What is the best UK car breakdown service? 

9 min Read Published: 17 Feb 2022

What is car breakdown cover?

Being stranded on a motorway with your family is a situation that could be resolved by purchasing car breakdown cover. Car breakdown cover can help solve the problem of your car breaking down either on a journey or while parked at home. With car breakdown cover your car could be repaired either at the roadside, at home or taken to a repairer to fix.

Who provides car breakdown cover?

There are two types of car breakdown cover providers:

  • Third-party breakdown cover
  • Manufacturer breakdown cover

What is third-party breakdown cover?

Third-party breakdown cover is provided by an independent company regardless of the make or model of your car. Third-party car breakdown cover varies between providers so it is vital to check the terms and conditions to make sure you are aware of the extent of the cover you have purchased.

What is manufacturer breakdown cover?

Many manufacturers offer free roadside recovery breakdown cover on new car purchases. Some manufacturers will offer this cover on used vehicles bought from an approved dealership but there may be conditions attached, such as an up-to-date service record. If you are offered breakdown cover with a car purchase make sure you check the terms and conditions to ensure you understand the cover provided as this may be limited.

Third-party breakdown cover provider comparison

There are a number of third-party providers that offer comprehensive breakdown cover with varying levels of cover. It is important that you make sure you check the terms and conditions of any car breakdown cover purchased to ensure you understand the cover you are purchasing.

The table below provides information on the main third-party breakdown provider products.

UK breakdown cover comparison

Policy Types Price range Trustpilot Rating (Out of 5.0)
AA Basic Roadside Assistance - Home Cover, National Recovery and Onward Travel can be added £6 to £18 p.m. 4.2
Admiral Breakdown Cover Three levels of cover - Roadside Assistance, National Cover and European Cover Price on application N/A
Allianz Assistance Three main levels of cover - Roadside Assistance, Roadside Assistance and Home Assistance, Roadside Assistance, Home Assistance and Onward Travel  with the option to add European Breakdown Cover for a small additional premium. Price on application 1.6
ASDA UK Breakdown Cover Three levels of cover - Roadside Cover, UK Breakdown Cover and European Breakdown Cover £27 to £142 p.a. N/A
Autoaid Breakdown Cover Three levels of cover  - Personal Cover, Vehicle Cover and Euro Cover Vehicle Cover from £20 p.a., Personal Cover from £61.49 p.a. Euro Cover from £10.57 p.a. 2.6
Aviva Rescue Breakdown Cover Four levels of cover - Rescue, Rescue and Recovery, Rescue, Recovery and At Home, Rescue, Recovery, At Home and Onward Travel Price on application 2.7
Axa Breakdown Cover Two main levels of cover - UK Breakdown (choose between Local, Nationwide and Homestart) and European Breakdown ( includes Rescue, Onward Journey and Repatriation) From £19.50 p.m. 1.9
GEM Motoring Assist Comprehensive Cover - Roadside Assistance and assistance at home as standard £78.50 p.a. to £96.66 p.a. for personal cover 4.2
Green Flag Breakdown Cover Five levels of cover - Rescue, Rescue Plus, Recovery, Recovery Plus and Euro Plus. Price on application 4.2
LV= Britannia Rescue Three levels of cover - Annual, Short-term cover and One-off recovery £30 p.a. to £142 p.a. 3.6
RAC Three levels of breakdown cover - Standard (Roadside + home rescue), Advanced (Standard + tow anywhere in the UK), Ultimate (Advanced + up to 7 days alternative transport) £8.50 p.m. to £18.50 p.m. 4.2
Start Rescue Offers 5 levels of cover using a 1 to 5 star rating each with a different level of cover £19 p.a. to £72.80 p.a. 4.6

Manufacturer breakdown cover provider comparison

There are a number of car manufacturers that provide complimentary car breakdown cover on cars purchased and here we have compared the main manufacturers.

Summary of breakdown cover provided by car manufacturers

Complimentary Breakdown Period Details
Audi 3 years Roadside Assistance cover on new models, 1 year on Audi Approved used cars
BMW 3 years Roadside Assistance cover on new models, minimum 12 months on BMW Approved used cars
Citreon 1 year Citroen Assistance cover on new cars registered with Citroen
Fiat 1 year Roadside Assistance cover on purchased Fiat vehicles up to 15 years old
Ford 1 year Ford Assistance on new cars
Honda 3 years (or 90,000) Hondacare Assistance in partnership with the AA
Hyundai 1 year Roadside Assistance on new cars
Jaguar Assistance Warranty period Jaguar Assistance on new cars
Land Rover Assistance 3 years Roadside Assistance on new cars
Lexus Roadside Assistance 3 years Roadside Assistance on new cars
Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance 3 years Roadside Assistance on all new cars,1 year on all Nissan Approved used cars.
Nissan 3 years Roadside Assistance on all new car
Peugeot 1 year Roadside Assistance, in partnership with RAC. Electric & Plug-in Hybrid vehicles are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles whichever occurs first
Renault 3 years Renault Assistance on all new cars
Skoda Roadside Assistance 3 years Roadside Assistance on all Skoda cars purchased from the Skoda retailer network
SEAT 2 years Roadside Assistance on all new cars and minimum of 1 year on any SEAT Approved used car
Toyota 3 years Toyota Euro Care on all new cars
Vauxhall 1 year Roadside Assistance on all new cars in partnership with RAC
Volkswagon 1 year UK, Europe, Roadside Assistance and Recovery, in partnership with AA, extended to 3 years on selected models.
Volvo Warranty period Roadside Assistance membership on all new cars for the entire timeframe of the warranty regardless of mileage

Tips on choosing the best car breakdown service for your needs

  • When purchasing breakdown cover always consider what help you may need if your car breaks down - including onward travel, car hire provision and transporting your car to a repairer
  • If you have just purchased a new or used vehicle then check if there is any complimentary cover provided with your purchase
  • If you have more than one vehicle in your household it is often cheaper to cover them all under one policy
  • Often car breakdown providers focus on the price but make sure you check out the details of your cover before purchasing as some cheaper offerings may have restrictions e.g. on the number of callouts allowed
  • Check if the breakdown providers use their own vehicles and mechanics or do they use a local garage to provide cover as this may affect the waiting time if you breakdown
  • Paying annually rather than monthly may save you money

Summary

Car breakdown cover is available from a large number of providers with offerings to suit every need and budget. If you are in the market for a new or used car then make sure you check out any complimentary car breakdown cover provided by the manufacturer that will save you money.