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Haggling for your breakdown cover

Posted 27 July 2015

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How to haggle so you’re not paying over the odds for breakdown cover.

Sometimes it can seem like the cost of things is set in stone, and it often is – the price is the price and you just accept what you’re told. But hold on! Sometimes haggling is the way to go. Why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how much they are prepared to knock of the price, if you just apply a little knowledge… and charm!


Breakdown cover


Unless you’re a mechanic, you’re going to want breakdown cover if you drive. No one wants to be stuck at the side of the motorway with a broken down car and the prospect of a very expensive recovery vehicle being called to remove you.  So this is a pretty essential cost. The best known providers are the AA, RAC and Green Flag but, remember there are other companies out there. Try using a comparison site like Breakdown Cover Comparison to find the best deal.


We want you to get the best price, but think carefully about the cover you require. You’ll need to consider whether you need cover just for the UK or for Europe as well; if you want cover that includes starting your car at home; whether it’s for one or multiple vehicles and whether you’ll need a hire car if yours is out of action. Haggling can be a good idea, but don’t compromise on your safety by going for cheaper cover that doesn’t provide what you actually need.

Check you haven’t already got it

Haggling can really work but before you get on the phone, check that you don’t already have the cover you’re after.


Sometimes breakdown cover can come with a new car so check this first especially if the car was bought in the last twelve months.


It can also come as part of the deal if you’re part of a credit union or have a packaged bank account. These are accounts that you often pay a fee for but they come with added extras like breakdown cover and travel insurance, so double check what you’re paying for if you have one. Bear in mind that it can sometimes work out more economical to get one of these bank accounts if you think that you are going to benefit from all the extras rather than paying for each product separately.





Don’t be afraid to try haggling! It may seem unnatural or even rude if you’re not used to it, but it is possible to get a reduction in price for breakdown cover this way. If you think that a particular company has high customer satisfaction feedback, but you’ve found another company that will cover you for less, see whether you can get the first choice company to lower their price by mentioning this to them.


Haggling works particularly well when you’ve already got existing cover with a firm, as they will always be reluctant to lose customers. When your renewal comes up, never just accept the first renewal price that they offer. Always shop around. When they quote you a price always check the deals that they are offering to new customers, and if it’s less than what they’re telling you, point this out. It’s not exactly fair to ask existing customers to pay more for the same service now is it?


You could tell them what you’re willing to pay (within reason of course!) and see whether they’ll come down to your price. If it comes to it explain that you will be leaving them if they don’t lower the price. You don’t have to be rude or aggressive in anyway when you’re haggling or threatening to leave, you just have to calmly explain why that price is unacceptable and that you’d like to leave and get a better deal.


Deal or no deal


If they refuse to lower the price, or they just haven’t gone down as far as you’d like, then a good idea is to tell them that you need to think about it, or perhaps check with a spouse first, before you agree. This gives you more time to mull it over and make the right decision.



We hope we’ve convinced you to haggle and get the best price possible on your breakdown cover. If you’ve used this advice and got a reduction do let us know on Facebook and Twitter. 

by Christine Walsh

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