What Does My Breakdown Cover Include?

If you have breakdown cover, you can get assistance whenever your vehicle breaks down. It can also prove invaluable if get a flat tyre, dead battery, or experience engine problems.

A mechanic will be sent to your location and will try to repair your vehicle there and then. However, if your car needs to be taken to a garage for further repairs, it will be towed.

Depending on the type of cover you have, you might get a temporary vehicle so you can proceed with your journey.

If you’re wondering whether you should get breakdown cover, and what it includes, we’re here to help. Read our in-depth guide below to discover what to expect from this type of cover.

Is a Breakdown Cover Necessary?

It’s easy to dismiss breakdown cover as another unnecessary expense. However, the moment you experience car problems on the road, you’ll realise just how beneficial it is.

Without breakdown cover, you'll need to pay on-the-spot costs to get a mechanic, and possibly a tow truck for your car. You’ll also need to cover any additional expenses involved with fixing the vehicle.

With breakdown cover, you pay a monthly or annual payment that covers you should your car break down. 

When choosing breakdown cover, find a trusted provider that offers varying levels of cover.

The level of cover you should choose depends on your needs, as well as your budget. Generally, it’s better to get a more comprehensive cover rather than just the basic one. This will cover you for a broader range of issues. 

Is It a Legal Requirement for Car Owners?

You’re not legally required to get a breakdown cover. However, if you’re on the road frequently, this is one type of insurance policy you’ll want to have. It will ensure you’ll get the assistance you need whenever you experience car problems on the road.

Having this cover will also help you save money as you don’t have to worry about the cost of getting roadside assistance.

Imagine your car breaking down and you don’t have breakdown cover. You will need to call a recovery service to come out to you.

If your car can’t be repaired on the spot, you’d have to plan to get home or carry on your journey yourself. And what if you have passengers or pets with you? That would also be another concern that needs addressing. 

Different Breakdown Cover Levels

You can choose from various breakdown cover levels, depending on your needs. Here’s a brief rundown of the different cover levels available:

Roadside Assistance

This level of cover is the most basic one. If you’re over a quarter mile from your home and your car breaks down, you may call for assistance.

A mechanic will arrive at your location and try to fix the vehicle. If your car needs to be taken to a garage, it will be towed to the nearest one.

However, the usual limit is only about 10 miles. You may choose to get an upgrade though if necessary. 

Home Breakdown Cover

With a cover like this, in addition to the above, you can get assistance in case your car breaks down while you’re still on your driveway. It covers anywhere within a quarter of a mile from your house.

Home breakdown cover is ideal for situations like if your car battery goes flat. This can be a common issue for some vehicles during cold weather.

Vehicle Recovery

Vehicle Recovery means that your car will be towed to the nearest garage if the mechanic is not able to repair it at your current location.

There’s an option to choose a 10-mile tow or a “local recovery”, so your car can be taken to a local garage.

There is also what’s called an unlimited tow or “national recovery”, where your car can be towed at any destination in the UK.

If you travel frequently, it might be a good choice to go for a national recovery cover plan. 

Comprehensive Garage Support

With comprehensive garage support, you will receive assistance if your car breaks down. You will also be given a fault report detailing the problem with your vehicle. You can show this to the garage where your car will be repaired.

Apart from the standard assistance that you’ll get from this cover, you will also be provided with transportation. This lets you proceed to your destination while your vehicle is being fixed. 

Breakdown Cover: What's Included

Breakdown cover policies differ in what they provide as standard. Here’s the answers to some of the most common questions drivers have about breakdown cover:

Does breakdown cover include flat tyres?

Breakdown cover typically includes issues with tyres, as these are among the common causes of breakdowns. But be aware it will not cover if you damage your tyre as a result of an accident like hitting an obstacle. 

Does breakdown cover include punctures?

Breakdown cover policies tend to include punctures as part of the primary service. However, it's always worth checking with your provider to see if this is a mandatory inclusion. 

Does breakdown cover include accident recovery?

Breakdown cover can include accident recovery. Again, you should check with your provider as some breakdown cover insurance companies don't include any form of accident recovery in their policies. 

Does breakdown cover include lost keys?

Some problems don’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your vehicle. Sometimes, you just misplace your keys and can’t find them. This add-on gives you peace of mind since you know you can call for assistance if your keys were damaged, stolen, or lost. 

Does breakdown cover include repairs?

Roadside and garage repairs, plus towing services are typically included in breakdown cover policies. Individual policies will state which repairs they take care of.

Does breakdown cover include battery replacement?

Battery replacement may be an add on, or it may be included in the initial policy. But on a basic policy they will come out and replace your battery, but you usually have to pay the cost of the new battery on top.

What about European breakdown cover?

Before you head off on an exciting European road trip, consider getting this cover. It ensures that you receive assistance if your car breaks down while you’re travelling outside the UK. 


While breakdown covers are not legally required, you may want to think about getting a comprehensive policy.

If you’re always on the road, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case things go wrong. You wouldn’t want to be stuck somewhere without anyone to help you with your car problem. 

What’s included in your breakdown cover depends on the level of cover you chose upon signing up. Be sure to read the details of the policy before deciding so that you understand fully what you can expect from the provider.

You may also want to consider getting add-ons, especially if you think your car is no longer as reliable as it used to be. 

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