Compare Home Start Breakdown Cover

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10 products found
  • RAC logo

    Roadside, Recovery & At Home

    • Flash Sale: 40% Off RAC Personal Based Cover*
    • Personal Price (From)
      £87
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £125
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • RAC logo

    Roadside, Recovery, At Home & Onward Travel

    • Flash Sale: 40% Off RAC Personal Based Cover*
    • Personal Price (From)
      £99
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £125
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • AA logo

    Roadside + At Home + National Recovery

    • Save 1/3 on breakdown cover with the AA’s January Sale*
    • Personal Price (From)
      £112
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £99
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • AA logo

    Roadside + At Home + National Recovery + Onward Travel

    • Save 1/3 on breakdown cover with the AA’s January Sale*
    • Personal Price (From)
      £132
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £119
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • Emergency Assist logo

    Premium Cover

    • 10% discount using code NW10OFF
    • Personal Price (From)
      n/a
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £20.50
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • GEM Motoring Assist logo

    Recovery RECLAIM

    • 15% OFF Personal Cover Levels*
    • Personal Price (From)
      £66.72
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      n/a
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • GEM Motoring Assist logo

    Recovery EXTRA

    • 15% OFF Personal Cover Levels*
    • Personal Price (From)
      £82.16
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      n/a
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • Green Flag logo

    Recovery Plus

    • Personal Price (From)
      £90
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £60
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • Cover My logo

    National & Home Cover

    • Personal Price (From)
      £39.97
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £22.97
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel
  • Nova Direct logo

    Silver Cover

    • Exclusive offer: Use code NW10 for 10% off
    • Personal Price (From)
      n/a
    • Vehicle Price (From)
      £28.99
    • Roadside Assistance
    • National Recovery
    • Home Start
    • Onward Travel

Our comparison service features a selection of providers from whom we receive commission. This table is initially ordered according to our commercial arrangements. Use the drop down menu at the top of the page to order by other criteria.

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Information written by Rhiannon Philps Last updated on 11 November 2021.

What is home start breakdown cover?

Home start breakdown cover is a policy that can help you out if your vehicle breaks down at home. It may be included in some standard breakdown policies, but with other providers you may need to purchase it as additional cover.

This type of policy can also be called ‘home assistance’ or ‘at home’ breakdown cover.

Home start means that a mechanic will come to your home (or to within a very short distance of your home) if you’ve broken down, to try to get your vehicle going again. If this isn't successful, it may also include recovery of your car to a local garage for repairs.

If you don’t have home start cover, standard breakdown policies will often only cover you if you break down at least a quarter of a mile from your home.

What does a home start policy usually cover?

Home start breakdown policies typically offer the same cover as a standard breakdown policy, but with one key difference. Unlike some standard policies, home start will cover you if your vehicle breaks down at home, or close to home (usually within a quarter of a mile), so you can call for help and receive assistance even if you haven’t left your driveway or your car is parked in your street.

Home start breakdown cover will also cover you if you break down on the road mid-journey, as with standard policies.

If you break down, you can call your provider for help and they will send a mechanic to your vehicle. They will try to fix it or, if it needs more extensive repairs, they will tow you to a nearby garage. If you have chosen a more comprehensive policy, such as national recovery, you can choose to be taken to a garage of your choice, even if you’re a long way from it.

Most breakdown policies offer 24/7 protection and can cover a range of problems including flat batteries, punctures, engine trouble and more.

Providers have their own terms and conditions, but breakdown policies may not cover you for:

  • multiple call-outs for the same issue
  • routine maintenance – windscreen repairs, repairs to interior lights or fixing entertainment or navigational systems, for example
  • the cost of parts and repairs needed to fix your vehicle at a garage (unless specified)
  • any call-outs within 24 hours of taking out cover
  • breakdowns outside the UK, unless you choose European cover

» MORE: What do breakdown policies cover?

Is home start breakdown cover worth it?

This depends on your situation and how worried you are about breaking down near home. Factors that could influence your decision may include:

  • How confident you feel about dealing with issues with your vehicle, such as changing a tyre.
  • How many cars you have, so whether you could use another car if yours doesn’t start.
  • Whether there’s a garage close to your house.
  • How old your vehicle is. Older vehicles can be more likely to experience problems, such as a flat battery, so it may be worth paying more for this cover.

Home start cover can cost more than basic breakdown cover, but you may think this extra cost is worth it as you can call for help if your vehicle won’t start or if you break down very soon after leaving home.

» MORE: Do I need breakdown cover?

What are the pros and cons of home start breakdown cover?

Home start breakdown cover comes with several pros and cons, and whether this type of breakdown policy is right for you will depend on your own situation. Some of its advantages include:

  • You can call for assistance if you break down at home.
  • You don’t need to pay high call-out fees if your vehicle won’t start.
  • You can get your vehicle fixed at the scene or towed to a garage for further repairs.

However, home start cover may not be necessary for everyone. Some disadvantages of this cover could include:

  • It usually costs more than basic roadside assistance.
  • If your vehicle is new, it may be less likely to break down at home and fail to start. This means you may not need home start cover.
  • Unless you choose national recovery, you will be towed to a local garage chosen by your breakdown provider if you need further repairs, not a destination of your choice.
  • You won’t get alternative transport while your vehicle is repaired, unless you choose the more comprehensive onward travel cover.

How do I get home start breakdown cover?

When you buy breakdown cover from a provider, you will normally be given the basic level of roadside assistance as standard. You will then be able to customise your policy to include home start cover and other optional add-ons.

To buy your home start breakdown cover, you will need to give the breakdown provider certain details, such as:

  • your name and address
  • your vehicle’s number plate
  • whether you’ll pay monthly or annually
  • when you want your cover to start

How to choose the best home start breakdown cover for me?

The range of home start policies available can make it difficult to decide which is the right one for you. Some factors to consider include:

  • Whether you want personal or vehicle cover.
  • Whether you want national recovery or onward travel for more comprehensive cover.
  • Whether you want to add any optional cover to your policy, such as key cover or parts cover.
  • If you need European cover for driving on the continent.
  • How you want to pay for your policy.
  • If there are limits on the number of call-outs you can make.
  • If your vehicle is eligible for cover.
  • What is included in your cover, and what isn’t.

To help you choose breakdown cover, you can use our comparison table to compare providers and the cost of the different policies.

What are the alternatives to home start breakdown cover?

Home start isn’t the only kind of breakdown cover you can choose. Some of the other breakdown policies you might want to consider include:

  • Roadside assistance. This is the most basic type of cover and will typically only cover you if you break down more than a quarter of a mile from your home. It covers the cost of emergency roadside assistance and, if your vehicle can’t be fixed at the scene, a tow to a nearby garage.
  • National recovery. This offers the same cover as roadside assistance but, instead of being towed to a nearby garage, you can choose to be towed to a destination of your choice.
  • Onward travel. With this cover, not only can your vehicle be towed to your chosen location, but you can also continue your journey. You may receive a hire car or be covered for the costs of public transport and/or overnight accommodation.

Home start cover may be included in these policies, or it may be available as an optional add-on. Make sure you check exactly what is included in your cover before taking out a policy.

» COMPARE: Breakdown cover policies

Breakdown cover – home start FAQ

Does home start breakdown cover start immediately?

Not usually. Most breakdown policies will only start 24 hours after you take them out. However, some providers may offer limited cover before your policy “officially” starts, so check the terms of your provider to see if this applies to you.

Can I get home start cover if I don’t already have breakdown cover?

Yes, you can buy home start breakdown cover if you haven’t already got a breakdown policy.

Can I get home start cover added to my current breakdown cover?

Yes, if your provider offers home start cover, you may be able to add it to your existing policy for a fee. Bear in mind that some breakdown policies already include home start cover as standard, without needing to take it out as an optional extra.

Should I get the cheapest breakdown cover with home start?

While price is an important consideration when it comes to choosing breakdown cover, you should always make sure the policy provides the protection you need. In some cases, the cheapest cover may be the best option, but other times it may be worth paying a bit more if that policy is a better fit for your situation.

How many call-outs can I make in a year?

This depends on the provider. Some will offer unlimited call-outs, as long as you don’t ask for help for the same recurring problem. However, others may limit the number of times you can claim on your breakdown policy so check your documents to find out this information.

Can I cancel my home start breakdown cover at any time?

Yes, you can cancel your home start breakdown policy at any time. If you cancel within 14 days of taking out a policy, you can get a refund. If you want to cancel your cover after this period, some providers may offer a refund if you paid annually, minus the time you’ve been covered. Bear in mind that, when you cancel, you may need to pay a fee and, if you’ve claimed on your cover, the provider will deduct the necessary charges from any refund you may receive.

Can I get home start cover for any vehicle?

You will be able to get home start breakdown cover for most vehicles. However, some providers may set age limits or other conditions, so check the terms of the policy to see if your vehicle is eligible for cover.

If you have personal home start cover, you are covered in any vehicle, as long as it meets the requirements of the provider.

How do I look after my vehicle while it’s not in use?

If your vehicle is left unused for a long time, especially in cold weather, issues such as flat tyres or a flat battery can emerge. To help prevent any problems, you can check your tyre pressure, brakes and oil, for example. You may also want to regularly run your vehicle and drive it for around 15 minutes every once in a while. Find out more car maintenance tips.

What if I have multiple vehicles and people to cover?

If you want to cover more than one vehicle, there are multi-vehicle breakdown policies available. Similarly, if you want to cover one or more drivers in your household, you can take out family breakdown cover so the individuals named on the policy have cover in any vehicle they drive.

About the author:

Rhiannon is a financial writer for NerdWallet, with a particular interest in personal finance and insurance guides for consumers. Read more