Breaking down is an unpleasant experience for both driver and passenger - particularly if you're a long way from your destination.


Some motorists decide not to take out breakdown cover - a decision they may regret if their car loses power.


But can you take out cover after you've broken down?

Almost invariably, insurance policies (car, home, travel etc.) work on the basis that you take out cover before an unwanted event takes place - otherwise they would be open to fraudulent claims. But with car breakdown insurance, you may be able to take out cover after a breakdown.


Instant cover

Instant cover means you can call a breakdown service provider and set up coverage after a breakdown. However, they will almost certainly charge you a one-off fee on top of the annual membership cost. This may still be cheaper than calling a local garage, particularly if your car needs to be towed away. Instant cover means you'll get the help you need straight away and cover for the next 12 months.


Need help immediately?

If you need roadside assistance right now and don’t have a breakdown policy, call on 01206 655000 for our Pay on Use service.


Making repairs yourself and staying safe

For less complicated mechanical problems, you may be able to find a solution yourself. However, you should ensure you are parked/stopped in a safe location - eg. changing a tyre on the hard shoulder of a motorway is not considered safe, particularly if the wheel is on the traffic side. You should also take precautions such as using a breakdown warning triangle and wearing a hi-viz vest.


Simpler fixes might also include a dropped exhaust (you might be able to re-attach it with a coat-hanger or similar rigid metal item to help you make only a short journey to a repairer), blown radiator hose (strong self-sealing tape), or a flat battery (jump leads). Note is not recommending you attempt any fixes that put your vehicle, you or your passengers at risk. Always check your vehicle’s handbook and always consider your welfare, as well as the welfare of your passengers and other road users. If you are in any doubt, always call for assistance.


Issues with time constraints, frustrated passengers, or being stranded far from home or at night, means calling a breakdown recovery service could be the quickest and least stressful option.