By Eamon Moran
Roadside Assistance is a benefit that every driver should have for peace of mind. While most providers will offer a breakdown service as standard, there are some who will reduce the benefits available on their policies, including Emergency Roadside Assistance, to quote a cheaper price.
Some people think that because their car is relatively new, they do not need breakdown service. But what happens when you get a puncture? Does your car have a spare wheel? A lot of new cars don’t include a spare wheel, or what if you cannot free the bolts on the wheel or the jack is not working. It can be a costly exercise to get even a local garage to call out to change your tyre. Most breakdown service providers will have a service level agreement in place which will see them with you within the hour and in most cases within 30 minutes. If you accidently fill your car with petrol instead of diesel you will need roadside assistance to come and remove your car to the nearest garage to get the tank drained.
If you're looking to buy new car insurance, Arachas's car insurance policy comes with breakdown assistance & other benefits on your cover.
There is more to the breakdown assistance that is provided by most insurers than just providing 30 minutes breakdown service, a benefit called 'Continuation of Journey'. If your car breaks down and you haven’t reached your destination most Roadside Assistance policies will help you complete your journey. This could be via:
- Payment for public transport
- A Taxi
- Car hire for a 48-hour period while you get your vehicle repaired. There is of course a limit to how much the Roadside Assistance will allow for this benefit, its typically €120-€150
- If it is late at night or not possible to arrange transport, there may be an option to provide overnight accommodation as part of your Roadside Assistance benefit
- Check Your Cover!
Not all car insurance companies offer the same level of cover, so it is important to check what you are getting while examining your car insurance quote. If you have Roadside Assistance cover, some will allow 30 minutes while others allow up to an hour. Some providers allow unlimited use of a breakdown service while others will limit the amount of call outs per year.
Another area to watch out for is policies that don’t offer Roadside Assistance if you are within two kilometres of your home address. So, if you go out to your driveway on a cold winter’s morning and you have a dead battery you will be on your own if your Roadside Assistance doesn’t include Homestart.
- What to do if my Car Breaks Down?
In the event of your car breaking down all you need is your breakdown number and the registration number of your car. When you call your provider, they will take some details of the problem over the phone and will then arrange for a local breakdown assistance provider to come and assist you. Most of the time a simple repair job will get you going on your journey but if further work is required your car will be towed in some cases to the nearest garage or your provider may allow for the car to be towed to a garage of your choice, again it's important to find out what level of cover you have to avail of these towing services.
Planning to purchase your first car but are on a budget? Here are some tips on how to choose a car & shop for a competitive car insurance cover in the market.
- What if I Already Have a Standalone Breakdown Service? Will this Make my Insurance Cheaper?
The answer is maybe, but usually not. Let’s be honest, most of the providers Arachas use will automatically include a breakdown service and do not allow for it to be removed. When you get a policy without breakdown assistance and add the cost of the standalone breakdown policy it will quiet often work out more expensive than purchasing car insurance with the Roadside Assistance included.