The Fixer: Buying breakdown cover

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Dear Fixer,
I recently moved to the UK from France and have just bought my first car here.

I am living in quite a remote part of Derbyshire and am a bit worried about driving around on my own at night, so a work colleague has suggested I take out a breakdown insurance policy in case I ever get stuck.

The problem is that I don't really understand the difference between all the different policies I have found on the internet. Can you help?

A Legoube, Matlock

Dear Miss Legoube,

A breakdown policy is probably a good idea if you are going to be driving alone at night on country roads.

Given that a speedy response is your priority, I would suggest taking out a standard policy that charges you an annual membership fee for a certain number of callouts per year, rather than a cheaper "pay and claim" policy that involve the provider calling out a local firm that you pay upfront for the callout and recovery before claiming the money back from your insurer.

You may, however, be able to save by opting for Roadside Assistance, which means that someone will come to you and attempt to fix the problem there and then, before taking you to the nearest garage or your home if this proves impossible, rather than Home Assistance, which allows you to call someone out should your car fail to start.

Another decision to make is whether you want the policy to cover you as an individual, or your car.

Perhaps in your case it would be better to take out cover in your name, so that it protects you whatever vehicle you are in when you breakdown – whether or not you are driving it.

The Fixer

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