Vehicle Recovery Breakdown Cover

Vehicle recovery breakdown cover gives you the peace of mind that your vehicle will be moved if you break down and it can’t be fixed by the roadside. Here we explain what vehicle breakdown and recovery cover is, how it works, and why it’s so important.

Whilst not all breakdown cover insurance includes vehicle recovery, Asda Breakdown Cover does.

Car breakdown on roadside with warning marker in foreground

What is vehicle recovery?


Vehicle recovery is a part of breakdown cover. It ensures that your vehicle is taken to a specified location if you break down by the side of the road.


If your vehicle breaks down whilst you’re driving, and you have breakdown cover a recovery engineer will be dispatched to your location. But if your vehicle can’t be fixed by the roadside, vehicle recovery ensures your breakdown cover provider will move you and your vehicle to a specified place. This could be a garage for repairs, your home, or another preferred destination.


Breakdown cover with vehicle recovery takes the stress out of breaking down, meaning you won’t be left stranded by the roadside or facing expensive bills.


How does vehicle recovery work?


Most of the time when a vehicle breaks down by the side of the road, a recovery engineer will be able to get it running again. But if that’s not possible, vehicle recovery means your vehicle will be moved to a secure location.


Vehicle recovery can cover a range of different vehicles, including cars, classic cars, vans, and bikes. You can choose whether your vehicle is taken to a garage for repairs, your home, or another destination of choice, depending upon your policy.


Whilst the details of different vehicle recovery policies will vary, most also provide recovery for you and your passengers.


What types of vehicle recovery are available?


A range of different types of vehicle recovery cover are available, including:


  • Local recovery: The basic level of roadside recovery offered by most policies. Local recovery covers you for breakdowns within a certain distance from your home, such as within a quarter of a mile. The lowest level of breakdown cover with Asda Money provides local recovery within 10 miles.


  • National recovery: If your vehicle breaks down and can’t be fixed by the roadside, it will be moved no matter where it breaks down in the UK. A sensible option if you regularly drive long distances. The higher levels of breakdown cover available with Asda Money offers recovery to anywhere within the UK.


  • Home start recovery: Provides cover if your vehicle breaks down at home and needs to be moved for repairs. This is usually offered as a policy add-on.


  • European recovery: Expands breakdown cover to European countries (although some policies may exclude some EU countries, check carefully before you buy). European recovery can cover the logistics and cost of having your vehicle brought back to the UK if necessary or being taken to your destination. It can even cover accommodation expenses, a courtesy car or alternative transportation.


How much does vehicle recovery cost?


Vehicle recovery is included as standard with Asda Breakdown Cover, Roadside Cover gives you recovery within a 10 mile radius and starts at £27, whereas UK Breakdown will recover you to anywhere within the UK and starts at £78.


If your vehicle breaks down and you don’t have vehicle recovery cover, it can get expensive. Costs will vary by recovery company, but you’ll usually be charged a flat call-out fee and a charge for each mile. Plus additional fees for having a large vehicle or if any additional specialist equipment needs to be used.


Get a breakdown cover quote.


How long does vehicle recovery take?


Most vehicle recovery providers aim to get a breakdown engineer to your roadside location within 30 minutes to an hour after taking your call.


This will vary by provider and policy, and will also depend on factors outside of the provider’s control, such as where you are and how many recovery calls they’ve taken. If you’re in a far-flung location and there have been lots of breakdowns that day, you may have to wait longer than an hour.


If the roadside engineer can’t get your vehicle running and it needs to be moved, another recovery vehicle will usually be dispatched to your location – like a flat-bed truck with a winch or other towing equipment. This can involve another wait as an available vehicle is driven to your location. It can then take another 30 minutes to an hour to load your vehicle and get it ready for moving.


Whilst the whole process of recovering your vehicle can take several hours, it will still be significantly faster – and much less stressful – than trying to get your vehicle repaired and/or moved without vehicle recovery breakdown cover.


Vehicle recovery restrictions with Asda Money


Asda Money offers breakdown cover via our trusted partner LV= Britannia Rescue. You can choose from three levels of cover: roadside cover, UK breakdown cover, and European breakdown cover.


There are some circumstances in which our Asda Breakdown Cover won’t apply, including if:


  • Your vehicle has been involved in an accident rather than breaking down
  • You break down on private land
  • You were transporting more than seven passengers
  • Your vehicle doesn’t have insurance or a valid MOT
  • Your vehicle exceeds the size and weight dimensions defined in your policy
  • Your vehicle isn’t well-maintained
  • You have more than six repeat callouts a year for the same vehicle
  • You’ve broken down within a quarter of a mile of your home, unless you have home assist cover


This list is not exhaustive and we always recommend checking your policy documents for the full list of restrictions and exclusions.

Vehicle Recovery FAQs

Does car insurance cover vehicle recovery?

Some car insurance policies will include vehicle recovery. But others won’t as standard, meaning vehicle recovery will need to be added as an optional add-on or bought as a separate policy.


What is the difference between roadside and recovery?

If you break down whilst driving, roadside assistance cover will ensure that a recovery engineer is dispatched to you to try and fix the fault. Vehicle recovery cover takes this a step further by providing a service to move you and your vehicle to a secure location if it can’t be repaired by the roadside, such as a garage or your home.

How much do recovery vehicles charge?

Recovery vehicle charges vary by recovery company and can depend on your vehicle. You’ll typically be charged a fixed call-out fee and a variable fee depending on how far your vehicle needs to be moved (often charged by the mile). You may face other charges if you have a large vehicle, like an SUV, or if any specialist equipment needs to be used. Vehicle recovery costs can easily total hundreds of pounds.

Can anyone drive a vehicle with a business breakdown policy?

This depends on the policy. Some vehicle breakdown cover policies are personal policies that cover a specified driver to drive any vehicle. Other breakdown cover policies provide vehicle cover, meaning anyone legally driving that vehicle will have breakdown cover.

Why choose Asda Breakdown Cover?

Provided by Liverpool Victoria

  • Asda logo

    The Asda advantage

    Known for putting value for money at the centre of everything we do

  • LV= and Britannia Logo stacked

    Partner expertise

    Over 4,000 breakdown professionals at your service

  • Diamond Icon

    Asda service, Asda value, expert provider

    Breakdown service you can trust

Top Breakdown Cover FAQs:

What should I do if I breakdown?

If you breakdown on the roadside, you need to ensure everything you do is safe. Switch on your hazard lights so other vehicles know you’re having an issue and can see your vehicle clearly. Then, when it is safe to do so, get out of your vehicle and stand away from the road at a safe distance. You should then call our 24 hour UK breakdown cover helpline on 0330 678 7144 and they will be able to talk you through the next steps. For more information, check out our FAQs page.

What’s the average wait time for breakdown assistance?

Although every provider is different, we aim to be with you as soon as possible, where this isn't the case Britannia Rescue will let you know if the breakdown professional is delayed.

What is the difference between breakdown cover and roadside assistance?

While you might think the two are pretty much the same, roadside assistance is a basic form of breakdown cover which helps if your car breaks down, but has restrictions on where you can get help and limits on the number of callouts you can make per year.

Other breakdown cover policies, such as UK Breakdown Cover and European Breakdown Cover, give you access to roadside assistance but have less restrictions and unlimited callouts, as well as other useful features which can be helpful in a wider range of breakdown situations.

What does home start mean on breakdown cover?

Home start or home assist in a breakdown cover policy means that you can request breakdown help at your home address. Some types of cover, such as our Roadside Cover, won’t include assistance if you’re at home, so it’s worth checking the details of a policy to be sure it’s included. This can be especially useful if you rely on your car for work and travel from home often, as problems can sometimes arise overnight.

Can I get breakdown cover on a second car?

Standard breakdown cover will give you vehicle cover, meaning that only the specific vehicle named in the policy is covered. However, you can typically add a second car as an optional extra for a small fee, please call us to discuss this. 

About our trusted provider, LV=

We’re proud to be working alongside one of the UK's largest personal lines insurers, LV=. With their 180 year history, they have put their people and customers at the heart of everything they do.

LV= Britannia Rescue is there for customers 24/7, 365 days a year. Whether your car insurance is with LV= or not, you can still benefit from Britannia Rescue and their 4,000 breakdown professionals across the UK.

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