Basic breakdown cover is an excellent option for those on a budget, who often have older cars and are in greater need of breakdown protection.
Get the right basic breakdown cover
Each breakdown cover provider offers their own basic policy and some will offer slightly more cover than others. However, generally speaking, if you buy basic breakdown cover it will provide you with roadside assistance, with the aim of fixing the problem at the side of the road.
If the problem cannot be fixed at the side of the road, your basic cover will provide a recovery service for your vehicle to a garage within ten miles or your home address if you are between ¼ and ten miles of it.
The service will normally pay for taxi fares up to a set number of miles away from the garage for the driver and all passengers who are legally allowed to be carried by the vehicle (i.e. in a five-seated car, taxi fares would be paid back for the driver and four passengers).
You don't need to be a driver to benefit from breakdown cover, because some providers offer personal-based cover which means that if you are a passenger in a non-commercial vehicle, you can call for assistance using your breakdown cover.
Vehicle-based cover is great if many different people regularly drive your car because they will be able to call for assistance in the event of a breakdown.
Some breakdown cover providers will offer other features such as a message service, where the company contact a relative or friend on your behalf, and advice if you are involved in an accident.
Basic breakdown cover top tips
If you only travel locally, this type of cover should be more than sufficient for your needs
If you regularly travel long distances, or drive for the majority of the day to get to meetings, you will probably benefit from a more comprehensive policy
Some breakdown cover providers have age restrictions for the age of vehicle they will cover so be sure to check this before you buy