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27 September 2021

Start Rescue breakdown cover review

Start Rescue is one of the UK's biggest car breakdown services, but is it one of the best? Find out how Start Rescue customers rated it compared with other leading car breakdown cover providers.
JS
Joe Sharp
Best breakdown cover_ 442530

Start Rescue is the breakdown cover brand of vehicle rescue service provider Call Assist Ltd. Call Assist provides its breakdown service service through a network of hundreds of approved Recovery Operators throughout the UK and an additional network in Europe, providing assistance in over 45 countries.

Start Rescue was the cheapest of the breakdown cover providers we looked at, but did its customers rate its service highly enough to win it Which? Recommended Provider status in our latest survey? Read on to find out.

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.

Start Rescue breakdown cover scores

Which? rating
Score
Total score
Total score rank (out of 12)
Customer score
Customer score rank (out of 12)
Arrived within an hour
Repaired at the roadside
Value for Money
Knowledge of the mechanic
Courtesy of the mechanic
Helpfulness on the phone

All ratings based on responses from the 2021 Which? Car Survey (in field from April 2021 to June 2021). Car 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. Start Rescue Customer score sample size: 146

Start Rescue levels of breakdown cover

This table includes a summary of the main benefits offered by Start Rescue's UK breakdown policies.

Policy name:
One Star
Two Star
Three Star
Four Star
Five Star
Service provided by
Call Assist
Call Assist
Call Assist
Call Assist
Call Assist
Roadside assistance included
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
At-home assistance included
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Nationwide recovery included
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Maximum number of callouts per year
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Parts and labour covered for repairs
No
No
No
Shipping costs for parts
Shipping costs for parts
Towing distance limit
10 miles
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
European cover
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Onward travel included
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Additional Start Rescue features

  • Emergency overnight accommodation cover of between £75 - £150 per person (up to a maximum of £500 per incident) with all policies
  • Key assist cover included with all policies
  • Message service that will contact your home and workplace to let them know you've broken down
  • Start Rescue app
  • If you're travelling with pets when you breakdown, Start Rescue will still attend your vehicle but it is at the discretion of the recovery operator whether your pet will be allowed to travel in the recovery vehicle. Start Rescue will endeavour to help arrange alternative transport, but you will need to pay for this service immediately by credit or debit card.

How much does Start Rescue breakdown cover cost?

Policy name:
One Star
Two Star
Three Star
 Four Star
Five Star
New customer price (per year):
£19.75
£25
£30.80
£59.80
£72.80
Excess:
£30 00 - optional
£30 00 - optional
£30 00 - optional
£30 00 - optional
£30 00 - optional
Auto renewal - opt-out necessary:
Yes
Yes
Yes
yes
Yes

If you choose to apply an excess to your policy, you will receive a lower premium but you will have to pay an excess of £30 for any claim you make on the policy.

These prices are for vehicle-specific cover. You can also buy the One Star, Two Star and Three Star policies as personal cover - this will cover specified people if any car they are travelling in breaks down, though it is likely to cost a little more.

Start Rescue breakdown cover can be purchased online direct from Start Rescue.

Start Rescue also offers an exclusive policy that is only available on the following price comparison websites:

  • Money Supermarket
  • ComparetheMarket
  • Confused.com
  • GoCompare
  • Uswitch
  • MoneySavingExpert

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

Start Rescue breakdown cover: pros and cons

Pros

  • The cheapest provider we analysed
  • Onward travel cover included with all policies
  • Accident recovery cover included with all policies

Cons

  • Not covered if you breakdown due to lack of maintenance (such as not changing oil)

Does Start Rescue provide European breakdown cover?

Start rescue's Four and Five Star policies will cover you for roadside assistance and national recovery while travelling in Europe for an unlimited number of trips, up to a total of 90 days per year.

If your car breaks down in the UK up to seven days before your trip, Start Rescue will cover you for up to £500 towards the cost of renting a hire car or rebooking your travel arrangements once your car has been repaired.

Single trip policies are also available to cover you for trips of one to 31 days.

European breakdown cover must have been arranged before leaving the UK. However, Start Rescue can still offer assistance on a pay-on-use basis.

If you breakdown while driving in Europe you will need to call 0044 1206 785 999.

For expert advice on Covid guidelines, vaccine passports and post Brexit rules, read our guide to travelling abroad.

Does Start Rescue provide motorcycle, van or company car cover?

Start Rescue offers breakdown cover for motorcycles, vans and classic cars.

For more information, visit the Start Rescue website.

How do I contact Start Rescue?

If you are unfortunate enough to have broken down, you can call Start Rescue for assistance on 01206 785 999.

You can also report a breakdown by email or by using the Start Rescue app, which can track the progress of the breakdown patrol vehicle on your mobile phone.

How do I cancel my Start Rescue breakdown cover?

If you wish to cancel your breakdown cover or membership you will need to contact Start Rescue Customer Services on 01206 655000.

No cancellation fee applies for monthly continuous or annual policy holders.

If you cancel your policy within 14 days of taking it out, you will receive a full refund of your premium. If you have made a claim, you will not receive any refund of your premium or administration fee.

If you cancel after 14 days and have paid annually, you will not be refunded for the remaining term of the policy. However, you can switch your policy to a different vehicle in your household and no additional premium will be charged if the other vehicle qualifies for cover and falls into the same pricing category as the original vehicle on the policy.

Unfortunately you cannot put your Start Rescue breakdown policy on hold if, for instance, you buy a new car and subsequently receive free breakdown from the manufacturer.

Thinking of buying a new car? See our expert pick of the best cars.