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Best car breakdown cover

Best car breakdown providers for 2018

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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 28 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. The best will almost always get to you in under an hour. They will also have both the tools and the knowledge to get your car going again, in most instances. 

The worst, however, can leave you stranded at the side of the road for hours, and have much less chance of fixing your vehicle there and then.

Our ratings come from you – the 7,230 people who called out a breakdown service within the last 12 months of completing our 2018 breakdown survey.

Those who told us about their experience were also given the chance to tell us how generally satisfied they are with their service, and if they would recommend the company they're with to a friend. Unsurprisingly, the best breakdown companies have high customer satisfaction scores. One of the best companies revealed by our survey is also one of the cheapest.

92%Our top provider reached 92% of all motorists in under an hour, and has an impressive average response time of less than 40 minutes.

The table below reveals how the 28 breakdown cover companies we've rated stack up next to each other. Remember: never pay over the odds, and never feel trapped. Our results show that the best breakdown providers are not always the most expensive.

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's called a third-party breakdown provider. Simply put, these are companies that provide cover for almost any car and usually charge you annually.

We've rated 14 third-party breakdown cover companies for 2018. These include big names such as the AA, RAC and Green Flag, as well as other providers including NFU Mutual, Saga, GEM Motoring Assist, LV Britannia Rescue and Start Rescue. Three are Which? Recommended Providers (and which three these are might surprise you).

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 and our full analysis, you can join Which?. You'll also get access to all of our online reviews, including our expert, independent 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 Repaired at the roadside Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 87% 80%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 81% 78%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 83% 75%
Subscriber only content   84% 74%
Subscriber only content   89% 73%
Subscriber only content   86% 71%
Subscriber only content   84% 70%
Subscriber only content   75% 66%
Subscriber only content   75% 66%
Subscriber only content   74% 66%
Subscriber only content   72% 61%
Subscriber only content   66% 58%
Subscriber only content   68% 57%
Subscriber only content   67% 49%

Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2018 Which? Car Survey (Dec 2017 to February 2018), 7,230 of which indicated they had called out a breakdown service in the twelve months prior to answering the survey.

If you're looking for tips on how to keep breakdown costs down, when to haggle (and how to avoid haggling), head for our expert guide on how to buy the best breakdown cover.

Compare best carmaker breakdown cover providers

Carmaker-branded cover comes free for a set period of 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. As AA is the provider, should your Ford car fail, it will be an AA van that turns up to help you.

We've rated 14 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 of these got to 86% of breakdowns within an hour, and the high customer score shows their customers are happy with the service.

Best breakdown cover providers: carmaker cover

Our full table below is currently locked. As you can see, there can be quite a difference in score between the best and worst car breakdown cover providers. Join Which? and you'll also get access to the result including our expert 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 Repaired at roadside Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 90% 91%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 90% 84%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 85% 80%
Subscriber only content   84% 73%
Subscriber only content   83% 72%
Subscriber only content   81% 72%
Subscriber only content   84% 72%
Subscriber only content   80% 70%
Subscriber only content   84% 69%
Subscriber only content   76% 68%
Subscriber only content   82% 68%
Subscriber only content   80% 67%
Subscriber only content   82% 63%
Subscriber only content   76% 59%

Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2018 Which? Car Survey (Dec 2017 to February 2018), 7,230 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.

Want to avoid your chances of calling out a breakdown service at all? Check out the most reliable cars.

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