Motorists know that life on the road doesn't get any lonelier than when you're stuck on the Hard Shoulder. However, if you haven't got adequate breakdown cover you'll find it's about to get a lot more frustrating and a lot more expensive.
In recent years increased competition between breakdown providers has driven down the cost of cover. By shopping carefully you can now get 12 months cover for less than the price of a tank of petrol; bringing peace of mind within every motorist's financial reach.
With so many providers jostling for your business it's important to know exactly what you are getting for your money. At Quoteline Direct we aim to lift the bonnet on breakdown insurance and help you find the best cover at the best price.
Finding the right provider
Before you begin looking at policy details you'll first need to find a provider that you can trust. Make sure that you are dealing with a reliable provider with nationwide reach. Services should be available around-the-clock and average response times kept low: anything above 45 minutes and it pays to shop elsewhere1.
Finding the right policy
Once you've found a breakdown provider who won't leave you stranded on the roadside, the next step is to find the right policy. At the most basic level you'll need the following features:
Roadside Assistance & Recovery: A trained mechanic will try to fix your vehicle at the roadside. If they are unable to get you back on the road the vehicle will be 'recovered' (or towed) to a nearby garage or a destination of your choice.
Home Assistance: With the British weather to contend with it's hardly surprising how many breakdown call-outs result from vehicles simply refusing to start. With Home Assistance a mechanic will visit your home (or 'normal place of garaging') to and try to get your vehicle going. If they are unsuccessful the vehicle will be towed to a local garage.
Once you have the basics covered the next step is to decide on which 'extra features' are worthwhile. The good news is that when it comes to 'extras' a little money goes a long way and you can enjoy some useful benefits without breaking the bank. Features vary from provider to provider, but keep an eye open for the following:
Onward Transport: Financial provision for alternative transport to your destination (typically limited to £100)
Overnight Accommodation: Financial provision for a night's accommodation for you and your passengers (typically limited to £500)
Hire Car: Use of a hire car until your vehicle has been repaired (or a 24 hour period)
European Cover: Providing breakdown cover on the continent (typically limited to 30 days for a single trip)
Other extras range in diversity from caravan recovery to use of a message relay service.
Once you have decided which features you want the next step is to shop around for the best deal. It's worth bearing in mind that many of the best-known insurance companies resell other providers' breakdown cover; rather than operating their own networks. And as a result you are likely to keep hearing the same names such as Britannia Rescue and Green Flag .
Remember that between resellers the cost of cover can vary enormously; even though you are effectively purchasing the same product. Make sure that you compare like with like by focusing on the policy features (as one company's '5 Star Cover' could be the same as another's 'Standard Cover').
And last, but not least, make sure that you are covered before setting out: otherwise you could find yourself stranded on the roadside and at the financial mercy of the 'big names'.
Oh and it's probably worth mentioning breakdown cover from Quoteline Direct costs just £59 for 12 months and includes all of the features mentioned. To find out more click here or call 0161 874 7977 to arrange instant cover.
1. In partnership with Britannia Rescue we will have someone with you at the roadside in an average of 44 minutes (based on a survey of 24,384 customers from January to July 2010).
Article published 1st August 2010.