If you've just bought a new car, you may believe you are much less likely to break down than if you had an older car. As such, taking out breakdown cover may not be high on your priority list. Most new vehicles are sold with breakdown cover included although the length of cover differs between manufacturers. Also, cover levels differ, so it’s best to check first to find whether cover is in place before purchasing.
Since a new car is composed of brand new components, the logic is that they are far less likely to fail.
However, even new cars can suffer mechanical problems that require roadside assistance.
A car built today is also far more complex than one made ten years ago - meaning more things can potentially go wrong. Being able to tinker under the bonnet and get back on the road in a few minutes is perhaps less likely these days.
In a bid to reduce weight, manufacturers are increasingly ditching the spare tyre in preference to tyre inflation kits. And since flat tyres are one of the most common breakdown causes, this means many new car owners cannot change their own tyre - meaning they have to call for roadside assistance.
Some newer cars also feature sleek, low-profile tyres, which can also be more susceptible to damage.
Many breakdowns do not relate to the failure of a car's mechanical parts - but rather the locking systems. As such, 'key assist' services are commonly provided by car breakdown providers.
If you lose, break, or lock your keys within the vehicle, most breakdown cover providers will cover the callout and mileage charges back to the recovery operator’s base or your home address, if closer. "Key Assist" comes as standard with all startrescue.co.uk policies. Note that the vehicle owner would cover all other costs, including any specialist equipment needed to move the vehicle.
And new car owners aren’t immune to running out of petrol or diesel. While we might feel a little foolish running out of fuel, it is a common reason for needing roadside assistance - and another good reason to have it.
On the plus side, a battery in a new car is less likely to fail. In one American study, the highest proportion of battery failures occur in cars aged six to ten years old. Because batteries have a lifespan of three to five years, with a new car, you should be less likely to suffer a flat battery.
On the other hand, keyless ignitions - more common in newer cars - can zap battery life, which can result in being stranded by the roadside.
Even if your vehicle is brand new, things can still go wrong. Having roadside assistance - even if it's a basic policy - gives you the peace of mind that help will be on the way, should you need it.