Do I need breakdown cover? - davidmt83

The time has come for renewing my car insurance and this year it doesn't come with breakdown cover.

I'd probably go for AutoAid at £37 a year but I'm not sure if I really need it. My car's a 2003 Toyota Yaris 1.0 62k miles. It's been a reliable car so far and I'm unsure when I should start (or expect) to buy breakdown cover.

Any advice?


Edited by Pugugly on 03/01/2009 at 18:50

Do I need breakdown cover? - Nsar
Peace of mind for for about 70p a week. Only you will be able to judge whether that represents good value.

Do I need breakdown cover? - FocusDriver
Good questions Nick1975. My car's ('99Tfocus) never, ever even shown even so much as a warning light. let alone broken down. The original battery failed one cold evening last October but the RAC chap expressed genuine surprise that it had lasted so long. A record he said. But this can't be attributed in any way to "reliability".

I pay upwards of £70 for RAC or AA m'ship. Originally I was unhappy with this amount but, on reflection, I'm covered for all eventualities and am not restricted to being towed only to the local garage. They will drive me home or to my destination. It's amazing value.

Breakdown cover, for cars over three years is surely a no-brainer. I would urge Davidmt83 to get it if only for extremely cheap peace-of-mind.
Do I need breakdown cover? - Alby Back
I have been driving for 33 years. Passed my test on the "Ides of March" ironically enough. I have had AA cover for all that time and can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have had to request their assistance. With one notable exception of course in the form of the accursed Espace which seemed to prefer being transported on the back of a relay truck to actually moving itself around.

If I were to discount the Renault and its reluctance to be a car most of the time, during the other 1.1 million miles there have been remarkably few breakdowns. I mentioned the BMW and its Christmas truculence in another thread but by and large I would guess that I have spent far more on breakdown cover than I would have spent by just paying to have cars towed to a garage on the very odd occasion that would have been required.

Having said all that, I still have AA cover and probably always will have it or some equivalent. As someone said, it's relatively cheap peace of mind.
Do I need breakdown cover? - Pugugly
accursed Espace

Almost becoming the "Scottish Play" of the motoring world. (Two Shakespearean references in as many posts - becoming an intellectual site !)
Do I need breakdown cover? - FocusDriver
"...guess that I have spent far more on breakdown cover than I would have spent by just paying to have cars towed to a garage..."

Mmm, that's true Humph, but don't forget the law of s*d! He'd make darn sure, without breakdown cover, you'd have accumulated weeks in the cab of a tow truck. And it'd have cost you 1.1million POUNDS ;)
Do I need breakdown cover? - Alby Back
Do I need breakdown cover? - Simon
Its all about the chance you want to take but don't forget that even the basic £40-£50 cover can easily pay for itself if it avoids just one breakdown or recovery bill.

Don't forget though that a lot of the cheap basic packages offered by the likes of the AA, RAC & Green Flag etc only cover you for roadside assistance and recovery to a local garage, often only 20 to 30 miles free towing at a maximum. Anything extra you may have to pay for at roughly a £1 per mile. If you do travel long distances then a more comprehensive package is a wise investment, if getting home without paying for mileage is important to you. If you only drive local then a basic deal is fine.
Do I need breakdown cover? - 1400ted
A disturbing tale, My friend has an absolutely mint 2CV as a fun car. He was sideswiped by a Passat in Manchester City Centre a couple of months ago. The Passat jumped a red light at speed. Police arrived and started to arrange removal. Both cars covered by one of the 2 big nationals. The truck arrived, my pal asked if it was for him. The driver said 'No, its for the Passat, it belongs to a major international hire company, they take priority because they are huge customers'. The police wanted the junction cleared and after waiting 40 mins turned out a local garage who arrived in 10 minutes. Makes you wonder what you're paying for !!!
Do I need breakdown cover? - NowWheels
Having said all that I still have AA cover and probably always will have it
or some equivalent. As someone said it's relatively cheap peace of mind.

To my mind, the huge advantage of the AA or equivalent breakdown services is that wherever you are in the country, at whatever hour of the day and night, then there is one number you can call to get help. If my car breaks down in the rain in the early hours in the middle of nowhere, the last thing I want to have to do is to try to figure out who to phone and whether my plastic cards will pay for their services.
Do I need breakdown cover? - focusman
are you the only driver or do you have a partner or daughter driving your car. i am sure the cost of such for the peace of mind of breakdown cover gives if either of them where driving and had a breakdown is small.
if it is just for yourself then it is up to you but i would not be without it
Do I need breakdown cover? - davidmt83
Interesting link - The only benefits it seems to have over AutoAid is the "replacement car for up to 48 hours" and carrying 3 more passengers to a destination. I don't anticipate using the other associated benefits of being a member so can't justify the additional £18 over AutoAid.

Apart from having to pay upfront is there anything AutoAid doesn't cover which you've covered for now? I can't see the point of paying for RAC / AA when AutoAid look to offer everything you'd need -

I'm guessing you're talking about AutoAid with "try to figure out who to phone" - it is true that you can arrange assistance with a local garage but they've also got a 24-hour Rescue Control Centre on 01277 720700

In reply to, "whether my plastic cards will pay for their services.", I can confirm if they didn't or you didn't have any cards/money, you can inform them of this and they'll ensure the recovery firm sent gives you an invoice to pay later.

I'm the only driver of the car.

I can't see any pitfalls of going with AutoAid over the AA / RAC... Unless someone can point them out. Thanks for all the advice so far.

Edited by davidmt83 on 04/01/2009 at 07:36

Do I need breakdown cover? - FocusDriver
AutoAid looks good but I've never heard anything about them. I've read through your link briefly and the cover looks excellent, very comprehensive.

To answer your question, no, I don't think I'm getting anything extra that you won't get from AutoAid. But my car is sufficiently old (tenth year) for me to justify being choosy on brand. RAC does well (well, comes top!) in JD Power breakdown cover surveys. I'm happy with paying (quite a lot) more for the reputation, coverage and good past service from RAC. Essentially it boils down to brand loyalty though so if I were you, I'd go for AutoAid.
Do I need breakdown cover? - NowWheels
So far as I can see, AutoAid works on the same principal to the AA or RAC, in that you pay them a fixed fee in return for which you get rescued if required. They differ in that when you need help AutoAid requires you to pay out and then reclaim, whereas the AA or RAC don't require you to open your purse.

Both are forms of insurance, just differently structured. In either case you pay up even if you never need to call on their services.
Do I need breakdown cover? - nick
The main differences are:
Autoaid is miles cheaper and you get a recovery truck straight away rather than a patrol vehicle which may not be able to fix the problem. I was in the AA years ago and the clutch went. I was reasonably mechanically proficient at the time, knew that the car needed recovery and told the AA. They still insisted on sending a patrol who took 30 seconds to say 'you need recovering' and then another 2 hour wait for a truck. Autoaid send the nearest truck straight away. Judging fronm the stickers on the cabs, they use the same operators as many of the other breakdown organisations.
Do I need breakdown cover? - Aretas
Some of you will remember the 25% + inflation of the 1970s. A Sunday newspaper was suggesting ways of coping and mentioned that the RAC were offering life membership for £100. I 'phoned up on Monday to be told that this option was no-longer available. Ignoring this I wrote to them and sent my cheque for £100. Amazingly I got my life membership and a refund of £20 because I had already been a member for a number of years.

It covers both my wife and me and has only been used twice - once when my wife ran out of fuel and once when the windscreen shattered.

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