Drivers are keeping their cars longer than ever, due mainly to modern economic realities but also because cars are far more reliable than they ever have been. If a modern car is regularly serviced and well maintained there is no reason why it shouldn’t last a long time and although present day technology and gadgetry is evolving quickly most cars these days will now have essentially comfortable features as standard, such as power steering, CD player, electric windows and maybe even climate control.
Whilst deciding to keep a car which may fall out of the initial manufacturer’s warranty, which is usually 3 years but some give more, it is still widely agreed that for peace of mind it is important to have a warranty policy which covers potentially expensive items which could conceivably cost you more than the value of the car. But what about breakdown cover? Is that something at the forefront of a car owners mind when a car is only a little over 3 years old and just ready for its first MOT?
Well it is true to say that once a motorist has experienced a breakdown late at night or in the cold they will certainly see the value of breakdown cover, especially if they don’t have it! Call-out charges if you break down without cover can be high – as much as £90 from a local garage and up to £150 for a tow from the motorway.
So if you are driving around town in a 4 year old Audi Q7 you may think it won’t happen to me, but you maybe should think again as the Q7 is in the bottom 10 of the UK car reliability index – The UK Reliability index takes into account all factors of a repair, the cost of the parts and the frequency of failures. So a motorway breakdown in one of them and you are looking at a costly bill – even more so if the aforementioned car is also out of warranty. Incidentally the Honda Jazz tops the reliability index at the moment so if you drive one of them you can relax a bit!
With that in mind many companies now offer breakdown repair cover which can help reduce your repair costs after a breakdown which also adds to the peace of mind a good breakdown cover can provide.
When buying a used car the advice is always to look for full service history stamps, reasonable mileage and wear and tear. But, of course, you will pay a premium for the top examples so if you are tempted to go for a car that is perhaps missing a few stamps in the service book or is above average mileage the money you save up front may be a false economy if there is a big breakdown waiting around the corner. This is where a decent extended warranty and breakdown cover can really help with the peace of mind when, if something does go wrong, you are left ruing the day you bought the car in the first place.