As a nation of car owners, the British know only too well that cars can break down unexpectedly at the most inconvenient times and places. Many people enjoy the reassurance that breakdown cover gives and have been thankful that they have had it when these incidents occur. The important thing to remember is that it is not just an inconvenience. Breaking down on a busy major road, or even a dark quite one present their own dangers. There are many different breakdown companies to choose from including old established motoring organisations that have been around for over a hundred years through to the modern equivalents. But what should you be considering when you decide which one to go with?
Buying breakdown cover online is usually the cheapest way to get it. There are some price comparison websites that will do all of the searching for you and come up with the best deal based on your circumstances. Sometimes agents for the breakdown companies will be present at events and in service stations offering some great rates. Pricing for breakdown cover is often lower for new customers. By cycling your annual renewal around the companies you can take advantage of special introductory rates for new customers more often.
Other things to consider when deciding how much you should pay, is whether you should have cover for the car no matter who is driving it, or perhaps you personally no matter what car you happen to be in and if you regularly drive abroad, how much it costs for European cover to be added.
Size of Network
Of the three big companies in breakdown cover, the AA, the RAC and Green Flag, The AA and RAC have their own recovery and repair operations whilst Green Flag employs a network of agents:
- The RAC, has 7 million customers and over 1,750 patrols, dealing with 2.5 million breakdowns every year.
- Green Flag, has over 5 million members and a network of local contractors to attend to breakdowns.
- The AA, has 15 million members, making them the biggest of the three, deals with 3.5 million broken down cars a year and claim that “no other breakdown provider has as many dedicated patrols.”.
Speed of Attendance
The speed at which the organisation gets to you should a breakdown occur is something that is important to many purchasers. Statistics show that Green Flag with its network of contractors claims the fastest response time at 30 minutes, with the RAC at 40 and the AA not willing to commit to a time, but saying that they are the fastest.
Roadside Repair Rate
The breakdown companies are well aware that they will be judged on how many cars they manage to repair at the roadside. This is very convenient for the customer who then avoids the problem of the car being transported back to the home or a garage, and can continue on their journey. Green Flag is in first place with 86% roadside repair rate. The AA and the RAC are neck and neck for second place.
These are the main things you should consider when you are looking for car breakdown cover to suit your circumstances.
Eric Underhill is the author of this article and regularly swaps between breakdown companies to take advantage of special deals for new customers when buying car breakdown cover.