A car which breaks down or refuses to start can be every driver’s nightmare. It can leave the driver stranded in the middle of nowhere, on a motorway, or at home when he or she needs to go to work. For this reason, car breakdown cover, which enables one to get help for free in such a case, is extremely popular. But it can be a major expense.

Here are some hints on getting it more cheaply.

Get the Right Quote for Car Breakdown Cover

Most insurers – for that is what car breakdown companies actually are – offer a variety of packages. The driver may be able to take out cover for his or her vehicle, or for any vehicle which he drives. And he can select basic roadside assistance, or cover which includes help if at home, transport if his car cannot be repaired on the spot, or a number of other options.

It is worth looking carefully at one’s driving habits to select the right cover, and not pay for something the driver is very unlikely to ever require.

As with other car insurance, the best way to compare the different deals available is to go to the price comparison websites. Always check with more than one of these, as not all companies deal with all of them.

Question the Car Breakdown Renewal Fee

Before paying the renewal premium each year, check what the company is offering to new customers. Sometimes new customers get a better deal, and everyone else can get this too, if they are willing to haggle.

If it does not work, the driver should simply take his custom elsewhere, as this is now a very competitive market. There are no longer just the AA and RAC offering this service (in the UK), but a number of others, and prices are dropping accordingly as competition increases.

Getting Breakdown Cover as an Addition to Other Services

Some car insurance companies offer breakdown cover as an addition to their usual insurance. Sometimes this can be at an extremely competitive rate. It is worth checking the price comparison websites. Or phone an insurance broker, since often, contrary to what some people think, they can offer the best deals since they get group rates from the insurance companies.

Some high street banks offer perks such as free breakdown cover with their current accounts. These are not actually ‘free’, since they usually come with a fee each month, and sometimes require the individual to pay a certain amount of money into the account at regular intervals. However, for some people they may be the best option; crunch the numbers and see! In the UK, two banks offering this perk are Lloyds TSB and Nat West.

Overall, the driver should treat breakdown cover like anything else he or she buys – he should research carefully, work out what he really needs, and not be afraid to haggle.