When you buy a car there seems to be a never-ending list of additional extras which you’re encouraged to buy. You can’t drive around without paying for road tax or insurance. But when it comes to extras like an extended warranty or breakdown cover, the choice is yours. What can you expect to pay for breakdown cover, and is it worth the expense?
Check You Don’t Already Have It
It’s surprising how many people aren’t aware whether or not that have breakdown cover already. If you’re driving a car which is leased rather than owned, the leading company will probably include breakdown cover in the monthly payment. Similarly, if you own a new car which is still under warranty, then the manufacturer often provides breakdown cover during that period. Sometimes there’s a box on your travel insurance quote to add on extras. Yes, such as breakdown cover or legal cover, so again, check that you haven’t forgotten that you’ve opted in already. Finally, if you pay a monthly fee for a packaged bank account which gives extras like travel insurance or access to airport lounges, you might have breakdown cover included in that too.
Levels of Cover
If you definitely aren’t covered in any other way, then you might decide to look into the options for breakdown cover separately. Most of the large providers offer different levels of cover. With the very cheapest levels of cover, a mechanic will come to your assistance. And, if they can’t fix the car on the spot, tow you to the nearest garage. For a bit more money, they will tow you somewhere of your choosing rather than just to the nearest garage. On the top level of cover, you’ll be able to claim for other expenses such as the cost of hiring a car while yours is being fixed, or get covered while driving in continental Europe. Think carefully about the type of driving you do, and whether you’re likely to make use of the more expensive options within the policy. Every policy has exceptions. For example, many breakdown companies won’t help if you’ve put the wrong type of fuel in the engine, or have been driving around for months with a warning light on the dashboard which you’ve been ignoring.
Each company varies in their pricing policy. And, it will pay to shop around when you’re thinking of taking out a new breakdown cover policy. For the most basic level of cover, you should be able to get a policy for around £25 a year. If you’re looking for an “all bells and whistles” policy, then you could be looking at an annual cost of £100 or more. The policy price will also depend on the mileage of your car. And, its age as breakdown companies estimate that older cars are more likely to break down than newer ones. Remember to always shop around for a new quote when the year is up; companies aren’t known for rewarding loyalty.
Maintenance and Servicing
Having a breakdown policy doesn’t give you carte blanche to neglect the basic maintenance and servicing of your car. You have to do your bit too by making sure that you’re doing things. Yes, like checking the oil and fluid levels regularly, making sure your tyres aren’t getting too worn. And, investigating any strange noises which appear from under the bonnet. If your car is more than three years old and needs a MOT test annually, then remember that this is an inspection of your car at just one point in time and isn’t a guarantee that nothing’s going to go wrong with it over the next year.
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