When was the last time you called out a breakdown service for your car?
Chances are it was quite a while ago – modern cars are pretty reliably if they are serviced correctly, after all.
In these economic tough times, saving £50-£100 by cancelling your car’s breakdown cover is understandably tempting. The only problem is that it could cost you far, far more if you do need breakdown assistance but haven’t got cover.
A new report from the RAC highlights the problem. Despite the RAC’s obvious vested interest in signing up new customers, they do have a number of very valid points:
- The Highways Agency charges a £150 fee if you need to be towed off a motorway – and you may not have much choice in the matter if you have broken down.
- Garage labour can be costly – the average rate at a franchised dealer is apparently £90.61 per hour, according to Warranty Direct. Even at an independent garage, the average rate is £56.10 per hour.
- If you’re in an unfamiliar area, finding a suitable garage can be difficult – meaning you often end up at the nearest franchised dealer for your vehicle. Effective, but costly (this happened to me this autumn, while abroad).
In contrast, RAC membership starts from £71.25 per year and other companies – such as Tesco Breakdown – offer roadside cover for even less. A significant number of breakdowns are fixed at the roadside – especially by the AA and the RAC, whose mechanics seems to be better trained and well equipped for such activity.
If you just make one callout every couple of years, the chances are your breakdown cover will pay for itself and give you great peace of mind.
Think about it.