What is breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover is a category of car insurance needed to get help in case of a car breakdown. Whether your car has a puncture, you run out of fuel, or your car battery dies, it provides protection and assistance when your vehicle unexpectedly breaks down. At AXA, we fix 80% breakdowns at the roadside3, and if we can’t, we will take your vehicle to the nearest garage.

Broken down?

Call us on 0345 602 97614 or visit e-Rescue.co.uk.

Make sure you’ve got your name, home postcode and your policy number. You’ll also need your vehicle registration number – as well as the make, model and colour. We’ll ask you to tell us your current location and what you think the problem with your vehicle is.

Why would you need breakdown cover?

Every driver has some chance of a car breaking down on their journey. But many drivers ask themselves do I need breakdown cover? Although breakdown cover is not a legal necessity, by having it, you can be reassured that in a situation where your car breaks down, help will follow immediately with the appropriate solution for you.

Here’s what breakdown cover can help you solve:

  • Flat tyre
  • Flat battery
  • Mechanical / electrical breakdown
  • No fuel
  • Lost or broken car keys
  • Mis-fuelling

A breakdown recovery without cover would mean that you’ll need to find and pay a substantial sum for a rescue service yourself.

Breakdown cover features

Depending on the level of cover you have chosen, breakdown cover often features an array of support, including roadside assistance, breakdown recovery, onward travel breakdown and home start breakdown cover, to ensure you are covered no matter where the breakdown happens.

AXA's Breakdown Cover

AXA is committed to finding the breakdown cover that works to protect you and your vehicle in the best way possible.

With AXA breakdown insurance, you can choose from local recovery to national recovery, and even Homestart, depending on your individual needs. You can also tailor your breakdown insurance to:

  • Personal cover which protects you as the driver in any vehicle during a breakdown
  • Vehicle cover which protects your vehicle during a breakdown, regardless of who is driving it.

What to do if you break down on a motorway

Motorways are considered one of the safest roads in the UK but breaking down on the motorway can be dangerous, as other cars are still moving at speed. To make sure you can keep safe and get help, you should:

  1. Put your left indicators on
  2. Move into the left lane
  3. Enter the next emergency area or hard shoulder
  4. Put your hazard lights on
  5. Get behind a safety barrier where there is one — keep well away from moving traffic
  6. Call our 24-hour emergency UK helpline on 0345 602 9761

Levels and types of breakdown cover

Whether you need to get to work but your car won’t start, or your car breaks down during a road trip through Europe - we want to ensure you continue your journey as smoothly as possible.

AXA offers four levels of breakdown cover that are available as a standalone product or as an add-on when you buy car insurance with AXA.

AXA Local

If your vehicle breaks down more than one-mile from your home, we’ll provide roadside assistance to repair it at the roadside. Can’t be repaired? We can take you and up to six passengers to a destination within a 20-mile radius.

  • Recovery within 20 miles of the scene
  • Includes any caravan or trailer, if attached to the vehicle at the time of breaking down
  • Mis-fuelling cover

AXA Nationwide

Get all the benefits of AXA Local and more. If your vehicle can’t be repaired the same day, we’ll arrange for you and up to six passengers to be taken to your home or your original destination. Alternatively, overnight accommodation or a hire vehicle will be provided.

  • Nationwide recovery
  • Includes any caravan or trailer, if attached to the vehicle at the time of breaking down
  • Hire vehicle or overnight accommodation
  • Mis-fuelling cover

AXA Nationwide and Homestart

The nationwide and home start breakdown cover is our most comprehensive UK cover, which contains all the benefits of AXA Local and AXA Nationwide, plus assistance at your home address or within a mile of your home.


  • Home assistance
  • Nationwide recovery
    or hire vehicle or overnight accommodation
  • Includes recovery of a caravan or trailer, if attached to the vehicle at the time of breaking down (specific dimensions apply)
  • Mis-fuelling cover

AXA Annual European

With our annual European breakdown cover, be sure you’ll be protected when driving in Europe. You’ll get complete AXA Nationwide and Homestart cover as above, as well as overseas breakdown cover in almost 50 European countries.

We will arrange and pay for your vehicle, the driver, and up to six passengers to be taken to a local garage normally within 10 miles to repair it. If after a breakdown your vehicle is still not repaired or safe to drive we can arrange for transportation or the repatriation of the vehicle and its passengers depending on the circumstances.


  • Recovery in almost 50 European countries
    or overnight accommodation or alternative transport
  • Includes recovery of a caravan or trailer, if attached to the vehicle at the time of breaking down (specific dimensions apply)
  • Mis-fuelling cover in the UK

How to buy or get a breakdown cover quote

For reliable breakdown cover that starts straight away, follow these quick and easy steps:

  1. Step 1
    Choose from either UK breakdown cover or European breakdown cover
  2. Step 2
    Select the level of cover you are looking for, i.e. Local, Nationwide, Nationwide & Homestart or Annual European
  3. Step 3
    Choose whether you want personal cover or vehicle cover
  4. Step 4
    For vehicle cover, enter your car details, i.e. number plate, vehicle name, model, etc. and submit to get a quote.
  5. Step 5
    For personal cover, choose the number of drivers you wish to cover and get an instant annual price. If you’re happy to proceed, you will need to fill out details for each driver.

AXA breakdown insurance is here to give you the peace of mind you need while you’re on the move.

Frequently asked questions about breakdown cover

1 Average arrival time across all customers between July 2021 and July 2022.

2 Average score from AXA's customer satisfaction survey between July 2021 and July 2022.

3 80% of breakdowns with fixable faults fixed at the roadside. Data captured across all customers between July 2021 and July 2022.

4 Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.