GEM Motoring Assist Breakdown Cover Review and Guide

Despite only offering breakdown cover in the early years of the 21st century, GEM Motoring Assist has grown to become a competitive option for motorists.

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Based on over 3700 reviews.

This guide will review the services offered by GEM Motoring Assist, its value for money, and if it’s a good option for motorists that want to buy themselves a breakdown cover.

When getting breakdown cover in the UK, it pays to choose a reliable provider that has a good track record, and that can provide assistance quickly and effectively. 

Countless companies in the UK offer roadside assistance, and with that wide array of choices, it may be hard to select the best breakdown cover provider for you.

One option that may not be at the forefront of every driver’s mind is GEM Motoring Assist. They’re certainly not one of the leading businesses in this industry, but they could be a useful option and may be a viable alternative to the likes of the AA and RAC

In this guide

Who Is GEM Motoring Assist?

GEM was originally founded all the way back in 1932, and much like other breakdown cover providers, the brand didn’t originally intend to provide roadside assistance. Instead, the company began life as a road safety association, working hard to make the roads a safer place to commute and drive on. 

In 1982, the group renamed itself The Guild of Experienced Motorists, which is where the acronym GEM comes from. GEM started offering breakdown cover in 1978, meaning it’s not been in this particular industry for long. 

What services does GEM Motoring Assist offer?

GEM doesn’t really offer anything unique in the breakdown cover market, and all the expected services can be included in your plan. 

You’ll be able to get the standard roadside assistance with any level of GEM Motoring Assist cover. This is where you’ll be able to call for a mechanic to service and fix your vehicle should it break down on the side of the road. 

In addition to this, you’ll also get other types of services added to your policy. In fact, their cheapest level of cover includes all the standard and some extra services that you may have to pay extra for with other providers. This ensures that you get comprehensive cover no matter what policy you get.

With GEM Motoring Assist, you can also get: 

  • National Recovery – This service will be able to transport your broken down vehicle to any garage in the UK, with you being able to choose where your vehicle is delivered to. Usually, if your car can’t be fixed on the side of the road, you’ll only be able to be towed 10 miles. Getting nationwide recovery gives you more freedom of where and how you get your car repaired. 
  • Home Assitance – This level of cover makes it possible to call out a mechanic to your home to help with a vehicle that’s not able to move from your driveway. On a standard plan, you can only call for assistance if you break down a 1/4 of a mile or more away from your home address. Having Home Assistance can be helpful if your car’s battery has run flat and you need a jump start or a replacement. 
  • Onward Travel – This level of service allows you to get access to a hire car so that you can continue travelling while your original vehicle is in the garage getting repaired. With Onward Travel, you may also be able to get accommodation or public transport arrangements if your breakdown has you stranded in an unfamiliar location. 

What don't you get with GEM Motoring Assist?

Unlike many other providers, GEM only has one type of cover: their personal cover plan. This is unusual as, for the most part, a breakdown cover provider will offer you the ability to cover either your vehicle or yourself individually. 

With GEM, you can only cover yourself. This means that you’ll be covered no matter what car or vehicle you drive. It also means that if you’re a passenger in a vehicle that breaks down, you’ll be able to use your cover to get roadside assistance. 

The issue is that not having the ability to cover a vehicle can make your plan more expensive and eliminates some money-saving options. For example, if you’re in a family that all share one car and none of you ever use another vehicle, it would make far more sense to cover the one car. This would mean no matter who drives it, the car covered. This option is not available with GEM Motoring Assist. Instead, each family member will need their own policy, making it far more expensive than other options. 

In addition to this lack of choice, GEM also makes it impossible to get a basic level of cover. As all the key services are included in their cheapest policy as standard, you cannot build a plan that just has roadside assistance, for example. 

This means there is a distinct lack of options for motorists when using GEM. You have to get personal cover and only have the choice between two plans, Recovery Extra, which includes unlimited callouts, or Recovery Reclaim. 

How expensive is GEM Motoring Assist breakdown cover?

Compared to other personal breakdown cover policies, GEM Motoring Assist remains one of the cheapest options, regardless of the level of cover you choose to get. 

Their most expensive option, the Recovery Extra plan, costs around £96.66. This plan includes all their services, and when compared to the likes of the AA and RAC, it comes in as cheaper. 

You can also get a less expensive plan with GEM Motoring Assist, which is priced from £78.50. When compared with all the breakdown cover providers, this price point puts it around the middle. There are certainly more budget options on the market; however, with GEM, you do get a good service.

How early can you be covered?

When you purchase cover from GEM Motoring Assist, your plan will begin 24 hours after purchase. This means that if your car needs recovery or assistance before this time, you’ll be unable to use your cover and will need to pay fully for it. 

For this reason, you should get break cover early and before there are any signs of damage or issues with your vehicle, as it will prevent you from being caught in situations like this where you have to pay over the odds to fix your car.

Is Gem Motoring Assist any good?

GEM Motoring Assist scored very well on the review aggregator website, Trustpilot. This score is a good indicator of the brand’s quality and is one of the highest-ranking breakdown cover providers in the UK. 

Currently, GEM Motoring Assist has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars. This puts it higher than some industry leaders, such as the AA, RAC or Green Flag. They have a pretty large sample size of reviews, with over 1055 people rating the business. 

Out of the 1055 or so people who have rated GEM Motoring Assist, 75% of them have rated them as excellent, and only 10% of reviewers gave them a bad score. 

Additionally, GEM Motoring scored a 4.7/5.0 on website with a total of 2,581 reviews.

Common feedback in good reviews states how friendly and helpful the roadside assistance mechanics were, and plenty also praised the speed of getting someone to their location. 

However, among the bad reviews, people have stated that wait times can be up to 3 hours. This means that although GEM Motoring Assist is usually speedy, there’s a slim chance that there may be a hold-up. 

However, GEM Motoring Assist has some past pedigree that seems to make it a far more trustworthy service. The company has won multiple Auto Express awards for Best Breakdown Cover Provider. This means that GEM is certainly one of the best options on the market and is one that you should consider. 

The Verdict

GEM Motoring Assist is a good quality service that may not work for everyone. As a member, you get a comprehensive level of cover and have a lot of extras and benefits that many other providers don’t offer on their standard level of cover.

This can be great if you’re looking for a robust policy; however, if you’re only looking for roadside assistance, you need to get the added extras, which inflates the price. 

Furthermore, there’s not a lot of choice with GEM, as you can only get personal coverage. The inability to cover your vehicle means GEM Motoring Assist isn’t right for all circumstances. For those that share one car as a family, you’ll be able to get cheaper cover elsewhere. 

However, GEM Motoring Assist is a well-priced product for what they offer. You’ll likely have to pay more when getting comprehensive cover from other providers. GEM also has many good reviews and multiple awards that show that it’s a trustworthy option. 

If you need comprehensive cover as standard that includes all the different levels of service, then there are not many better options available in the UK than GEM Motoring Assist.

Customer score

Based on over 3700 reviews.

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