Cut the cost of a car breakdown

Having your car break down can be an expensive business. But with a little bit of shopping around, you can get breakdown cover on the cheap, says Ruth Jackson.

One in six motorists' cars will have a breakdown each year, according to research by Which? magazine. And yet many people don't have breakdown cover, says Melanie Wright in The Sunday Telegraph. That could get expensive the RAC and the AA charge around £190 to help with a long-distance recovery if you break down without cover.

You can get annual cover for a fraction of that price with a little bit of shopping around. Comparison site shows that you can get cover for as little as £30.25 a year with

Even if you have cover it's well worth taking a few simple steps to reduce your chances of your car breaking down. No one wants to be stuck in the cold waiting for the repair man just before Christmas. So regularly check the oil level, antifreeze, hazard lights and tyres for tread depth and pressure, says Wright. Also check the spare tyre occasionally to make sure it is in good condition. And it's worth keeping a torch, first aid kit, reflective triangle sign and warm clothing in the car, just in case.

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Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.