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Best Car Breakdown Cover for 2017

The Six Best Car Breakdown Providers for 2017

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Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

We compare 24 car breakdown companies, including the AA, RAC, Green Flag, Start Rescue and LV Britannia Rescue, to reveal the best and cheapest car breakdown providers.

The car breakdown service you sign up to makes a big difference. Thanks to our extensive survey of more than 5,500 people who called a breakdown provider, we know that the best car breakdown providers responded to almost every breakdown in less than an hour. They also left their customers satisfied enough to recommend the service to friends and family. 

The worst breakdown provider only made it to half of its customers in an hour, and has less happy customers.

We also found that going for the wrong level of breakdown cover, or going without it completely, can leave you hundreds of pounds worse off than if you’d had a policy to begin with - potentially in excess of £400. 

Don't think you have to dig deep in your pocket to get good cover. Our results have shown the best breakdown providers are not always the most expensive. You can get a speedy service you can rely on without paying over the odds. 

But you'll have to unlock our breakdown cover results in the table below to find out which of the cheap breakdown providers are the best, and which you should avoid. 

Compare best breakdown cover providers

If you’ve signed up with a bespoke car breakdown provider, such as the AA or RAC, you have cover from what is called a third-party breakdown provider. Simply put, these are companies that provide cover for almost any car and usually charge you annually.

For third-party breakdown cover, we've rated 11 breakdown cover companies. These include the AA, Green Flag, RAC, Saga, Green Flag, LV Britannia Rescue and Start Rescue. Three are Which? Recommended Providers (and the results might surprise you). Recommended Providers score very highly in our survey for customer score, knowledge and capability of mechanic, and arrival within an hour.

The alternative is to have cover provided directly from the manufacturer of your car. Scroll down to see our table of the best and worst carmaker cover providers. 

Best breakdown cover providers: third-party cover

To unlock our results in the table below, you can take out a trial to Which? for £1. You'll also get access to all of our online reviews, including our new and used car reviews.

Already a Which? member? Simply log in to see our results.

Best and worst third-party cover
Best and worst third-party cover
Provider WRP Customer score Arrived within an hour Knowledge and capability of mechanic Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 85% 86%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 84% 83%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 88% 79%
Subscriber only content   82% 77%
Subscriber only content   81% 77%
Subscriber only content   88% 76%
Subscriber only content   79% 74%
Subscriber only content   71% 67%
Subscriber only content   78% 67%
Subscriber only content   76% 66%
Subscriber only content   74% 62%

Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2017 Which? Car Survey (Dec 2016 to March 2017), 5,680 of which indicated they had called out a breakdown service in the twelve months prior to answering the survey.

Compare best carmaker breakdown cover providers

Carmaker-branded cover comes free for a set period for time when you buy a new car. The carmakers don’t actually provide the cover. Instead, it's supplied by a third-party provider such as the AA, RAC or Allianz.

As an example, if you’ve bought a new Ford you will get ‘Ford Assist’ breakdown cover. But as AA is the provider, should your car conk out, it will be an AA van that turns up to help you out.

We've rated 13 carmaker-branded cover companies, including Hondacare Assistance, Skoda Roadside Assistance, Toyota Roadside Assistance and VW Assistance. Three were good enough to be Which? Recommended Providers; all got to 90% of breakdowns within an hour, and the high customer score shows their customers are satisfied. As such we're happy to recommend them as our top carmaker-branded cover providers.

Best breakdown cover providers: carmaker cover

Our table, below, is currently locked. As you can see, there can be quite a difference in score between the best and worst provider. You can see the full results by taking out a Which? £1 trial. You'll also get access to all of our online reviews, including our expert new and used car reviews.

If you're already a Which? member, simply log in.

Best and worst carmaker cover
Best and worst carmaker cover
Provider WRP Customer score Arrived within an hour Knowledge and capability of mechanic Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 90% 90%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 88% 90%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 89% 88%
Subscriber only content   88% 81%
Subscriber only content   85% 76%
Subscriber only content   89% 75%
Subscriber only content   79% 69%
Subscriber only content   84% 68%
Subscriber only content   81% 67%
Subscriber only content   77% 61%
Subscriber only content   77% 61%
Subscriber only content   74% 61%
Subscriber only content   81% 60%

Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2017 Which? Car Survey (Dec 2016 to March 2017), 5,680 of which indicated they had called out a breakdown service in the twelve months prior to answering the survey.

 

Do I even need car breakdown cover?

We found that going for the wrong level of breakdown cover, or going without it completely, can leave you hundreds of pounds worse off than if you’d had a policy to begin with - potentially in excess of £400. 

Our survey shows that one in six cars break down. So make sure you use our research results to avoid being left on the side of the road for hours.

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