Choosing Breakdown Cover for you Porsche
I get many emails asking if it's a good idea to have breakdown cover for their Porsche. So, I thought I'd share a few thoughts about what I believe are the pro's and con's of paying out for cover as well as a few thoughts on choosing a breakdown cover policy.
It cost enough money each year to keep your Porsche on the road with insurance, tax, MOT and servicing, so is breakdown cover just another expense or essential tool in your care package for your Porsche.
My Porsche is an older classic and I have also done almost all of the restoration and engine build work myself, so with the right tools I could probably repair my Porsche at the roadside in the unfortunate event of a breakdown. However, would I really want to carry a weighty box of tools around with me just in case my Porsche breaks down.
Not only that, with modern Porsche becoming increasingly technologically sophisticated with every new model variant released, the likelihood of a roadside repair is more and more unlikely. Additionally with more cars on the road, repairing your vehicle on the hard shoulder is a dangerous prospect.
You might therefore on face value, as I did, conclude that breakdown cover is a safer, cheaper and easier option than going without. Here's a few thoughts that you might consider before deciding to take out a breakdown cover.
Some Pros and cons of breakdown cover for your Porsche
The most common reasons for breakdown include flat tyres and batteries. But of course there are always more severe reasons like catastrophic engine or transmission failure. According to the AA, they alone attend to around 20,000 calls outs to breakdown recovery services every single day during the severe winter months in the UK.
The biggest advantage for having breakdown cover for your Porsche is safety and convenience. Clearly an increased number of vehicles on the road, changing a tyre on the hard shoulder is not a safe option. Also, as Ive said earlier, carrying a sufficient number of tools with you to enable a roadside repair to be made is just not a viable option.
The biggest drawback with breakdown cover is that its another annual bill to keep you car running along with the others like insurance, tax and MOT. The price of breakdown cover has reduced dramatically since it started many years ago. There are also a number of cover options that allows you to get cover that fits your budget.
What are the Types of breakdown cover for your Porsche
There are essentially two different types of breakdown cover available. There are 'vehicle' or 'personal' based breakdown cover. There are variations of cover provided by each type, but essentially:
Vehicle cover provides breakdown cover based on a defined vehicle. The cover is provided regardless of who is driving it at the time of callout.
The second option is personal cover. Here the cover is provided based on a named driver. In this instance what ever car you happen to be in when breakdown assistance is required you are covered.
The first option is typically the cheapest option overall. However, having the personal cover may be a better value for money option if you frequently drive multiple vehicles or have a number of vehicles in your household.
What is covered by breakdown insurance?
OK, so youíve decided you would like breakdown cover, but what does the policy actually cover you for. Well, different levels of breakdown cover afford different levels of protection. There seem to be essentially four options from which to choose.
Option 1. Roadside Assistance
The cheapest and most basic breakdown cover is often referred to as roadside cover. Essentially this cover will provide assistance at the roadside in the event the vehicle breakdown. The breakdown cover provider will assign a given amount of time to fixing the car at the roadside and in the event that the vehicle cannot be repaired, the vehicle will be transported to the nearest garage for repair. The cost any replacement parts required not covered by the breakdown cover membership.
Option 2. National Assistance
Like Option 1, national assistance goes one step further to transport you, your passengers and your vehicle to a destination of your choice when ever a breakdown occurs. This is not much more expensive than the basic roadside assistance, and provides an importance option to get you to your preferred destination. This has the advantage of getting your Porsche to a garage which you trust to undertake any repair work.
Option 3. Home Start
This level over breakdown cover includes all the features offered at the National level. But addition the breakdown insurance provider will also provide assistance at your home to make repairs as required. In some cases cheaper breakdown policies will only provide breakdown assistance once you have travelled beyond a minimum distance from your home. This option of breakdown cover obviously does not have that restriction. Additionally, if you have a classic Porsche and drive it infrequently, this type of cover may provide useful when your Porsche first emerges after a winter of storage.
Option 4. Comprehensive Cover
This might be considered as the most comprehensive of breakdown cover policies. Typically they will cover all of the benefits of the previous three options, plus the costs of any unexpected accommodation and car hire also being paid for by the breakdown cover provider.
European breakdown cover
Breaking down while driving in Europe can be a very expensive event. Therefore, if you are planning on taking your Porsche on a Europe road trip, it would be sensible to consider a European breakdown cover package.
Tips to pick the right breakdown cover policy for your Porsche
Hopefully this article has highlighted a number of points that you might usefully consider when weighing up the pros and cons of the various breakdown policies available.
It's true to say that you get what you pay for and the cheapest option is not always going to be the best value for money.
Make sure you read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Some providers will limit the number of call outs per year. They might also send out private repairers from local garages. These little details can make all the difference.
If you cherish your Porsche and only want repairs made by a mechanic or a garage with who you trust or who have carried out previous work, then make sure your cover provides the ability for you to decide where your Porsche is transported to.
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