Breakdown Cover

Get back on the road in no time with flexible Breakdown Cover options today.

What is Breakdown Cover?

Breakdown Cover is a type of insurance policy that covers the costs of roadside assistance and recovery if your car breaks down.

For example, if you blow a tyre or run out of fuel while on the road, Breakdown Cover will provide roadside assistance or arrange recovery if the vehicle can’t be fixed at the roadside. Unless you have only selected Roadside Breakdown cover, it will also cover other costs, too, like temporary accommodation or providing a hire car to help you continue your journey.

Our Breakdown Cover is available as an optional extra you can add to your Swinton Car Insurance policy. It’s underwritten by Inter Partner Assistance S.A. which is authorised and regulated by the National Bank of Belgium, with a registered head office at Boulevard du Régent 7, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (firm reference number 202664). Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Inter Partner Assistance S.A. UK branch office address is 106-118 Station Road, Redhill, RH1 1PR. Inter Partner Assistance S.A. is part of the AXA Group.

Do I need Breakdown Cover?

There’s no legal requirement to have Breakdown Cover for your car. However, breakdowns are common and can prove costly if you find yourself having to pay outright for roadside assistance.

At Swinton, we provide peace of mind by covering towaway charges ahead of time. That’s one less thing to worry about if you do break down, so you can focus on what’s most important: getting home safely

 Why choose Swinton for your breakdown cover?

There are plenty of reasons to choose Swinton for your Car Breakdown Cover:

  • High roadside repair rate — 4 out of 5 vehicles are fixed at the roadside.
  • A national network — We work with 3,000 roadside operators to ensure you get service wherever you go.
  • 24-hour emergency helpline  — Get help whenever you need it on our 24-hour helpline, available 365 days a year.
  • Breakdown cover available from only £39.99  — Vehicles up to 11 years old and Roadside Breakdown only.

Statistics quoted are based on data gathered April 2022 - April 2023.


Getting a quote with Swinton Insurance

You can get Breakdown Cover as an optional extra on top of one of our Car Insurance policies

Learn about Swinton Car Insurance

What types of Breakdown Cover are there?

At Swinton, you can choose from four different types of breakdown cover:

Roadside Breakdown

Get roadside assistance anywhere in the UK as long as you are more than a quarter of a mile away from your home. If we can’t fix your car by the roadside, we’ll arrange for you and your vehicle to be taken to a garage within 20 miles of where you’ve broken down.

UK Breakdown

All the features of Roadside Breakdown with a few additional benefits. If we can’t fix your vehicle by the roadside or take your vehicle to its destination on the same day, we will arrange for alternate accommodation or provide a hire car to ensure you can complete your journey.

Home & UK Breakdown

All the same benefits of UK Breakdown but we’ll also provide assistance if you break down at home or within a quarter of a mile of your home.

European Breakdown

Includes Home & UK Breakdown Cover features as well as cover for European trips of up to 30 days. If your vehicle can’t be repaired before you return to the UK, we’ll cover reasonable transport costs to get you, your passengers, and your vehicle home safely

Compare our four levels of breakdown cover


Roadside Breakdown
UK Breakdown
Home & UK Breakdown
European Breakdown

Up to one hour’s labour for roadside parts
(May vary in Europe)


Recovery of your car, caravan and trailer to a repairer

(Trailer or caravan must be attached to your car at the time)


Cover for anyone else using your car

(With your prior permission)

Use of a hire car or overnight accommodation


Recovery to your home or final destination

(Please see full T&Cs for European cover)

Help if you break down within 1/4 mile of your home


Assistance when you are travelling in Europe


1. Warn others

As soon as you realise there is a problem, put your hazard lights on as a warning to others. If you have a warning triangle, and it’s safe to put one out, place it at least 50 yards behind your car to tell others there’s a breakdown ahead.

2. Move to safety

Depending on where you break down, and what the problem is, moving your car to the side of the road might not be easy. If you can, get your car out of the path of other vehicles to avoid causing any accidents.

3. Leave your vehicle

If you’ve broken down at the side of the road, you and any passengers should leave your vehicle and wait for help a good distance away from it. If you’re travelling with a pet, the Highway Code states that you must leave your animals in the vehicle or keep them under proper control on the verge with a short lead and harness.

4. Wear reflective clothing

Keep some items of reflective clothing in your car for emergencies. Wearing reflective clothing makes you more visible to drivers, especially at night, greatly reducing the risk of an accident while you’re out of your vehicle.

5. Contact us

To obtain emergency assistance, contact the 24 Hour Emergency Breakdown Helpline using the details below:

If your vehicle has broken down in the UK:

Call 0333 035 9367

If you are in the EU: 

Call +44 (0) 1737 815 032

To request assistance in the UK online visit:

1. Try to exit the motorway

If you are able to, try to drive to the next junction or the nearest service station.

If not, you need to get your car onto the hard shoulder: Park it as far to the left as you can, and turn your wheels towards the grass verge in case it rolls.

If you’re on a smart motorway, try to drive to the next emergency refuge area (ERA), which is basically a lay-by at the side of the road for you to safely pull into. ERAs are found no further than 1.6 miles apart, and they’re marked by a blue sign featuring an orange SOS phone symbol. 

If you find yourself unable to get to the hard shoulder, keep your seatbelt on and switch your hazard lights on immediately. Don’t leave your vehicle until you’re absolutely clear it is safe to do so. 

2. Put your hazard lights on (and sidelights if it’s dark)

Leave your hazard lights flashing as a warning to others. If you’ve broken down at night, put your sidelights (or ‘parking lights’) on as well — do as much as you can to make your vehicle as visible as possible to other drivers. Never attempt to put a warning triangle out on the hard shoulder.

3. Exit the vehicle safely

Make sure all passengers exit the car through a left-side door, moving far away from the vehicle and traffic, and put on any reflective clothing you have. Once you’ve left your vehicle, wait behind the barrier and move up the embankment if you can.

Never attempt to fix your car if you break down on a motorway.

4. Call for help

Call for help using the emergency phone on your side of the carriageway. You’ll notice arrows which will guide you to the nearest emergency phone, located at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder. 

If you can, try to pull over close to an emergency phone so that you don’t have to walk far along the hard shoulder to find one. If you do have to walk to a phone, keep as far away from the carriageway as possible.

To obtain emergency assistance, contact the 24 Hour Emergency Breakdown Helpline using the details below:

If your vehicle has broken down in the UK:

Call 0333 035 9367

If you are in the EU: 

Call +44 (0) 1737 815 032

To request assistance in the UK online visit:

Be prepared

When it comes to embarking on a journey of any length, the best thing to do is to prepare for the unexpected beforehand. Pack some bottles of water, wireless chargers, non-perishable foods and blankets to store in your car for easy access in emergencies. 

Read our emergency kit preparation guide

Car Breakdown Cover FAQs

When you choose Swinton Breakdown Cover, there’s no limit to the number of callouts you can make a year (please note that call-outs for a repeated fault will not be covered). We want you to feel safe in the knowledge that you’ll always be looked after, no matter how often you need it.

When you break down without cover, you’ll need to call a local garage and pay a callout charge out of your own pocket. Charges are often calculated with a standard fee with additional payments for each mile your vehicle needs to be towed. You may incur repair fees on top of that. All in all, it could cost you hundreds of pounds once everything is done. If you have Breakdown Cover, these costs will be covered for you.

Some Breakdown Cover policies won’t include an option for vehicles that break down at home, meaning you’ll need to pay for it to be towed to a garage. However, with Swinton Home & UK Breakdown Cover, you’re covered even if your car breaks down in your driveway.

Your Breakdown Cover policy with Swinton can only be cancelled alongside your core car insurance policy. The standard core cover cancellation fee will apply in this circumstance.

While our standard Breakdown Cover policy will only cover you for UK recovery, you can protect yourself for up to 30 days abroad with our European Cover option. With European Cover, we can even cover the costs of transporting you and your vehicle safely back home from abroad (subject to Terms & Conditions).

Only the Roadside Breakdown element of cover is available for the first 24 hours of your policy being active, regardless of cover level.

All breakdown payments will need to be paid alongside your core vehicle insurance. This means if you pay monthly for car insurance, you’ll also need to pay monthly for Breakdown Cover.

Yes — we will attempt to repair your car at the roadside. However, sometimes a vehicle can’t be repaired on the road. In these cases, we’ll cover the towing costs to get your car to a nearby garage to get the problem resolved there. 

Please note that roadside repairs are not guaranteed in Europe.

 Helpful guides for car owners

Make a claim

Need breakdown assistance?

Make sure you have breakdown cover by checking your policy documents. If so, simply give us a call or register your details online.

If you’re in the UK, call: 0333 035 9367
If you’re in the EU and have opted for EU cover, call: +44 1737 815 032

Our emergency helpline and online assistance tool are available 24/7 to those with breakdown cover. 

You can add breakdown cover to your existing Car Insurance policy mid-term, however only the UK Roadside Breakdown element of cover is available for the first 24 hours of your policy. If you add EU breakdown cover, any claims made within the first 10 days will not be covered.