When you’re on the road, something unexpected can happen, such as a flat tire or an overheated engine. Making sure you have breakdown cover in place is generally considered a good idea.
Instant breakdown cover can offer assistance in the event you do not have a policy in place, allowing you and your vehicle to avoid being stranded.
What is instant breakdown cover?
You can buy instant breakdown cover at the roadside if your car breaks down and you don’t have a breakdown policy. Your new provider will send a mechanic to come and fix your car.
There is no instant breakdown cover that can be purchased online. You must speak with an advisor over the telephone.
If you call the emergency number posted on the provider’s website, someone will come to assist you. Emergency numbers are manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How do I buy instant breakdown cover?
You can’t buy immediate cover online; instead, you need to call an advisor. You can find the numbers of the top providers below:
- The AA – 0800 88 77 66
- RAC – 0330 159 8743
- Green Flag – 0800 400 600
Alternatively, if you’re not stuck broken down on the roadside – you can buy breakdown cover through our website here.
How much does instant breakdown cover cost?
Compared to a classic breakdown policy, instant cover usually costs more. Some providers charge a one-off fee of up to £110 over the cost of signing up for a new policy.
The following options might be available, depending on the provider:
- Single use cover: You will only pay for one specific call-out, with basic roadside assistance for you and your vehicle. After that, your policy ends.
- Basic instant cover for breakdowns: Some providers offer roadside assistance and then offer a policy for one more breakdown in a year
- Having a full membership policy: Some providers charge an extra fee for instant cover when signing up for a full membership policy
There are also some breakdown companies that offer memberships, which – after being hit by an expensive lesson in vehicle maintenance – may provide more peace of mind for future trips.
If my car breaks down, what should I do?
You can prevent breakdowns by regularly servicing your vehicle and checking things like your oil and tyres. Nonetheless, even the best-maintained cars can breakdown.
You should turn on your hazard lights while driving on a motorway, pull over, and pull as far away from traffic as possible, either by exiting or moving onto the hard shoulder.
All occupants of the vehicle should get out (move behind the crash barrier or to the verge if you are on the hard shoulder). Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Call for help.
Some providers can arrive within 45 minutes, but most aim for an hour. Before you buy a policy, ask your provider about the average response time so you avoid any lengthy waits.