Find out the difference between Personal and Vehicle breakdown cover, with Start Rescue's quick guide.

With vehicle cover, the vehicle itself is covered in the event of a breakdown, no matter who is behind the wheel. Personal cover, on the other hand, covers the person named on the policy - so no matter which (or whose) eligible vehicle they are in, they can request assistance from their breakdown provider. This applies whether the person is the driver or the passenger.

Which is more affordable: Vehicle or Personal breakdown cover?

Vehicle breakdown cover is normally more affordable than Personal cover. It is best suited to those who drive a single vehicle, or whose family only runs a single vehicle.

Start Rescue Breakdown Cover

Why does Personal cover cost more than Vehicle cover?

Because Personal cover can be used in a wider range of scenarios (i.e. when driving or travelling in any eligible vehicle rather than only one particular vehicle), the probability of requiring the services of your breakdown provider tend to be increased with personal cover. As such, Personal cover premiums can often cost more than a vehicle breakdown cover policy would do with the same provider

Vehicle breakdown cover: Benefits

  • It's normally cheaper than personal cover
  • It's a good option if you and your family only use a single vehicle
  • It also covers any family member who uses the covered vehicle

Vehicle breakdown cover: Drawbacks

  • It doesn't offer the same flexibility as personal cover: if you find yourself in another vehicle and it breaks down, you won't be covered
  • It is not as suitable for those who often drive vehicles other than their own
  • You won't be covered if you break down in a vehicle that isn't named on the vehicle cover policy

Personal breakdown cover: Benefits

  • It's a suitable option if you frequently drive vehicles other than your own
  • It offers peace of mind that whatever eligible vehicle you're in - whether as driver or passenger - you'll be able to request roadside assistance

Personal breakdown cover: Drawbacks

  • Personal cover usually costs more than vehicle cover
  • It may not be available across all policy cover levels (e.g. it’s only available as 1, 2 or 3 Star Start Rescue breakdown cover policies)

Vehicle vs Personal cover: Are the same events insured?

Most Vehicle and Personal cover policies cover the same or similar events, although a higher (more expensive) level of cover may offer additional benefits. For example, a more affordably priced policy - whether Vehicle or Personal-based - may provide Local Recovery up to 10 miles, while a higher priced policy may offer Nationwide Recovery.

However, Personal cover may not be offered at higher coverage levels (e.g. with it is not available with 4- and 5-Star policies).

When deciding between either Vehicle or Personal cover, and between lower and higher levels of cover, you should carefully consider your expected driving and travelling habits over the next 12 months.

You should also carefully read the policy terms and conditions so you understand what is and is not covered.

Personal vs vehicle cover: Are the same vehicle types covered?

With Start Rescue coverage is available for petrol, diesel, electric, and hybrid vehicles for both Personal Cover and Vehicle based policies. The requirements are:

  • The vehicle must be UK registered
  • It must weigh no more than 3.5 tonnes, or be longer than 6.4m

As Start Rescue policies do not cover vehicles over 10 years of age for Europe, 4 and 5 Star cover levels are not an option with personal cover.