• More than 20 million UK drivers have broken down in the past, yet research shows 15% do not have breakdown cover which equates to over 3 million people breaking down without cover
  • Over a third (37%) of drivers who broke down used an alternative means of rescue to breakdown providers
  • 17% of drivers who have broken down at home were told that their policy did not cover them

29th August 2017 – Over 5.5 million UK drivers are leaving themselves vulnerable in the event of a breakdown, as new research from reveals that 15% of car owners do not have breakdown cover for their vehicle.

The research indicates that more than 3 million drivers in the UK have broken down without breakdown cover. The majority of drivers in the UK – over 20 million – have experienced in the past. 37% of people who have been involved in a breakdown sought alternative means of rescue, such as contacting local mechanics, calling family and friends or even walking to find help. When asked how many breakdown providers they could name, most respondents cited only three, with the AA being the first to come to mind for 69% of people.

Over one in five (21%) of drivers have had to use their breakdown cover over the past year, indicating the importance of having a policy. Similarly, over one in 10 (11%) of those who broke down without breakdown cover admitted to using the policy of someone they were travelling with. Many drivers appear to have learnt from past mistakes, as almost a quarter (24%) of those who have taken out cover did so following a breakdown.

However, packages are not always comprehensive. Drivers often need to pay for extra cover, such as home assistance, to ensure that they are covered within a set distance of their current residential address. 17% of drivers who have broken down at home were told that their policy did not cover them in this instance.

The research also finds that nearly half (49%) of drivers who have breakdown cover have never switched provider, suggesting many people are paying over the odds for their cover.

John Miles

John Miles

Head of Motor

“This research indicates serious levels of under insurance for breakdown cover around the UK. Breaking down is always stressful, but even more so if you’re unsure how you’re getting home. Before travelling this bank holiday weekend, drivers would benefit from making sure they’re covered and checking their policy, to avoid being left stranded in both far away and even spots close to home. Even some of those with cover could face uncertainty depending on their cover levels.

“For those with comprehensive breakdown cover the challenge is keeping the cost manageable. Allowing your policy to automatically renew could also mean you are paying too much.” 

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