Find the best UK breakdown cover providers in 2023.
There are a lot of different breakdown cover providers in the UK, meaning that motorists have a lot of choices when it comes to deciding which provider to go for.
The vehicle you drive is likely to be one of your most important possessions, meaning getting the right cover for your car is crucial.
When choosing the best UK breakdown cover, information is power. Knowing the prices for the leading breakdown cover providers and the different services they provide, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which one to go for.
Plus, comparing reviews and statistics, such as the time it takes for a company to deliver roadside assistance, can help you narrow down your choices. By knowing which providers have excellent service, you’ll be able to find one that offers the best value for money.
Here’s a detailed look at some of the top-performing UK breakdown cover providers in 2023, analysing their strengths and weaknesses to help you decide which is best for your needs.
This price comparison table is for illustrative purposes and quotes prices for both basic level and top-level personal breakdown cover for the UK only. This should allow you to evaluate your options and better understand which breakdown providers suit your budget. The prices included in the table are plans with no excess.
For most providers, their basic level of cover only includes roadside assistance. The top-level cover will usually include roadside assistance, home start, national recovery, and onward journey services, with some offering more features.
Basic Cover Price
Top Level Cover Price
£126.50 per year
£176 per year
£59.99 per year
£85.99 per year
£79 per year
£199 per year
£78.50 per year
£96.66 per year
£119.88 per year
*Need a quote
£36.30 per year
£86.04 per year
£54.88 per year
£108.64 per year
Before looking at the providers more in-depth, it’s essential to understand the different types of cover these businesses provide. Across the breakdown cover industry, you’ll usually have the option to take out two different types of cover: personal or vehicle.
Although similar in that either option will help protect your car if it was to break down, the characteristics of each type of cover are unique, with each best suiting distinct situations and scenarios.
Personal breakdown cover is where you get cover for an individual. This means that regardless of the car you drive if you break down, you’ll be able to get help through your policy.
This type of cover is great if you drive multiple cars in your daily life, such as one vehicle for work and one family vehicle.
With a personal breakdown cover, you’re protected if you’re a passenger in someone else’s car. This means that even if you’re not driving, you’ll be able to get the help you need when you need it.
Vehicle breakdown cover is where instead of getting the protection that covers an individual, it instead covers a specific car. This means that no matter who’s driving the car when it breaks down, you’ll be able to get assistance.
This type of cover is great if you’re in a family that all share one vehicle. Instead of having to get cover for each person, you can instead just cover the car. This means that you only have one policy to worry about, which can make admin easier and reduce how much you have to pay.
Of course, if you get vehicle cover and breakdown in a different car to the one you’ve insured, you won’t be able to access roadside assistance.
Usually, most providers will give you a choice on if you want either personal or vehicle cover. However, some providers specialise in one type of cover and do not give you that option. This is something you’ll have to consider when selecting your cover.
In addition to there being different types of breakdown cover, the cover you can get can also be broken down into different levels, with the basic level of cover being cheaper. In contrast, the more comprehensive level of cover is more expensive.
What each provider offers in their basic level of cover is down to them. Some may only offer you the bare bones and then let you add on other features to your plan, while others include additional features as standard.
A few providers don’t even have what you’d consider a ‘basic’ level of cover, offering a comprehensive service for all their customers.
To better understand what to expect from breakdown cover providers, here are the different levels of cover that you can usually get with each provider.
For most providers, their starting level of cover is roadside assistance. This is where you’ll be able to call out a mechanic to come to fix your vehicle at the side of the road.
You can only enable roadside assistance if you break down more than 1/4 of a mile from your home. Plus, if you need to get your car towed to a garage for them to fix it there, you can only be towed up to 10 miles.
Also known as Home Assitance, a home start is a level of cover that you can add to your basic plan where you’ll be able to call for a mechanic if your car breakdowns while at your home.
This is a good bit of cover to have, as it means that if your car has a drained battery or other issues preventing it from getting started, a mechanic can come directly to your home to fix the issue and get you back on the road.
To give them a competitive edge, some providers offer home start for free in their basic plan, but you’ll have to add it to your policy for most.
This level of cover allows you to have your car towed to any garage or location in the UK. This means that if you break down while travelling away from where you live, you can have your car sent to a garage closer to home.
When adding this level of cover to your policy, some providers will need you to first add home assistance as well, while others will let you add just this single service to your plan.
Onward journey is a level of cover where the breakdown provider will make arrangements to ensure that you can continue your travels while your car is getting repaired. This is usually done by providing you with a hire car. Providers can also organise public transport to get you home and even pay for hotel accommodation if your vehicle is being repaired in a garage away from home.
Adding this level of cover to your plan, alongside all the other services, means that you’ll be able to get one of the most comprehensive levels of protection available.
Many providers also include other features, such as European breakdown cover and tyres or key replacements. These additional features are add-ons and can be purchased when you need them, allowing you to create a more bespoke plan.
After fully detailing how the best UK breakdown cover providers work and operate, here’s a look at how each provider performs to help you better understand which is best for you.
RAC is the oldest breakdown provider currently active in the UK market, having first formed in the late 1800s. Alongside the AA, RAC has built up a good reputation among British motorists and remains one of the most popular choices for breakdown cover.
You can get roadside assistance, at-home cover, national recovery, and onward journey services with RAC.
With RAC breakdown cover, you will always get at-home serving, no matter what level of clever you choose. This means that even at the base level of cover, you get a more comprehensive policy when compared to many other competitors.
RAC also offers legal advice to help motorists who may have been involved in an accident, which can be very useful during a stressful time.
Plus, a membership with RAC gives you additional perks and discounts that can be used at various merchants in the UK. For example, you’ll be able to claim free hot drinks, money off gym memberships, discounts on fuel, and even cheaper MOTs. These additional perks provide greater value when getting breakdown cover with RAC.
RAC has one of the most expensive basic level cover across all of the providers reviewed in this article, costing around £126 for personal cover for a single individual. It is possible to justify this price because of the added at-home protection that’s included in the price point, although even when compared to other policies that include this service, it does rank high.
Interestingly, when comparing the most expensive plans for each provider, RAC is pretty cheap, costing nearly £170 a year. This is less than the AA, meaning it’s a good option if you’re looking for cover from one of the more established brands in the UK.
RAC aims to have its mechanics arrive at each call-out within an hour. However, despite these intentions, only 57.5% of mechanics get to a roadside breakdown within this timeframe. This is much worse than the AA. In fact, RAC is one of the worst-performing providers when it comes to call-out time.
When a RAC patrol van gets a call out, you can expect it to have a good chance of fixing your car on the side of the road without having to tow it to a garage.
80% of vehicles are fixed on the roadside, which is comparable with the majority of other breakdown cover providers. However, sometimes these fixes will not be permanent and will need additional work at a garage at a later date.
57.5% of broken-down cars are permanently fixed by a roadside mechanic provided by RAC, essentially identical to the AA, meaning that you can rely on RAC to fix your car once they arrive.
RAC has a score of 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot, meaning that it can be considered a great service. Over 84,000 people have left reviews for the RAC, indicating that this score can be trusted and is a good indicator of the brand’s quality.
69% of reviewers gave RAC 5 stars, meaning that the majority of people have had a good experience with this brand. However, 16% of reviewers have issued a 1-star review, suggesting that they can be pretty bad when things go wrong.
From these 1-star reviews, the common complaint is the lack of communication when waiting for roadside rescue. This may not be a problem if you are seen quickly; however, if you have to endure a long wait before a mechanic arrives, not having regular updates can be very frustrating.
Based on over 84,000 reviews.
When compared to some of the more established breakdown providers, QDOS Breakdown is definitely one of the new brands on the block, first offering its breakdown service in 2011.
Despite just being more than a decade old, QDOS has grown rapidly and is a good option if you’re considering cover that’s not provided by the dominant brands such as the AA and RAC.
QDOS Breakdown providers cover for a wide array of vehicles, such as cars, motorbikes, motorhomes and vans. You can get all the expected levels of cover with QDOS, allowing you to build a policy that suits your needs.
In addition to allowing you to cover any type of road vehicle, QDOS also gives you the option to cover an entire fleet. This means that QDOS Breakdown is a great option for business owners with a high volume of cars and other vehicles. Having all your vehicles under one policy can make things easier to manage.
With QDOS, there are also no excess fees or call-out charges, meaning that you won’t have to pay extra for anything, even if you need multiple call-outs for a recurring problem. This isn’t the case for all breakdown cover providers, meaning that this key feature is a massive advantage for the emerging brand.
QDOS Breakdown can be considered a budget option, with the annual cost for their basic plan being around £59.99. This is cheaper than most providers discussed in this article.
In addition, their most expensive level of cover only comes in at around £85.99. This is cheaper than some providers’ base-level services, demonstrating how cheap it is compared to other brands.
QDOS states that their roadside assistance can take roughly an hour to arrive, comparable to some of the other leading services.
However, the reality is that many customers usually have to wait longer than this. When looking at customer reviews, many say that they’ve had to wait multiple hours to get assistance, suggesting that the service may not be as reliable as QDOS states on its website.
QDOS states that 4 out of 5 vehicles are fixed on the roadside. This is in line with the statistics from other providers, meaning that you’re just as likely to have your car fixed with QDOS as you are with other providers.
QDOS Breakdown has a score of 4.4 out of 5 on Reviews.io. On the surface, this score makes QDOS one of the best breakdown providers, according to UK customers. However, it’s worth taking this score with a pinch of salt. This is because there are only 2556 reviews for QDOS on Reviews.io. With a much smaller sample size when compared to other brands, these reviews are not as reliable.
The majority of positive reviews praise the company’s value for money. However, the low-scoring reviews mention a lot of clauses that make users ineligible for cover, like the age of their car and the vehicle’s weight.
Based on over 2,556 reviews.
The AA is one of the longest-running motoring companies in the UK, first beginning operations in 1905. Over its more than a century’s worth of history, the AA has become a big part of British culture, especially on the road.
Today, the AA is one of the most used breakdown cover providers, trusted by millions of motorists a year.
Like many of their competitors, the AA offers multiple levels of cover, providing roadside assistance, at-home services, national recovery, and onward journey. You can get European breakdown cover from the AA too.
The AA has a lot of key features and perks that make it an attractive option when it comes to breakdown cover.
With a membership with the AA, you’ll have access to 24/7 coverage. This means that no matter what time your car breaks down, you’ll be able to call for assistance. Plus, you’ll be able to call for help an unlimited amount of time. So, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that no matter what state your car is in, you’ll always be eligible for assistance, even if it’s a repeat issue.
The AA also has an Accident Assist service that you get when you take out a policy. This gives you access to additional support to help guide you through the process of dealing with a road accident.
The AA is also a very flexible breakdown cover provider, allowing you to build a policy that suits your needs. You can mix and match the extra levels of cover, allowing you to add national recovery to your plan while omitting at-home recovery.
The total price of cover from the AA will depend on a few factors, including the type of cover you get, your details, and any add-ons. However, when comparing the AA’s basic plan with other options, it ranks as one of the more expensive options, costing around £79 per year for a basic plan.
When getting a comprehensive cover that includes all the levels of cover, the AA is one of the most expensive providers reviewed in this article, costing just under £200 a year for a single individual.
The AA prides itself on being one of the fastest at providing roadside assistance, and call-outs usually take between 40 minutes to an hour. The AA can provide this speed because they have a large fleet of patrol cars able to respond to emergencies.
Approximately 82% of call-outs arrived within the hour, making it a very reliable and responsive service.
When needing roadside assistance, you want help to get there fast, but you also want it to be able to fix your problem. The AA claim that 4 out of 5 call-outs result in the problem being fixed. However, these may just be temporary fixes and could require additional servicing at a garage.
Around 58% of call-outs resulted in a permanent fix, meaning that just under 2/3rds of people can expect their car to be fully fixed on the roadside without needing follow-up work. This is a pretty good success rate.
The AA scored 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot, the leading aggregator website for reviews. The AA has been reviewed over 28,000 times, meaning that a high volume of data suggests that these reviews are reliable and that this score is a good indicator of the brand’s quality.
The AA is regularly praised for its helpful patrol men and women from these reviews. When looking at the few bad reviews, one common issue is that some people have had to endure long wait times for roadside recovery. This indicates that although most customers are seen quickly, there is a chance that if there is a problem regarding response time, it could result in a long wait.
Based on over 28,000 reviews.
GEM Motoring Assist has been active since 1932 and began life as a road safety organisation. They’ve been providing breakdown cover since 1978.
GEM aims to simplify the process of getting breakdown cover and do this by streamlining the process. Instead of offering multiple different levels and add-ons that can be confusing, GEM has only a few plans for customers to pick from.
With GEM Motoring Assist, no matter what plan you choose, you will get all levels of cover, including roadside assistance, home start, national recovery, and onward journey. This mean’s that if you’re looking for comprehensive cover, GEM is a good option.
However, with only two plans, their Recovery Extra plan and their Recovery Reclaim plan, there’s not much choice for motorists.
Plus, GEM Motoring Assist specialise in personal cover only. This means that you’re unable to get vehicle cover with GEM. This is great for people who drive various cars and vehicles regularly, but if you share a car with your family, you cannot cover that car and will instead have to cover each person. This can make breakdown cover more expensive.
GEM Motoring Assist costs £78.50 when getting their cheapest Recovery Reclaim plan. Although this is expensive when compared to many basic-level plans, as you’re getting all the types of cover in this policy, it makes sense instead to compare it with the top-level plans of other providers. When you do this, GEM Motoring Assist is one of the cheapest ways to get comprehensive cover.
Their recovery Plus plan, which has additional features like unlimited call-outs, is also pretty cheap, costing £96.66 a year. This is cheaper than some basic-level plans.
GEM Motoring Assist ranks well in call-out speed, as many motorists are seen within an hour. This makes GEM a very reliable service and is similar to the other leading breakdown cover providers.
Be aware that some customers have had bad experiences, with it taking more than two and a half hours for assistance to arrive.
GEM’s success rate for call-outs is consistent with all the other competitors, with 4 out of 5 people having their car fixed at the side of the road without needing to be towed to a garage for further work.
GEM has one of the best scores on Trustpilot out of all the breakdown cover providers, boasting an impressive 4.7 out of 5. This is based on over 3,700 or so reviews, which is a lot less than some of the other providers but should still be enough to make this score an accurate reflection of what you can expect.
The good reviews detail the friendliness and expertise of their mechanics and praise their mobile app’s quality.
Negative reviews focus on long wait times, which is a risk for all breakdown cover providers, but many also detail a lack of communication when looking for updates.
Based on over 3,700 reviews.
Allianz is primarily an insurance company that provides breakdown cover alongside many other products, such as travel insurance. As a result, Allianz focuses on breakdown cover that includes European breakdown, with this policy being one of their flagship features.
Allianz offers 24/7 breakdown cover, meaning you can get assistance anytime.
Allianz Assistance offers three different plans, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, giving you the option to get the level of cover that you need. These levels stack on top of each other, meaning that a Gold plan will include all the features of their silver and bronze plans.
You can get Allianz Assistance from £9.99 a month, which equates to just under £120 a year. With this being their starting price, Allianz can be a pretty experience service.
In terms of their maximum price, it’s impossible to find out without applying for a quote. This means that the price for their gold plan will alter depending on your details, although it’s likely that their premium plan will cost more than £200 a year for most people.
It’s difficult to find statistics for Allianz Assistance, as their own website doesn’t provide any information about this.
When looking at reviews on the service, there are a lot of negative complaints regarding wait time, implying that they’re not a very reliable service when you need roadside assistance.
Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that communication when waiting for assistance is poor, and many people say that it’s tough to contact Allianz Assistance even to schedule help.
Much like their call-out speeds, the recovery rate is also hard to find information for.
What can be found is that you’re only eligible for an hour of repair work with Allianz Assistance. This may mean that if your car isn’t fixed within this time, it could be left unrepaired.
Allianz Assistinace has an abysmal score on Trustpilot. It is so bad that it’s simply best to avoid this breakdown cover provider, especially with all the other options boasting good ratings.
Out of 85 reviews, Allianz Assistance scored 1.3 stars out of 5. Many of the reviewers claim that the company has scammed them, as many people are stating that they are hard to contact, with calls being unanswered and emails not being replied to.
The company’s other services don’t fare too well either, with their travel insurance also being criticised. Allianz currently has a really poor reputation and may not be the best option regarding breakdown cover.
Based on over 85 reviews.
Although MotorEasy may be a small name among other breakdown providers, they’re a good option as their business is committed to offering more to customers.
MotorEasy was founded in 2016, and as well as offering breakdown cover, it also provides other products to help motorists, such as an MOT booking service and replacement parts.
In terms of their breakdown cover, MotorEasy offers the standard levels of cover you would expect, allowing you to choose which ones you want to add to your policy.
MotorEasy is unique among other breakdown cover providers because the business offers a full suite of services to help you take better care of your car. This makes MotorEasy the one-stop shop for all your car needs, making managing your car far more convenient.
The business also launched a service called Health Checks, which looks over the wear and tear of members’ vehicles to see what kind of shape it’s in. This can help drivers take better care of their cars.
MotorEasy is one of the cheapest breakdown cover options; you can get basic level roadside assistance for £36.30 for the entire year.
If you’re looking for comprehensive cover, a policy that includes roadside assistance, as well as home start, national recovery, and onward journey, will cost £86.04. This price point makes it one of the cheapest options on the market.
MotorEasy has a quick response time to call-outs, meaning you won’t have to wait long for assistance. The majority of breakdowns are seen to within an hour, making them equally as quick as the leading brands.
Just over 80% of MotorEasy call-outs were fixed on the roadside, making it a service that’s just as reliable as all the other leading roadside recovery providers. This means that there is a good chance that your car will be fixed on the roadside and will not require additional work at a garage.
MotorEasy is the best-reviewed breakdown cover provider in the UK on Trustpilot, obtaining a score of 4.7 stars out of 5. This score is the average from just under 8000 reviews, so although the sample size isn’t as large as the AA or RAC, it’s large enough to suggest that this score is reliable.
The good reviews state that communication was excellent when waiting for roadside assistance, and many also praise the value for money of the service. Only 4% of reviewers rated MotorEasy as bad.
Based on over 8,000 reviews.
Green Flag is one of the most used breakdown cover providers and sits alongside the AA and RAC as the leading brands in the industry.
Green Flag was formed in 1971 and is a unique alternative to not just the leading breakdown cover providers but also the emerging companies.
What makes Green Flag unique is that instead of having their own employed patrol vans and mechanics, they partner with independent garages and service people to be a part of their network.
To become a part of their network, these mechanics need to undergo an intense screening process, meaning that only the best can partner with Green Flag.
The basic level of breakdown cover provided by Green Flag costs around £54.88 a year. This makes it a mid-range price compared to the others but does provide significant savings when Green Flag is compared to the AA and RAC.
Its premium policy, which includes all the levels of breakdown cover you can expect, costs around £108.64 for personal cover. Again, this price point makes it a mid-range product cheaper than some leading providers but a bit more expensive than alternative options.
For most people, the time it takes to get assistance is around 30 minutes, making it one of the fastest breakdown clever providers in the UK.
Green Flag has an excellent success rate for fixing cars on the roadside. Currently, 86% of cars are either temporarily or permanently repaired with roadside assistance. This percentage is slightly higher than many other options, m