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Is Roadside Recovery Worth the Money?

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Roadside Recovery Services Insurance

Roadside recovery services can be worth their weight in gold in a vehicle breakdown situation. Annual membership can represent good value for money but there may be some hidden costs that can add to the membership fees.

The Cost of Roadside Recovery

Any motorist who has broken down in the middle of nowhere will no doubt sing the praises of their roadside recovery company. The services included in a roadside recovery package will depend on the type of membership taken. Costs will vary with a basic package costing around £70 per year while more comprehensive memberships come in at around £200. These prices are not too expensive when broken down into monthly payments. But if the vehicle can’t be repaired by the recovery service there may be mechanic's fees to pay that will add to the original membership cost.

What is Included in a Roadside Recovery Membership?

The services included will depend on the package. But most roadside recovery services will be able to fix a number of vehicle problems. The most common breakdown problems include:

  • Lost keys and flat batteries
  • Flat tyres and damaged wheels
  • Problems with starter motors and the alternator
  • Fuel problems such as an empty tank or putting the wrong fuel in the tank
  • Problems with spark plugs and high tension leads
  • Distributor problems and clutch cable repairs

The Downside of Roadside Recovery Services

There are of course certain problems that the roadside recovery services won’t be able to fix. This means that vehicles will usually have to be towed and then fixed at a garage adding additional costs. Certain roadside recovery companies will only allow a certain amount of callouts per year. One company only permits five call outs per year even with their most expensive membership package. Once this call out limit has been reached an additional fee will be incurred for each call out.

The Selling Aspect of Roadside Recovery

It’s a little known fact that roadside recovery employees are told to sell products to members during call outs. Employees do have a sales quota and are told to sell car parts if possible. Roadside recovery services that do use sales tactics will not admit to this. But there have been times when members who have called out certain roadside recovery companies have been sold a new battery when this was not actually the problem. Customers should be aware of employees trying to raise their sales quota using this practice.

Do You Actually Need Roadside Recovery?

Certain people will benefit from roadside recovery cover for the peace of mind aspect alone. Motorists who drive frequently to unfamiliar areas or young drivers may find that this type of cover is worth the money. Drivers who have just moved to a new town and do not have a network of friends to help with this type of problem may also benefit. But people who are skilled in basic car mechanics or who travel out of their local area very infrequently may not need roadside recovery cover. The ‘peace of mind’ factor is a big selling point with this type of service.

Getting the Best Price on Roadside Recovery

There are roadside recovery comparison websites that will help customers find the best price possible by comparing a number of companies. Many companies offer large discounts, as much as 50% for first time customers, and this can save a lot of money in the first year. Customers should compare the packages of different companies and the prices charged for the cover included. Those who think they may use this service frequently throughout the year should consider companies that offered unlimited call outs. Limited call outs are good for the roadside recovery service but will raise the risk factor for the member.

Roadside recovery cover is a type of insurance and like most insurance policies ‘peace of mind’ is a big factor. One major plus point is that certain companies extend coverage for the member if they are a passenger in the car of a non member. Motorists may also be able to receive discounts on car insurance premiums if they hold roadside recovery cover. Weighing up the pros and cons and comparing the prices of different companies should help motorists decide whether this cover will be worth the money.

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