Hours Ago
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