Breakdown Cover Comparison Guide (UK or Europe)

By: Motor Easy
breakdown cover guide - what is breakdown cover?

Comparing Breakdown Cover

It has been said that the vagaries of breakdown can drive you mental. There are so many providers, varying products and prices that you almost need a degree in breaking down to be convinced you’re making the right choices!

We want to make it easy and clarify what’s on offer so you can be confident in your eventual selection.

Firstly, check that you or your car are not already covered.  This may be through the original manufacturer, the finance company or even as a give-away with your bank or similar company. 

Once you've established that you do need it, we can begin with the initial questions & fact finding:

  1. Do I need cover for my car, or personal cover (covers any car as a driver or passenger)?
  2. How many cars or family members do I want cover for (this usually offers savings)?
  3. What are the registration numbers, models, ages and mileages of the cars I need to cover?

Once we've completed this we can take a look at the main cover levels to bear in mind.

which breakdown cover is best for me Use our breakdown recovery guide to find the best cover for you

Breakdown Cover Types

There's a range of industry terms you might not be familiar with. We've provided brief explanations of the ones to familiarise yourself with below.


Pay On Use Breakdown

Not really recommended. Some companies will happily charge you for a call-out and then work out the rest from there. It's a bit risky as the call-out fee is often £100+ and then you might still need more than the basic support.  If you buy annual breakdown cover now you’ll have saved money with one call-out and have peace of mind should a problem arise.

If you do find yourself urgently needing breakdown assistance MotorEasy have a 24/7 pay on use scheme that you can call on 01206 785949


Basic/Roadside Breakdown Cover

This is what most of the breakdown cover adverts feature as it’s cheap and cheerful. £39.99 or less looks attractive, but beware! The breakdown recovery company will attend and try to repair the failure within an hour. If unsuccessful, they will take you and your passengers to a local garage (within a maximum of 10/20 miles). That’s it, you’re left on your own to wait around and pay for any repairs (or get MotorEasy to help find you affordable car repairs).

Compare Roadside Breakdown Cover Online


Relay/Roadside and Recovery Breakdown

Here you’ll get the basic package but if they can’t fix your car, you, your passengers and your car will be taken to a UK destination of your choice.  If you enjoy UK road trips or travel around a lot, then this cover is essential.

Compare Roadside Breakdown Cover Online


Home Start/Home Rescue Breakdown 

Both of the above cover levels don’t cover you if you’re near home when you breakdown (within 440 yards and up to a mile). Most of our journeys are short ones and many breakdowns occur on the driveway. Therefore, we'd suggest including cover at home is another smart choice!

Compare Roadside Breakdown Cover Online



European Breakdown Cover

A bit harder to find, but worth the effort if you’re travelling abroad on a European road trip with the family; seek out a provider that includes European cover as standard. This will keep the price down because everyone is getting Euro cover and the chances are not many customers are be travelling abroad. The alternative is to purchase Euro cover separately but then the price will be high as you’ll be buying it intentionally to travel abroad. Even if you’re only likely to do a day trip to Calais, make sure you’re covered (the alternatives include language and exchange rate difficulties!). The costs of repatriation can run into the thousands of pounds.

Compare Roadside Breakdown Cover Online


Breakdown Add Ons & Extras:

There is a myriad of breakdown extras and other options from different providers that either serve to differentiate their products or confuse – some have real value and some are probably fairly worthless. Here's our view of the main ones.


add breakdown recovery to a warranty Accident recovery is a useful breakdown addition

Accident Recovery

A real plus: Most of the better-known providers don’t include it but it could be really useful. If your car’s in an accident, then it might need moving and that can be it expensive. If your recovery plan includes accident recovery then it could save you a fortune. Of course, we hope you never need it!



If you’ve got a diesel and you put petrol in it by mistake the results can be catastrophic. Some breakdown providers will come and drain your tank, hopefully before you’ve left the pumps. Cover can be a useful comfort that’s worth taking advantage of.


Legal Assistance and Uninsured Loss Recovery

Only if it’s really cheap or thrown-in! There appear to be few claims and it’s really just an upsell opportunity to make you part with more money.


Parts & Labour cover

The major providers may offer it but it comes with restrictions that reduce its appeal. MotorEasy offers a real alternative that gives you more control – our MotorEasy Lite Car Warranty.

Breakdown Cover Comparison Online

MotorEasy is busily working to select a recommended breakdown partner that offers the best combination of price and cover. We are nearly there. In the meantime and as an alternative thereafter, we have put together a breakdown comparison site that includes a strong mix of major and less well-known providers, where you can investigate your options.

Compare Breakdown Cover Online


Once you're covered you'll be able to head off on that UK road trip without fears should any problems arise! For added peace of mind consider our car warranty to cover the costs of potential repairs.

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