No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road in the event of a breakdown. It can be unsafe, uncomfortable and inconvenient. It can also cost hundreds of pounds to call out a rescue service to take your car to the nearest garage for repairs.
Many motorists therefore opt for breakdown cover for their car – even if it’s brand new. After all, even the newest car can suffer a puncture. And if you leave a light on in the car, a new battery will run down just as quickly as an old one.
You can buy breakdown cover for just one vehicle, but if you have more than one car in the driveway, a multi-car breakdown cover policy can work out cheaper – and cut down on the paperwork.
Roadside rescue services
First you have to decide whether you want to cover your cars with a firm that runs its own patrol service, such as the AA or the RAC. Your annual membership fee then pays for any rescue services, although there might be a limit on the number of call outs each year.
Alternatively, a number of smaller companies contact a local rescue firm to come out if you break down. You usually have to pay up front for the service and then claim the money back on your breakdown policy. The system is not as convenient, but it’s often cheaper.
Cover for you or your car
You can usually buy personal breakdown cover, or cover for the car.
If you opt for personal cover, you can call for help whether you are in your own car or any other vehicle in what equates to a multi-car breakdown cover policy.
The alternative is to buy a breakdown policy for a particular car. With this type of policy the car itself is covered no matter who is in the driving seat. You can usually add up to three named vehicles onto one policy. However, but a personal based multi-car breakdown cover policy often works out cheaper if you drive more than one car.
Nevertheless, it is important to compare prices for both types of cover, just to make sure you are getting the best deal for your specific circumstances.
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Different levels of cover
There are various levels of multi-car breakdown cover – and the more extensive the policy, the higher the price.
A basic multi-car breakdown cover policy includes assistance at the roadside and recovery to the nearest garage if necessary. The breakdown must usually occur more than a quarter of a mile from your home and the garage must typically be within 10 miles of the incident.
Some motorists prefer a more comprehensive policy and opt for national cover, which takes you, your passengers and your car to a chosen destination anywhere in the UK. Of course, it is more expensive, but it means that you and your family can get back home if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
If you rely on your car to get to work or to take the children to school, you might want to include home start. You are then covered if the vehicle won’t start in the morning or you suffer a puncture close to home.
Or, you can select cover for onward travel. So, if your car cannot be fixed at the roadside, the policy will pay for accommodation and transport costs to help you on your way. But the terms and conditions vary, so it is always important to read the small print.
Anyone who plans to take their car abroad should check the details of their breakdown cover.
Some firms include European breakdown cover as standard, or will add it to your UK plan for an extra premium. However, it might be cheaper to buy a single trip European breakdown cover policy if you do not drive frequently on the Continent.
Cutting the cost
For more ideas on how you can find cheap multi car breakdown cover quotes, take advantage of our money saving tips page. But remember that one of the best ways to drive down the price is to check out MoneySupermarket’s free independent comparison site. It can help you to search for all types of multi car breakdown cover to make sure you get the best deal for you and your car.