Car insurance with breakdown cover

Is it possible to get car insurance with free breakdown cover? If not, is it worth adding as an optional extra? Here’s the lowdown on the benefits of breakdown cover.

Is it possible to get car insurance with free breakdown cover? If not, is it worth adding as an optional extra? Here’s the lowdown on the benefits of breakdown cover.

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 21 OCTOBER 2021

What do I get with breakdown cover? 

Breakdown cover can be a real life-saver if you end up stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car that won’t start. And it’s not just old cars that need it; if you ever find yourself with a flat battery or a burst tyre, or you’ve filled up with the wrong type of fuel, you’ll be thankful for breakdown cover.

How much protection does breakdown cover offer? 

That depends on your policy, so make sure you check the details if you want a particular level of cover. 

  • Roadside assistance – your car will be fixed at the roadside or a local garage.
  • Home start – you’ll be covered if your car won’t start at home.
  • National recovery – as well as roadside repair, you can be towed to a UK location.
  • Onward journey – includes transport to get you home if your car breaks down. It might even cover you for accommodation and car hire.
  • European recovery – offers cover if you’re driving in Europe.

What are the advantages of getting breakdown cover with your car insurance?

  • Convenience. It’s often easier to have both on one policy. That way, you have only one company and one set of paperwork to deal with.
  • If you don’t have cover, you could find yourself with a hefty garage bill if your car breaks down.
  •  Some providers may offer cheaper breakdown cover if you combine it with a car insurance policy.

What are the disadvantages of combining breakdown cover with your car insurance?

  • It can sometimes be cheaper to buy car insurance and breakdown cover separately.
  • You might not get a choice of breakdown providers – for example, your car insurance provider might have partnered with AA, while you’d prefer to go with RAC or Green Flag, for example.

Can I get free breakdown cover with my car insurance?

Some insurance providers advertise free breakdown cover with their policies. But you may find that the overall price is higher – so it’s always worth comparing. 

You might also find they only include basic breakdown cover, and you may have to pay for extra features like home start or national recovery.


What should I look for when buying breakdown cover? 

  • Some new cars come with breakdown cover included, so double-check whether you already have it.
  • See how long help will take to arrive, should you break down. If you can’t find that information on the insurance provider’s website, call and ask them.
  • Does the policy cover you abroad? You might need European breakdown cover. You’ll also want to make sure you’re covered for transport home, if you break down on a French motorway, for example. 
Top tip
Look at what’s included in your breakdown cover before signing up, as extra features can push up the price. Think about your driving habits – if you only drive locally, you might be happy with standard roadside assistance and local recovery. But if you drive around the UK a lot on business, or often take your car to Europe, it might be worth paying extra for national recovery or European breakdown cover.

How do I compare car insurance with breakdown cover? 

When you use our car insurance quote tool, you’ll have the option of adding optional extras like breakdown cover to your quote. 

You might also want to compare car insurance and breakdown cover separately, to see which offers better value.

It only takes a couple of minutes to compare different quotes, so it won’t take you long to find the cover you need.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have breakdown cover?

You might already have breakdown cover through your bank account, credit card or car warranty. Or you might be covered under a family or multi-car breakdown policy. Check beforehand, as you might end up paying more for a car insurance policy with breakdown cover included when you don’t even need the extra cover.

Do I get breakdown cover if I buy a new car?

Many new car dealers offer breakdown cover as part of the manufacturer’s warranty, but it will only last as long as the warranty is valid.

Will breakdown cover affect my no-claims bonus?

No, having breakdown cover won’t affect your no claims bonus. Even if you buy your car insurance with breakdown cover through the same insurance provider, they are two different policies – one for car insurance, the other for breakdown assistance.

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