How to buy breakdown cover for multiple people or vehicles

Skilfully navigate the confusing waters of multi-person and multi-vehicle breakdown cover with our in-depth guide. Discover how you could save money and reduce the hassle of buying breakdown cover for more than one person or car.

Jim Kersey Published on 09 September 2019. Last updated on 20 January 2021.
How to buy breakdown cover for multiple people or vehicles

Breakdown cover can be essential when your vehicle won't start. However, breakdown cover doesn't have to stop with just you or your vehicle. Did you know that you can save money on breakdown cover by purchasing a policy that insures multiple people or vehicles?

With a Multi-Car, Family or Joint policy, it is possible to reduce time-consuming paperwork and confusion while at the same time saving money on breakdown cover. Follow the information and tips in this article and finding cover for multiple people or vehicles at a price suited to you will be well within your grasp.

First, choose your level of cover

When selecting a breakdown cover policy for multiple people or vehicles, it's first necessary to decide which level of cover matches your requirements. The most common forms are:

Roadside Assistance – Included in most breakdown policies. In the case of a local breakdown – with local defined by the insurer – a mechanic will be provided to attempt to repair your vehicle. If your car is not repairable at the roadside however, it will be towed to a garage in the surrounding area.

National Recovery – If you have broken down far from home, your provider will send a recovery expert to get you up and running. If roadside repair isn’t possible, your car will be transported to a repair site by your provider.

Onward Travel – It's never nice to be stranded with a broken-down vehicle, especially at night when lacking an alternate means of reaching home. With Onward Travel cover you and your family will be helped on your way by a hire car or tow truck. In extreme circumstances, your provider may provide overnight accommodation.

Home Start – When your car refuses to start on your driveway, it’s easy to despair. Choose Home Start, and you will be able to sigh in relief. Because when you select Home Start cover, a mechanic will come right to your doorstep or even a short distance from your home. If they cannot fix your car at home, a local garage will attempt repairs.

European Recovery – With Europe on our doorstep, most British drivers will experience driving on the continent sooner rather than later. So, it's worth getting protection for peace of mind. Not only is managing a breakdown hard in a language you don't speak, but costs will also skyrocket without coverage. With single trip and annual cover as options, motorists can choose the most appropriate protection depending on the regularity of their journeys.

For more in-depth information on these check out our guide to understanding the 5 main types of breakdown cover.

The next important thing to understand is that breakdown cover comes in two main forms: vehicle-based and personal-based. Meaning that the cover either protects a vehicle, regardless of who is driving it (vehicle-based), or covers a person, regardless of which vehicle they are driving (personal-based). It is important to bear these in mind when it comes to purchasing multi-vehicle and multi-person cover.

Family Breakdown Cover

Family policies can cover more than one vehicle when a named driver on the policy has personal-based cover.

Family policies are an excellent option for families who live together and share vehicles. Family policies are, in most cases, multiple personal-based policies bundled together.

Family policies can often work out cheaper than taking out two or more individual policies. But keep in mind that prices vary between providers, so a family policy is not guaranteed to be less expensive than buying separate policies – it’s always worth checking the details before you take out a particular policy.

If you have a large family or own a lot of cars, Family Breakdown Cover may be the right option for you. With family cover, you can often name up to five family members on your policy.

Those with ageing vehicles should be aware that some policies will exclude cars over a determined life span. So, if you own a car that’s getting on a bit and are on the hunt for a new Family car breakdown cover policy, make sure you look for a policy without age restrictions.

Parents can include learners in their family policies, making this a suitable choice for a family with older teenage children near driving age, for example.

Do you need to be blood relatives to benefit from a Family Policy?

No, provided you live together, you can usually enjoy the use of a Family policy. Family policies can also be suitable for groups of friends in a flat share.

Joint Breakdown Cover

With a Joint personal cover policy, you'll both be covered whichever car you drive or travel in.

Joint breakdown cover policies are an option which can be beneficial if you live with another driver. By choosing a Joint policy, both members can often save money on one combined policy, instead of two separate policies.

These policies tend to be set up as personal cover policies, so you'll both be covered whichever car you’re in whether you are the driver or passenger.

When might it be cheaper to purchase a Joint Policy?

For two people sharing a car, it may be cheaper to just buy a vehicle-based policy to cover the vehicle regardless of who is driving. However, if you both want cover for other vehicles too, then a joint personal-based policy will be the cheapest option,

Multi-Car Breakdown Cover

Some providers will lower the premiums of a Multi-Car policy for each additional vehicle added to the policy.

Multi-Car breakdown policies differ to joint and family policies in that multiple cars registered at the same address can be added to a single vehicle-based policy

With Multi-Car policies, families and shared households can add more than one vehicle to a single policy. A policy, including multiple vehicles, can help remove the hassle of signing up to more than one different policy and can work out cheaper than taking out separate policies.

Not only do Multi-Car policies cover more than one vehicle, but they also include multiple drivers on each car. You might find the multi-driver provision useful when a family member urgently needs the use of a car.

Households with multiple cars on the drive could benefit from adding them all to one Multi-Car Policy. This can be a money saving option, as some providers will reduce your Multi-Car Policy costs every time a car is added to a policy.

How many vehicles can be added to a Multi-Car Policy?

Most providers will allow you to add five or more vehicles to your Multi-Car policy. Though this varies between providers.

Choosing the right cover for you

When choosing a Multi-Car, Family or Joint policy, motorists have several factors to consider. This includes the level of cover to select, from a range of options including Roadside Assistance and European Cover, and whether it is better to get a vehicle-based or personal-based policy. Our Breakdown Cover Comparison Table can help you get an overview of the products available from UK providers. However, to find the ideal option and see how much you can save it is advisable to get multiple quotes by clicking through to the provider websites.

About the author:

Jim brings together unique data insights, contextual knowledge and thought provoking themes, to shed new light on important issues affecting both UK businesses and individuals. Read more

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