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Cars & travel.

12 October 2021

Best car breakdown providers for 2021

We compare 26 car breakdown cover companies, including the AA, RAC, Green Flag, LV Britannia Rescue and Start Rescue, to reveal the best and cheapest car breakdown cover providers.
JS
Joe Sharp
Breakdown cover 442531

The car breakdown cover service you sign up to makes a big difference. The best will almost always get to you in under an hour and, in most instances, have the tools and the knowledge to get your car going again.

The worst 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 are based on direct feedback from more than 8,000 people who had to call out their breakdown service within the 12 months prior to completing our survey. You can trust our findings as they're based on the real life experiences of people using these services.

The tables below reveals how the 26 companies we've rated stack up against each other – we also help you to make sense of the results. The best breakdown providers aren't always the most expensive.

Keep reading to compare the best and worst third-party breakdown cover and the best and worst manufacturer cover. 

Compare third-party breakdown cover providers

Third-party breakdown providers, such as the AA or RAC,  provide cover for almost any car and usually charge annually, although some may offer monthly payment options.

Third-party providers also offer breakdown cover that's bundled with other services you pay for – such as a packaged bank account or car insurance.

  • We've rated 12 third-party breakdown cover companies. These include big names such as the AA, RAC and Green Flag, as well as other providers including GEM Motoring Assist, LV Britannia Rescue and Start Rescue.
  • Four are Which? Recommended Providers (and which four these are might surprise you).

The table below is in alphabetical order and the results are locked. To unlock our results and reveal 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? Log in to see our results.

Best and worst third parties for breakdown cover

Provider
Customer score
Arrived within an hour
Repaired at the roadside
Total Score
Admiral Breakdown Cover*
Allianz Assistance
Asda UK Breakdown Cover
Autoaid Breakdown
Aviva Breakdown
Axa
GEM Motoring Assist
LV Britannia Rescue
Table notes:
All ratings based on responses from the 2021 Which? Car Survey (in field from April to June 2021). Breakdown cover feedback gathered from 8,430 respondents, all of whom said they had called out a breakdown service in the 12 months prior to answering the survey. *Available to Admiral car insurance customers only.

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

Compare manufacturer breakdown cover providers

Car manufacturer-branded cover comes free for a set period of time (typically one or three years) when you buy a new car. Most car manufacturers will extend this breakdown cover by 12 months at no extra cost if you have the car serviced at a dealership or by an authorised repairer.

The carmakers don’t actually provide the breakdown service. Instead, it’s supplied by a third-party provider such as the AA or RAC. As an example, if you’ve bought a new Ford you will get ‘Ford Assistance’ breakdown cover. But as the AA is the provider, it will be an AA van that turns up to help you if your Ford fails.

  • We've rated 14 car manufacturers, including BMW Roadside Assistance, Hondacare Assistance, Toyota Roadside Assistance and Volkswagen Roadside Assistance
  • Three were good enough to be Which? Recommended Providers – all of these got to more than 80% of breakdowns within an hour, and their high customer scores show their customers are happy with the service.

The table below is in alphabetical order and the full results are locked. Join Which? to unlock our table - you'll also get access to all of our expert reviews, including our independent car reviews.

If you're already a Which? member, log in to view our results.

Best and worst car manufacturers for breakdown cover

Provider
Customer score
Arrived within an hour
Repaired at roadside
Total Score
Audi Roadside Assistance
BMW Roadside Assistance
Ford Assistance
Honda Breakdown Assistance
Hyundai Roadside Assistance
Jaguar Assistance
Land Rover Assistance
Lexus Roadside Assistance
Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance
Nissan Roadside Assistance
Skoda Roadside Assistance
Toyota Roadside Assistance
Volkswagen Roadside Assistance
Volvo Assistance
Table notes:
All ratings based on responses from the 2021 Which? Car Survey (in field from April to June 2021). Feedback gathered from 8,430 respondents, all of whom said they had called out a breakdown service in the 12 months prior to answering the survey.

What makes a WRP for breakdown cover?

To become a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) for breakdown cover, both third-party providers and car manufacturers must receive a customer score of at least 70% and be among the best performers when it comes to how long customers had to wait for help to arrive and how knowledgeable the mechanic was. 

Third-party providers are also rated on how successful they were when it came to fixing the fault at the scene of the breakdown.

All ratings are based on the survey responses of more than 8,000 customers who experienced a breakdown in the 12 months prior to our survey.

Customer score

The customer score reflects how satisfied customers say they are with their provider and how likely they would be to recommend it. Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 to be awarded a customer score.

Total score

We rank breakdown providers by their total score.

  • Third-party breakdown providers - total score is made up of: 50% customer score,  25% waiting time, 15% fixed at the scene, and 10% knowledge of the mechanic
  • Car manufacturers - total score is made up of 50% customer score, 35% waiting time and 15% knowledge of the mechanic.

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 in pay-on-use fees and premiums than if you’d had a policy with the right cover to begin with.

To avoid unnecessary costs, read our guide to how to buy the best breakdown cover.