Best car breakdown providers for 2021
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, 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 are based on direct feedback from more than 7,500 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 table below reveals how the 23 companies we've rated stack up against each other – we also help you to make sense of the results. The best breakdown providers are not always the most expensive.
Compare best third-party 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 companies provide cover for almost any car. They usually charge you annually, although some may offer monthly payment options.
Third-party providers also offer breakdown cover that's packaged with other services you pay for – such as a packaged bank account or car insurance.
- We've rated 11 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.
- Three are Which? Recommended Providers (and which three these are might surprise you).
Compare best carmaker breakdown cover providers
Carmaker-branded cover comes free when you buy a new car, for a set period of time. 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 Assist’ breakdown cover. But as AA is the provider, it will be an AA van that turns up to help you if your Ford fails.
- We've rated 12 carmaker-branded cover companies, including BMW Emergency Services, Hondacare Assistance, Toyota Roadside Assistance and VW 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.
Do I even need car breakdown cover?
We've discovered 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.