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Which car breakdown cover provider should you choose?

Which? survey results reveal brilliant and cheap car breakdown cover

Good news – the best car breakdown cover doesn’t have to be expensive. But pick the wrong provider and you may be in for long waits on the side of the road and lacklustre service.

One in six. That’s how many people called out a car breakdown service in the past 12 months, according to our latest car survey.*

Our results show that the best breakdown providers burn rubber to reach, on average, over 90% of breakdowns in under an hour.

The worst provider only reached 50% in under an hour, leaving half its customers to twiddle their thumbs.

We’ve rated 24 car breakdown providers. The top six get to breakdowns quickly and leave their customers satisfied. Find out who they are – head to the six best car breakdown providers for 2017.

Broken down at home? Basic cover isn’t enough

According to our survey, more people called out a breakdown service for a car parked at home than anywhere else.

But that’s a problem if you’ve only signed up for basic roadside assistance, as you won’t be covered within a quarter mile of where you live.

So if your car has conked out on the driveway and you don’t have home assistance, you may need to pay up to £110 extra just for your current provider to come out and have a look at your car.

What if you have no breakdown cover at all? You can still call out a breakdown service, but be prepared to be hit with a hefty penalty.

If your car is at home, you might end up paying around £200 for a breakdown service to come out. But if you’re far away from home and want to be towed back, that could raise the cost to in excess of £400.

Find out more about the different levels of cover, the risk of breaking down and the potential consequences to your bank account. See our guide to buying the best breakdown cover.

Compare car breakdown providers

From the experiences of more than 5,500 people who were unlucky enough to call out a breakdown service in the past 12 months, we’ve rated 24 car breakdown cover providers.

We’ve evaluated big third-party providers, such as the AA, RAC and Green Flag, plus pay-and-claim services like AutoAid, and carmaker-branded cover such as Hondacare Assist, VW Assistance and Ford Assist.

Our results take into account how quickly, or not, these companies reached the site of the breakdown, together with the knowledge and capability of the attending mechanic and the Which? Customer Score. The latter is based on how satisfied people were with the service, and whether they would recommend the service to someone else.

*Survey: As part of the Which? Car Survey 2017 (December 2016 to March 2017), we collected data from 5,680 GB drivers who had to call out a breakdown service in the past year.

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