What is the best breakdown service in the UK 2021? | moneyfacts.co.uk

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What is the best breakdown service in the UK 2021?

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Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert

At a glance

The best breakdown providers in the UK 2021

Auto Express surveys those who have used a breakdown service to find out more about their experience. The feedback includes the length of time it took for the breakdown service to arrive, the result of the callout and the basis for how customers choose their breakdown service. The majority of customers (42.90%) waited for 30 minutes to one hour for their breakdown provider to arrive and 66.7% had their breakdown either permanently or temporarily fixed at the roadside and were able to continue their journey. A quarter of respondents didn’t pay for their breakdown cover with these either using the service offered with a bank account or credit card and others receiving this as part of the package of buying a new car.

 

Sponsored Breakdown Service Providers

  • Auto Express Delivery Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot score
    2.8
    Average Time to Rescue
    36 minutes
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features: 

    • 24/7 roadside assistance
    • Fastest independently assessed assistance arrival time (36 minutes).
    • Cover starting from £11.99.
    • Annual UK and EU policies, as well as single trip policies for holidays across Europe.
    • Some of the most competitive prices in the industry across our complete range of products.
    • Covering more risks than most standard breakdown policies; including accident recovery and running out of fuel or using the wrong fuel.
    • Simple and easy to use bespoke eCommerce website
  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    1. 83.24%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.7
    Arrived Within an Hour
    64.3%
    Top Callout Result
    42% towed to a garage of choice

    Key Features:

    Breakdown cover that keeps you moving.

    When it comes to roadside repairs, we always try to be streets ahead
    • Over 4,000 breakdown professionals at your service
    • No callout charges (we don't want to make your day worse, after all)
    • 5 levels of cover, so you only pay for what you need
    • A friendly 24-hour helpline you can call whenever you need us
    • Cover for anyone driving the nominated vehicle (as long as they have permission to drive it)

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.6
    Arrived Within an Hour
    Not Available
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features:

    • Breakdown cover from only £16 PA with UNLIMITED call-outs on all policies.
    • Our in-house contact centre team are there for you 24/7, 365 days per year.

    • We also utilise a national network of over 4000 independent breakdown recovery operators, which often results in faster response times, as our agents have greater knowledge of the local area.

    • Our 5 Star rated Home and National breakdown cover provides one of the highest quality offerings on the market.
  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.6
    Average Time to Rescue
    66 minutes
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features:

    • Cover for your vehicle, no matter who’s driving it. Or cover for you, so no matter which vehicle you’re driving, you know you won’t be stranded if you break down

    • Will make sure your journey continues with alternative transport, such as a hire car, so you and your passengers can reach your original destination

    • A network of skilled mechanics is on-call 24/7, to make sure you’re kept safe when you need it most.

    • No call out charges and a 24 hour UK based breakdown call centre if you find yourself stranded

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    67.30%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.2
    Arrived Within an Hour
    58.7%
    Top Callout Result
    36.5% permanently fixed

    Key Features:

    RAC Members enjoy access to an enormous range of motoring products and services throughout their driving lives, ranging from the familiar and much appreciated roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown to continually updated legal and technical advice and up-to-the-minute travel information.

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    77.42%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.3
    Arrived Within an Hour
    76.7%
    Top Callout Result
    40% permanent fix

    Key Features:

    Flag down one of these great deals when searching for breakdown cover. They offer five levels of cover to suit your needs - get anything from roadside assistance and call out at home to onward travel and European cover.

    • Get Recovery Plus from £60 - 10% of customers achieve this price online.  Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

    • Get Rescue Plus cover from £45 - 10% of customers achieve this price online.  Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

    • Get Rescue cover from £30 - 10% of customers achieve this price online.  Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    72.27%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.6
    Arrived Within an Hour
    60%
    Top Callout Result
    32.5% permanent fix

    Key Features:

    • A trusted, independent breakdown assistance provider for more than forty years. 

    • Cover up to four drivers in a household so you can all be covered, whatever you drive

    • On call if you're driving a hired or borrowed vehicle, and can even help if you fall ill at the wheel.

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    66.74%
    Trustpilot Score
    4.2
    Arrived Within an Hour
    69.4%
    Top Callout Result
    52.2% permanent fix

    Key Features:

    • 24/7 cover for breakdowns over 1/4 mile from home
    • a tow to a nearby garage if we can't fix your vehicle at the roadside
    • unlimited call-outs
    • If you have an accident, we'll be there to support you with Accident Assist.
    • You can also add extra levels of cover to your policy to build a package that suits you.
  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score
    4.6
    Average Time to Rescue
    60 minutes
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features: 

    • A true independent breakdown provider

    • Bring flexible and value-packed memberships to the market

    • Operate an in house emergency call centre

    • Manages own network of over 3,000 agents and manage all recoveries

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score
    4.5
    Average Time to Callout
    Not Available
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features:

    • 5 roadside assistance packages to choose from, including European Breakdown Cover
    • Over 35 years’ expertise in getting drivers back on the road
    • 24 hour breakdown assistance and car recovery as standard
    • Up to 5 call outs per year
    • Aim to get your car fixed before full vehicle recovery, with an hour of repair work at the roadside on all cover levels
  • Auto Express Delivery Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot score
    2.8
    Average Time to Rescue
    36 minutes
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features: 

    • 24/7 roadside assistance
    • Fastest independently assessed assistance arrival time (36 minutes).
    • Cover starting from £11.99.
    • Annual UK and EU policies, as well as single trip policies for holidays across Europe.
    • Some of the most competitive prices in the industry across our complete range of products.
    • Covering more risks than most standard breakdown policies; including accident recovery and running out of fuel or using the wrong fuel.
    • Simple and easy to use bespoke eCommerce website
  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    1. 83.24%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.7
    Arrived Within an Hour
    64.3%
    Top Callout Result
    42% towed to a garage of choice

    Key Features:

    Breakdown cover that keeps you moving.

    When it comes to roadside repairs, we always try to be streets ahead
    • Over 4,000 breakdown professionals at your service
    • No callout charges (we don't want to make your day worse, after all)
    • 5 levels of cover, so you only pay for what you need
    • A friendly 24-hour helpline you can call whenever you need us
    • Cover for anyone driving the nominated vehicle (as long as they have permission to drive it)

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.6
    Arrived Within an Hour
    Not Available
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features:

    • Breakdown cover from only £16 PA with UNLIMITED call-outs on all policies.
    • Our in-house contact centre team are there for you 24/7, 365 days per year.

    • We also utilise a national network of over 4000 independent breakdown recovery operators, which often results in faster response times, as our agents have greater knowledge of the local area.

    • Our 5 Star rated Home and National breakdown cover provides one of the highest quality offerings on the market.
  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.6
    Average Time to Rescue
    66 minutes
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features:

    • Cover for your vehicle, no matter who’s driving it. Or cover for you, so no matter which vehicle you’re driving, you know you won’t be stranded if you break down

    • Will make sure your journey continues with alternative transport, such as a hire car, so you and your passengers can reach your original destination

    • A network of skilled mechanics is on-call 24/7, to make sure you’re kept safe when you need it most.

    • No call out charges and a 24 hour UK based breakdown call centre if you find yourself stranded

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    67.30%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.2
    Arrived Within an Hour
    58.7%
    Top Callout Result
    36.5% permanently fixed

    Key Features:

    RAC Members enjoy access to an enormous range of motoring products and services throughout their driving lives, ranging from the familiar and much appreciated roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown to continually updated legal and technical advice and up-to-the-minute travel information.

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    77.42%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.3
    Arrived Within an Hour
    76.7%
    Top Callout Result
    40% permanent fix

    Key Features:

    Flag down one of these great deals when searching for breakdown cover. They offer five levels of cover to suit your needs - get anything from roadside assistance and call out at home to onward travel and European cover.

    • Get Recovery Plus from £60 - 10% of customers achieve this price online.  Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

    • Get Rescue Plus cover from £45 - 10% of customers achieve this price online.  Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

    • Get Rescue cover from £30 - 10% of customers achieve this price online.  Underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    72.27%
    Trustpilot Score (out of 5)
    4.6
    Arrived Within an Hour
    60%
    Top Callout Result
    32.5% permanent fix

    Key Features:

    • A trusted, independent breakdown assistance provider for more than forty years. 

    • Cover up to four drivers in a household so you can all be covered, whatever you drive

    • On call if you're driving a hired or borrowed vehicle, and can even help if you fall ill at the wheel.

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    66.74%
    Trustpilot Score
    4.2
    Arrived Within an Hour
    69.4%
    Top Callout Result
    52.2% permanent fix

    Key Features:

    • 24/7 cover for breakdowns over 1/4 mile from home
    • a tow to a nearby garage if we can't fix your vehicle at the roadside
    • unlimited call-outs
    • If you have an accident, we'll be there to support you with Accident Assist.
    • You can also add extra levels of cover to your policy to build a package that suits you.
  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score
    4.6
    Average Time to Rescue
    60 minutes
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features: 

    • A true independent breakdown provider

    • Bring flexible and value-packed memberships to the market

    • Operate an in house emergency call centre

    • Manages own network of over 3,000 agents and manage all recoveries

  • Auto Express Driver Power Score
    Not Available
    Trustpilot Score
    4.5
    Average Time to Callout
    Not Available
    Top Callout Result
    Not Available

    Key Features:

    • 5 roadside assistance packages to choose from, including European Breakdown Cover
    • Over 35 years’ expertise in getting drivers back on the road
    • 24 hour breakdown assistance and car recovery as standard
    • Up to 5 call outs per year
    • Aim to get your car fixed before full vehicle recovery, with an hour of repair work at the roadside on all cover levels
Note

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Disclaimer

The list of vehicle breakdown providers on this page is a selection of services available and gives you an idea of the kind of options available. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting any of the providers listed. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not advice. Moneyfacts.co.uk will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts.co.uk recommends you obtain independent advice.

More breakdown providers

Breakdown provider

Auto Express Driver Power Score

Arrived within an hour

Top callout result

Trustpilot score (out of 5) 

Admiral

65.89%

71.4%

52.4% permanent fix

Not Available

 

 

What is breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover is there to help you if your vehicle breaks down and will make sure you are not left stranded at the roadside – this will include sending a trained mechanic out to your car who will then either repair your vehicle by the road or organise to tow your vehicle to your destination, home or a local garage for repair. A breakdown service can include different levels of cover and extras to suit your needs.

 

Looking for business breakdown cover?

Business breakdown cover is a separate product that is designed to protect vehicles that are used for commercial purposes. For example, vehicles such as vans that deliver goods or services.

What are the different types of breakdown cover?

You can decide between cover for yourself no matter the vehicle you are travelling in (subject to that type of vehicle being included under your policy) or cover for a specific vehicle.
Personal cover applies whether you are a driver or a passenger and, in some cases, can extend to members of your family or those living at the same address as you.
Vehicle cover applies to a specific car, van or motorcycle and sometimes a breakdown policy can cover multiple vehicles.
Vehicle cover is generally cheaper as the breakdown insurer can understand in more detail and more specifically what the level of risk of a breakdown will be.

Which breakdown cover should I take?

Breakdown cover usually comes with different levels of cover. The level of cover you need will depend on the type of travelling, distance and frequency of travelling you do, the type and condition of your vehicle and the amount you are prepared to spend each month on cover.

Basic breakdown cover

This is usually called roadside assistance or local cover; it is the lowest cost of breakdown cover and consists of a breakdown provider coming to the roadside to either repair your vehicle at the roadside if possible or if not tow your vehicle to a garage. With this type of breakdown cover you cannot choose where your vehicle is towed to.

Basic plus breakdown cover

This is sometimes called vehicle recovery or national cover. This costs more than roadside assistance and if you break down on the roadside and your vehicle cannot be repaired there, you can choose any location for your vehicle to be towed to.

At home breakdown cover

This cover allows you to call out your breakdown service if your vehicle cannot be started at home or within a short distance of your home.

Breakdown cover for onward travel

This level of cover allows you more options to get to your destination should your vehicle have broken down and cannot be immediately repaired. This can include hotel accommodation, taxis or public transport or a rental vehicle.

Additional optional extras to breakdown cover

Breakdown services can include a host of extras for you to choose from. This includes replacing keys, tyres and batteries and breakdowns as a result of putting the wrong fuel into your vehicle.

How much is breakdown cover in the UK?

Breakdown provider

Basic breakdown cover price

AA

£6 per month – vehicle only

AutoAid

£59.99 per year – personal cover

RAC

£8.50 per month – vehicle only includes home cover

Source: Breakdown provider websites September 2021

The cost of breakdown cover will vary across different breakdown companies and by the level of cover you select. If you have bought a new car, have serviced your car through a dealer or have a packaged bank account, then you could find this comes inclusive with free breakdown cover. You will need to check that the level of this free breakdown cover is right for your needs. You may also be able to get cashback on your breakdown service by using a cashback website.

Breakdown cover by provider

Below is an outline of the breakdown cover available from some of the UK’s most well-known brands. The cover shown is not exhaustive and aims to give an indication only.

What is covered with AA breakdown cover?

The AA offers personal and vehicle breakdown cover. You can also add cover for onward travel, national recovery, at home cover and European breakdown cover.

What is covered with Green Flag breakdown cover?

Green Flag breakdown cover includes vehicle cover for one or two cars and personal cover for those travelling in vehicles under 16-years old, privately registered and used in the UK. They can also cover motorbikes, caravans and trailers and offer European cover.

What is covered with RAC breakdown cover

The RAC offers breakdown cover for rescue at home as well as the roadside as standard. Their standard cover includes a tow to a local garage or another location within ten miles and allows a maximum of five call outs per year. You can upgrade to unlimited cover for national recovery and be towed to any destination in the UK and with no restriction on the number of call outs you may make.

What is covered with GEM Motoring Assistance breakdown cover?

The breakdown cover available from GEM Motoring Assistance includes roadside, home, nationwide and onward travel options. In addition, they offer policyholders a free quarterly motoring magazine containing special offers.

What is covered with SAGA breakdown cover?

SAGA breakdown offers Essential Cover, including roadside repair or tow to the nearest garage and the cost of a taxi for you and passengers up to 20 miles. There is also Home Call cover for breakdown help at the roadside or at home and National Recovery that will repair your vehicle at the roadside or tow this to your home or garage nationwide. Premier cover includes all the breakdown cover from Saga plus certain countries and areas in Europe. SAGA offers unlimited UK call outs with support 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

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