Those without could expect hefty bills
Have you got Breakdown Cover? It may seems an expensive luxury but if you find yourself stranded on a freezing roadside you will be more than thankful for it. With cold weather approaching it may be time to look at what options are available. If you are without cover you can expect hefty bills if you need assistance especially on the motorway, most motorists are unaware that a tow away charge starts from £250 and then the car will need repairing.
The chances of your car developing problems even something as small as a burst tyre or keys getting locked inside the vehicle are reasonably high and can leave you stranded. When you consider many break downs occur in harsh weather or in remote locations, knowing a qualified individual will get you out of the scrape by just calling a telephone number can provide peace of mind to all drivers particularly those who are more vulnerable.
The AA and RAC stand out as the top breakdown cover providers but there are others on the market that are quite competitive, but consumer group Which? do warn against picking a breakdown service purely on price and suggest it is worth considering paying more for extra options. Breakdown cover starts at approximately £30 per year and different add-ons can push the cost up if you require extras such as home start for when you have trouble starting the car on the driveway and long distance recovery. Before signing up to a breakdown cover specialist it is also worth checking you are not already covered through an extra service offered with your standard motor insurance policy plus new cars are often covered for breakdowns under a warranty deal lasting up to three years.
It is worth knowing that if you do break down or have an accident on the motorway its not alway straight forward even if you have got breakdown cover. According to the Highways Agency, where a vehicle has been cleared to the hard shoulder or emergency refuge area and is not causing obstruction or danger to other road users, the vehicle owner will be given the opportunity to arrange their own recovery. But even on the hard shoulder, if your car is determined to be in a vulnerable position the Highways Agency may take the decision to move you to the nearest safe area, like a motorway service station and if this is the case you will foot the bill.
The RAC says that if the police, emergency service or Highways Agency Traffic Officers insist on immediate recovery by a third party it’s down to members to foot the bill, and the AA will only reimburse motorists for any statutory recovery fees incurred if any charge is due to its patrols being unable to reach you within a reasonable time, for example due to bad weather, although it says this situation would be extremely rare. If you've incurred recovery charges due to your vehicle being moved following an accident on the motorway then any costs for recovery will form part of your insurance claim, although you will have to stump up the initial charge.