Cars provide freedom to millions of Britons, making it easy to undertake commutes, shopping trips and days out as and when required. But if your car breaks down by the side of the road, it suddenly becomes a very stressful item to own.

That's where breakdown cover comes in - with a tap on an app, or a phone call, a trained vehicle recovery team can be with you in around an hour - and often much sooner.

But is breakdown cover worth it?

There's no denying the peace of mind that the best breakdown cover offers - although the coverage varies between policy types.

For a policy to be deemed 'worth it', it should arguably be effective in the circumstances in which you are likely to break down.

For example, if you often make long journeys across the UK, a basic policy that doesn’t include Nationwide Recovery would not be sufficient. Conversely, if you only undertake short trips near where you live, a basic policy could be ideal.

We offer both UK and European breakdown cover so you can travel stress free.


How does breakdown cover work?

The details may vary depending who you have your breakdown cover with, but typically to access car breakdown cover - from cheap breakdown cover to the most expensive and extensive type of coverage - you simply pull over and call your provider (or report your breakdown via an app) whenever your car is in difficulty. 

Once you’ve been in touch with your provider and they know your location, they’ll either send a mechanic to fix your car for you, or a tow truck for recovery.

Make sure you have your car insurance and car breakdown cover information kept safely in the car.


Compare the cost (and service) of a one-off call-out

What if you break down and you don’t have cover?

The one-off cost of calling out a local mechanic to your broken down car can vary, depending on the provider and the distances involved.

Without a valid breakdown cover policy in place, most nationwide recovery service providers charge around £110 for a call-out, plus the annual membership fee. Such a call out would cost you more than £100 more compared to if you were already a paid-up member.

And naturally, a one-off call-out from a local garage would not help with the cost of things like alternative travel or overnight accommodation (unlike all Start Rescue policies, which include both).


Breaking down more than once a year

The annual cost of most breakdown policies is often paid back in a single call-out.

If you were to suffer two or three breakdowns in a year, then an annual membership would offer great value for money.

And let’s not forget, some cars are more liable to break down than others.


What is the difference between personal cover and vehicle cover?

You can either purchase personal cover or vehicle cover when you buy your breakdown insurance. 

Personal cover ensures that the individual is covered. This means it doesn’t matter which vehicle breaks down, the individual will be covered. 

Vehicle cover is for when a specific car breaks down, and is typically cheaper than personal cover. However, the issue with vehicle cover is that it is less flexible than personal cover. 


What does breakdown cover include and exclude?

It’s important to find out what is included in your breakdown cover and what won’t be. 

Generally speaking, most policies include roadside recovery or repair as standard, with additional options available to enhance the provision of your breakdown cover.

Typically, breakdown cover will exclude: 

  • Any breakdown within 24 hours of your breakdown policy commencing
  • A breakdown because your car has been poorly maintained 
  • Breakdown due to your car not being roadworthy 
  • Replacement part costs

Unlike Start Rescue, many breakdown cover providers will also not cover incidents such as accident recovery or misfuelling as standard.


Compare breakdown cover


The benefits of a large recovery network

Many established UK breakdown recovery providers - such as Start Rescue - have access to large fleets and have well-developed call-out processes. This means there's always an operative nearby, able to provide a fast, efficient service - at a time when you might feel stressed and anxious.

In the case of Start Rescue, over 80% of vehicles are repaired by the roadside, meaning only a minority of customers have to deal with towing, onward travel, garage repairs, overnight stays and other issues.


A small price for peace of mind

Given that some policies - such as Start Rescue's One-Star coverage - starting at just £19.75 for an entire year, peace of mind on the road is arguably inexpensive.

And as the Star levels increase, so too does the service, with benefits such as Home Assist, Nationwide Recovery, European Cover and Theft, Vandalism & Driver Illness/Injury.

As well as breakdown cover for your car, you can also get your van and motorcycle covered with Start Rescue.


Breakdown cover from Start Rescue



Just a phone call away...

But perhaps the best way to illustrate the worth of breakdown cover is to consider the moment when your car fails and you're stranded by the roadside, help is just a phone call (or tap of the app) away...