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Best car breakdown cover

Best car breakdown providers for 2019

By Adrian Porter

Article 1 of 2

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 27 car breakdown cover companies, including the AA, RAC, Green Flag, Start Rescue and LV Britannia 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. They will also have 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.

90%The fastest car breakdown service reached 90% of all motorists in under an hour, and has an impressive average response time of less than 40 minutes.

Our ratings are based on the direct feedback from the more than 7,000 people who actually had to call out their breakdown service within the last 12 months of completing our survey. You can trust our findings as they are based on the real life experiences of people using these services.

The tables below reveals how the 27 companies we've rated stack up next to each other - we also help you analyse the results. You'll see that the best breakdown providers are not always the most expensive.

Click the links to jump straight to:

Compare best third-party breakdown cover providers 

If you’ve signed up with a bespoke car breakdown cover provider, such as the AA or RAC, you have cover from what's called a third-party breakdown cover provider. Simply put, these are companies that provide breakdown cover for almost any car and usually charge you annually.

Third-party providers also provide breakdown cover that is packaged with other services you pay for, like 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 NFU Mutual, 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
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 81% 80%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 81% 75%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 85% 74%
Subscriber only content   84% 73%
Subscriber only content   82% 70%
Subscriber only content   82% 69%
Subscriber only content   78% 68%
Subscriber only content   72% 66%
Subscriber only content   68% 66%
Subscriber only content   71% 63%
Subscriber only content   78% n/a 58%
Subscriber only content   74% n/a 57%
Subscriber only content   69% 55%

Table notes
 

All ratings based on responses from the 2019 Which? Car Survey (December 2018 to February 2019) feedback gathered from 7,102 respondents, all of whom said they had called out a breakdown service in the 12 months prior to answering the survey.

n/a means we did not receive enough feedback to present a star rating.

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 breakdown 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 or RAC or Allianz.

As an example, if you’ve bought a new Ford you will get ‘Ford Assist’ breakdown cover. As the AA is the breakdown cover provider, it will be an AA van that turns up to help you if your Ford fails.

  • We've rated 13 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 over 80% of breakdowns within an hour, and the high customer score shows 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
Best and worst carmaker cover
Provider WRP Customer score Arrived within an hour Repaired at roadside Total Score
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 88% 89%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 88% 87%
Subscriber only content Which? Recommended badge 87% 81%
Subscriber only content   90% 80%
Subscriber only content   82% 76%
Subscriber only content   83% 75%
Subscriber only content   81% 70%
Subscriber only content   78% 70%
Subscriber only content   82% 68%
Subscriber only content   79% 66%
Subscriber only content   75% 65%
Subscriber only content   75% 62%
Subscriber only content   73% 52%
Subscriber only content   78% n/a 48%

Table notes
All ratings based on responses from the 2019 Which? Car Survey (December 2018 to February 2019) feedback gathered from 7,102 respondents, all of whom said they had called out a breakdown service in the 12 months prior to answering the survey.

n/a means we did not receive enough feedback to present a star rating.

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 – potentially up to £360.

Our survey shows that one in six cars break down. So make sure you use our research results to pick the right breakdown cover and 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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