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Information written by Rhiannon Philps Last updated on 19 April 2022.

What is joint breakdown cover?

Rather than buying two separate breakdown policies for yourself and another driver, you can take out a joint breakdown policy.

A joint breakdown policy can cover two people should either of them break down on the road. It is personal-based cover, which means the individuals themselves are covered, whatever car they are in.

Who might want to take out joint breakdown cover?

Any two people can take out joint breakdown cover, as long as they live at the same address. For example, a couple, two housemates, or a parent and adult child may want to consider joint breakdown cover if both individuals drive regularly.

However, if you both drive but you only use one vehicle between you, then vehicle breakdown cover may make more sense than a joint policy.

What alternatives are there to joint breakdown cover?

If you want cover for you and another driver, but you share a car, then you could get standard vehicle breakdown cover. A vehicle-based policy covers anyone driving the named vehicle, so you and the other driver would automatically be covered with this.

Vehicle breakdown cover could be cheaper than joint breakdown cover, but bear in mind that it wouldn’t cover you or the other driver in any other car.

Instead of joint cover, you may also want to consider a multi-car policy. For example, if you have two cars and want cover for you and your partner for both of them, a multi-car policy may be an option.

Some providers will also offer family policies which allow you to cover two or more people under one policy. This could be useful if, for example, you are a couple with at least one adult child that drives.

» COMPARE: Family and multi-car breakdown cover

What levels of joint breakdown cover can you get?

When looking at joint breakdown cover, you will find that different policies have different levels of cover. What’s included in each type of policy will vary between providers, but the main features are:

  • Roadside assistance means you can call for emergency assistance when you break down mid-journey. Someone will come to your vehicle and try to fix it. If it needs further work, they will then tow it to a garage nearby.
  • Home start covers you if you break down on your driveway or close to home. Unless specified, breakdowns at home aren’t usually included as standard under normal cover.
  • National recovery is also known as vehicle recovery. This offers slightly more extensive cover than roadside assistance. If you need towing to a garage, you can choose to be taken to anywhere in the UK, not just the closest garage.
  • Onward travel goes even further by covering the costs of a hire car, alternative transport, or overnight accommodation if your car needs to stay for a while at a garage for repairs.

Providers may also offer optional cover to add to your policy, such as misfuel cover, lost key cover, and parts and labour cover.

Joint Breakdown Cover FAQs

What’s the difference between personal and vehicle breakdown cover?

Personal breakdown cover means that the policy applies to you, the individual, and not a specific vehicle. So you will have cover both as a driver and a passenger, whatever car you’re in. Joint breakdown cover is a personal-based policy.

Vehicle breakdown cover applies to the vehicle named on the policy. So you will only have cover when you drive that particular vehicle.

» MORE: Personal vs vehicle breakdown cover

Is joint breakdown cover cheaper?

This depends. One joint breakdown policy should be cheaper than buying two separate personal breakdown policies. However, if you only want cover for two people to drive a shared car, it could be cheaper to get a vehicle breakdown policy that covers anyone driving the specified car.

Do you have to live at the same address to get a joint breakdown policy?

Yes, most providers will stipulate that you and the other driver on a joint breakdown policy live at the same address.

Can you get joint European cover?

Yes, you can get European cover for multiple people, but you will need to take out a specific European breakdown policy or ask your provider if you can add it to your existing policy (if applicable). Some providers may only offer UK policies and won’t be able to add European cover. When you get European cover, you will be able to choose from a single-trip policy if you’re making a one-off visit, or an annual policy if you plan to return.

If you’re planning to take a trip to the continent, make sure you are aware of what has changed about driving in Europe after Brexit.

About the author:

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

Compare Breakdown Cover

1 product found
  • GEM Motoring Assist logo

    Joint Cover

    • Available
      • Roadside Assistance
      • National Recovery
      • Home Start
      • Onward Travel
      • European Cover
    • Joint Personal
      Cover (From)
    • Vehicle
      Price (From)
      Option unavailable

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