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Best car breakdown cover

Best car breakdown providers for 2020

By Sasha Baker

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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 23 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.

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.

Read on to compare the best and worst third-party breakdown cover, or jump straight to the best and worst carmaker cover

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).

To unlock our results in the table below 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-party cover
Provider WRP Customer score Arrived within an hour Repaired at the roadside Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 82% 81%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 86% 80%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 82% 76%
Subscriber only content   82% 70%
Subscriber only content   83% 68%
Subscriber only content   77% 66%
Subscriber only content   76% 65%
Subscriber only content   73% 62%
Subscriber only content   74% 59%
Subscriber only content   71% 53%
Subscriber only content   64% 47%
Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2020 Which? Car Survey (in field from December 2019 to February 2020). Feedback gathered from 7,507 respondents, all of whom said they had called out a breakdown service in the 12 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 to our expert guide on how to buy the best breakdown cover.

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.

The full results in our table below 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 carmaker cover
Provider WRP Customer score Arrived within an hour Repaired at roadside Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 89% 87%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 88% 86%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 83% 83%
Subscriber only content   85% 80%
Subscriber only content   83% 72%
Subscriber only content   83% 70%
Subscriber only content   81% 67%
Subscriber only content   76% 66%
Subscriber only content   80% 65%
Subscriber only content   81% 63%
Subscriber only content   83% 59%
Subscriber only content   76% 55%
Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2020 Which? Car Survey (in field from December 2019 to February 2020). Feedback gathered from 7,507 respondents, all of whom said they had called out a breakdown service in the 12 months prior to answering the survey.

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.

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

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