What does a roadside assistance policy usually cover?
As a minimum, roadside assistance will usually cover the cost of a mechanic to come out to your broken-down vehicle. The mechanic will see if they can fix it by the roadside or, if it needs more repairs, they will tow you to a local garage within a certain radius of the scene.
If you would prefer to be taken to a destination of your choice, or be able to continue your journey, you are likely to need a more comprehensive breakdown policy. You can call for help for a variety of problems with your vehicle that stop you driving, including flat tyres, braking issues, or engine trouble.
Unless otherwise stated, if you break down at home, you won’t normally be covered. Many providers will only cover you if you break down a quarter of a mile or more from your home. Breakdowns closer to home will often need home start cover.
Roadside assistance policies from different providers may offer variations on this basic cover. For example, they might offer more options if your vehicle needs towing, or offer home start cover as standard so you can call for help if your vehicle won’t start on the driveway.
Many providers also offer optional add-ons, which can give you more protection, such as key cover, tyre replacement, or parts and labour cover.
There are several exclusions to roadside assistance cover. For example, you may not be covered if:
- You exceed the limit on the number of call-outs you can make.
- You repeatedly ask for assistance for a recurring issue.
- The problem with your vehicle isn’t serious and doesn’t prevent you from driving to a garage to get it fixed.
- You haven’t maintained your vehicle or you haven’t resolved a problem identified at a previous call-out.
- You call for help in the first 24 hours after taking out cover.
- Your vehicle needs parts and repairs at the garage. You will often need to cover the cost of these yourself, or take out extra cover.
» MORE: What cover is included in a breakdown policy?