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Getting Breakdown Cover for a Used Car

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 1 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
Getting Breakdown Cover For A Used Car

A used car may come with a warranty, it may even pass an independent inspection with flying colours, and it may come from a manufacturer renowned for reliability, but it can still breakdown. Being stuck on a motorway hard shoulder with a broken car is no fun, especially if the car is loaded with members of the family and their luggage.

It makes sense to have breakdown cover and know that help will be at hand in such an emergency. There are three main organisations offering such a service in the UK – the AA, the RAC and Green Flag.

The AA claims to be the UK's largest breakdown organisation, fixing more breakdowns by the roadside than anyone else. It offers 24-hour roadside assistance seven days a week, and handles a breakdown every nine seconds. With more dedicated patrols than anyone else, the AA takes an average of only 40 minutes to arrive in response to a call and offers a priority service for those in a vulnerable situation.

Rapid Repairs

It assists around 3.5 million people a year, and claims that 98 per of those would recommend the service. The AA’s top priority is to repair the car at the roadside, rather than tow it to a garage. There is no charge for labour at the roadside, no matter how long it takes, and on average, cars are repaired in less than 30 minutes.

The RAC – the longest-established motoring organisation in the UK – has more patrols per member than any other rescue organisation and, like the AA, offers roadside assistance anywhere in the UK, day or night, 365 days a year.

RAC Rescue can pinpoint a member’s location using satellite tracking from a mobile phone signal, so it can find a member even if they do not know where they are. Vulnerable drivers are given priority and with more than 1,650 patrols on the road, RAC aims to respond within 40 minutes of a call, repairing almost 80 per cent of vehicles at the roadside.

Leading Breakdown Services

There is little to choose between the leading breakdown services if claims are to be believed. Green Flag’s national network of breakdown specialists offer 24-hour assistance, 365 days a year, and fix 80 per cent of customers’ cars at the roadside.

Although perhaps the least well known of the three, Green Flag has almost three million customers and has been providing breakdown assistance for more than 30 years. Average response time is around 40 minutes and it is the car that is covered, no matter who is driving it.

All three of the main roadside assistance and recovery organisations offer various membership options. Different levels of cover come at different prices, and look out for promotional offers to get a better deal. One key decision is whether to take out cover for the car or the driver. Covering the car means anyone driving it will be covered, regardless of whether it is the policyholder or not. Covering the driver means that person is covered whether the driver or passenger of any vehicle. The latter is typically more expensive, but is handy if someone travels in several different cars.

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