How to save money on breakdown cover
We’ve been running a breakdown cover comparison service for long enough to pick up a few sure-fire tips on getting a good deal. So read on for our tops tips on getting vehicle recovery membership at the best price.
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Wait for a better deal
If you’ve decided that breakdown cover is for you, then the next step to save money is to shop around.
In their efforts to attract new customers breakdown providers regularly tweak their prices and run enticing special offers. As a result, the prices of top packages from these providers can fluctuate by as much as £60 in as little as a month.
Therefore, it pays to keep your eye on breakdown prices for a few weeks before you purchase a policy and get ready to strike if you see a significant price drop on your chosen product.
It goes without saying that our breakdown cover comparison tables are updated with the latest price data for each product – making them the ideal tool to help you with this process!
Get ready for breakdown sales season
Since many drivers consider breakdown membership in preparation for their summer road trips, or the onset of wintery weather, breakdown providers often coincide attractive deals around these times. That means that early summer and early winter can be good times to start looking for a good deal.
Many providers run flash sales with big savings before and during the bank holidays to attract the road trippers
Keep an eye out during the summer bank holidays in May and August. Many providers run flash sales with big savings before and during these bank holidays to attract the road trippers making the most of the extended weekends.
Understand the market
Understanding the different ways breakdown providers work will help you understand price differences.
Traditional breakdown providers generally work in two ways. Larger brands run their own fleet of recovery vehicles, while smaller ones tend to use a network of third party recovery professionals. The difference can have an effect on the pricing so it's worth understanding how the providers you are comparing work. Both systems work very well, so do consider both options.
Online reviews are a great way of checking out a firm before you commit. Breakdown cover is no different. It’s worth taking some time to do a little research on the breakdown firms on one of the many rating websites such as Reviews.co.uk or Trustpilot.co.uk and see the experiences of other users.
Beware of renewal prices
If you get a good deal on your new breakdown policy you can expect the price to go up significantly upon renewal. When signing up with breakdown provider be aware what happens to your monthly premiums after your first year.
Most times it likely to revert to the firms standard pricing tariff. It’s really important to make a diary note a month in advance of your policy ending its deal because, along with a raise in pricing, lots of firms (not just in breakdown) will auto-renew your policy.
Don't be loyal
If you don’t like the renewal cost your current provider is offering, be a savvy consumer and make the most of the deals other providers offer for new customers. They’ll welcome you with open arms. And the following year, do it all over again!
Save a bundle with a joint policy
Most breakdown providers allow you to purchase personal-based policies that cover multiple people. Whether they are called ‘joint’, ‘group’ or ‘family’ policies, these multi-person breakdown policies work out a lot cheaper than buying separate policies and are a great way to make considerable savings.
With some providers you can purchase cover for five people for the same price as it would cost for two individual policies.
Usually, the more people you add to a policy the cheaper it works out per person. With some providers you can purchase cover for five people for the same price as it would cost for two individual policies.
With these kinds of savings available it is a good idea to think about whether you, your partner, friends or family, could club together.
The price of adding additional drivers to a policy is usually displayed clearly during the breakdown providers’ quote process. So it’s worth playing around with these options to see how much the provider charges for these policies.
Choose cover carefully
It’s tempting to add extra options to your policy, but anything over and above standard roadside assistance comes with additional costs. Additional cover can be very helpful in the right situation – so consider carefully if you are likely to need it or if you might be paying for something you are unlike to need.
Here are some examples of policy extras and what you should consider:
- National Recovery/Onward Travel: Though the names and exact terms will differ between providers, these are two standard add-ons for breakdown cover offered by almost every provider. In general, the former gives you the option to have your car towed beyond the nearest garage to a UK destination of your choice, while the latter gives you travel and accommodation options if your vehicle can’t be fixed at the roadside. The key here is - consider how much longer distance travelling you do for this to be of use to you.
- Personal-based cover: These policies are tied to a person rather than a specific vehicle, and usually cover that person for breakdowns whether they are driving or just a passenger. Consider the scenarios that this type of cover will relevant to, who you travel with and how often.
- European Cover: Obviously, this gives you additional cover for driving in Europe. You should consider how many times you are likely to use it in the coming year and fully understand the extent of the cover.
For more information on the cover options available read our guide to understanding the 5 main types of breakdown cover.
Don't pay for it twice
Whether breakdown cover comes as a standard feature, or just a time-limited offer, you’ll find various bank accounts, car insurance policies and other financial products that come with recovery assistance.
It’s so common now that you may even have it without knowing. So, before you buy a policy, it’s worth checking your existing financial products (especially packaged current accounts and car insurance) to see if you already have it.
But remember: in most cases there will be a registration process that you will need to complete before your cover takes effect – so make sure you sort that out before you try to use it.
Members with benefits
Some breakdown providers offer additional benefits or discounts on other products when you take out a membership with them. Depending on the provider you can get discounts on car insurance, vehicle maintenance, retail partners and more. It’s worth looking into while you’re shopping around.
A veteran of the comparison industry, Rass mainly works behind the scenes these days. He still occasionally gets to write about comparison topics and, when the stars align, culture and politics too. Read more