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 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.
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. 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 startrescue.co.uk 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.
The benefits of a large recovery network
Many established UK breakdown recovery providers - such as startrescue.co.uk - 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 startrescue.co.uk, 79% 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 startrescue.co.uk's One-Star coverage - start at just £27.22, 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.
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 - knowing that, without having to pay a penny extra, help is just a phone call away...