Who are you going to call when your vehicle stops working while you are in route from one place to another? Probably not Ghost Busters or any other movie or television superhero. No, your superhero is going to be your breakdown cover agent in the area, the guy who brings a van full of goodies specially selected for roadside assistance.

Not Necessarily Free

Your breakdown cover will bring a mechanic and a van full of replacement parts, battery chargers and even a can of gasoline to replenish your tank. If the mechanic can get you going again without using any parts, the trip is likely to be covered. But if you need special parts or a tank of gas, you might need to have some cash on hand with which to pay the mechanic. Or at least a credit card with a good margin of credit on it.

Easy to Reach in an Emergency

There are some kinds of mechanical breakdown that definitely qualify as emergencies. Having your U joint break is one of them. When that happens, the motor can’t communicate with the transmission, and therefore the transmission can’t tell the wheels to go. In short, you are stalled. Hopefully, the problem arose manifested while you were at a stop sign or a similarly calm location. Your breakdown mechanic can arrive, quickly diagnose the difficulty, and call for a towing truck or a trailer to move your vehicle. Since these channels are already set up, the whole process goes much more quickly than if you must connect to the Internet to look for a local towing truck, find a mechanic who will take your vehicle, call the towing company and get your vehicle moved to a safe location.


When you call your breakdown cover, you know that the person they send will have training for managing your situation. A mechanic will have training and certification, the towing driver will be operating in good standing. Should a problem arise with either, you have someone you can call to report any significant issues. When you simply call the first towing truck on a list in a directory, you might not have these recourses.

Your Data is On File

Your name, background, and similar information is on file with your breakdown agency. You won’t find yourself standing beside a windy road with vehicles whizzing by, fumbling for your wallet or digging in the bottom of your purse to produce your information. Furthermore, your breakdown company will be able to advise you as to your best next move. This is very handy if you are in a foreign country and will need a place to stay or transportation to your next destination while your vehicle is being repaired. It is even a nice thing to have if your regular going-to-work routine has been interrupted.

Recovery Services

If a situation arises where you must go on to your next destination, or even if your time abroad comes to an end, your breakdown policy might include recovery services. This means that even if your vehicle must remain in a repair facility until it is fixed, it will make its way back to you. It can also be brought to you at a hotel or other accommodation – which your policy might help you locate – where you have been waiting for the repairs to be completed. If you are a commuter, your vehicle might be returned to you at your place of business or your home, cutting down on those fees for taxicabs or Uber drivers.

Breakdown cover isn’t required insurance. But it can certainly be a good friend to call when you are in a tight place.