Just How Important Is Breakdown Cover?

Millions of people from all over the UK are members of various companies' and providers' breakdown coverage insurance schemes. But while the benefits are clear for owners of older cars which are likely to be more prone to problems, buyers of new vehicles may wonder why they need this cover.

The impetus for offering breakdown cover with new vehicles comes from the manufacturers, and it is clear why they think it is important. They want to be sure that an owner who has spent a large amount of money on buying a new car can get the maximum possible benefit from it. And one of the ways in which they can try to ensure that is to be certain that, when something does go wrong, it will be dealt with by a garage they can trust.

Figures from the roadside patrols themselves suggest that the vast majority of incidents to which they are called out can be, and are, fixed in a short time at the roadside or the location of the breakdown. While this is great news for the vehicle's owner, it is also good for a vehicle's manufacturer, because it means that, in many cases, while these problems could not have been foreseen, they are not major and, once fixed, the car will be perfectly reliable again.

Being stuck on a hard shoulder or at the side of any busy road is one of the worst experiences anyone can have. Knowing that a quick phone call will soon have help on its way from a patrol which is likely to have on board the parts to get you going again - or to take you on to your destination if this is not possible - gives tremendous reassurance. And the last thing that manufacturers want one of their drivers to do is remember years later the time when they were stuck at the roadside and had to pay a king's ransom to be rescued. Such an experience is almost certain to ensure that driver will take their custom elsewhere when they are looking for their next car.

So although many buyers may think that breakdown insurance is especially pointless for owners of brand new cars, they have clearly never been in the position of having been let down by a supposedly state-of-the-art vehicle.

It does happen - so as with any similar difficulty, it is far better to be prepared in advance. And that's the whole purpose of breakdown insurance.

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