Start Rescue Breakdown Cover Review | Bobatoo

StartRescue.co.uk Breakdown Cover Review

78% of callouts are fixed at roadside

Excellent value for money

4 second average call answer time

StartRescue logo
StartRescue logo

Who are Start Rescue?

StartRescue.co.uk are proud to offer what they describe as ‘an innovative alternative’ to traditional breakdown cover, working with recovery service Call Assist Ltd. to provide around-the-clock emergency breakdown insurance.

StartRescue website home page

Breakdown insurance packages – what they have to offer

Start Rescue’s main package is their car breakdown cover. However, they also offer emergency breakdown cover on a personal basis, as well as providing cover for motorbikes, vans, and classic cars.

Start Rescue also offer multi-car breakdown cover, allowing you to cover more than one car registered to the same address.

Their vehicle breakdown cover comes in 5 different policies, rated by themselves from 1 to 5 stars:

Start Rescue 1 Star Breakdown Cover

1 star breakdown cover with Start Rescue comes as standard with all of their policies.

Its key features include roadside assistance – with which a mechanic will be sent to attempt to sort out your vehicle at roadside – and local vehicle recovery.

With local vehicle recovery, you, your passengers and your vehicle will all be taken to the nearest garage if your mechanic fears that your car cannot be fixed at the side of the road within 60 minutes. You also have the choice of being taken anywhere else, as long as it is within a 10 mile radius of where the breakdown occurred.

Start Rescue’s 1 star breakdown cover also provides you with onward travel, with which you can claim up to £250 towards alternative transport or £500 (£75/pp or £150 for a lone traveller) towards the cost of overnight accommodation and breakfast if your car cannot be fixed on the day you break down.

As well as all of the above, you will also benefit from:

  • A legal expenses policy, which may include a hire car, personal injury compensation and legal expenses up to £100,000 in the event of an accident.
  • Key assist, to allow for recovery either to your home or a local garage if you lose or break your key.
  • Message assist, to send up to two messages informing somebody (spouse, boss etc.) that you have broken down.

This level of breakdown cover is also available on vans and classic cars, as well as on a personal basis.

>>> Get a quote for 1 star breakdown cover <<<

Start Rescue 2 Star Breakdown Cover

Start Rescue’s 2 star breakdown policy offers all of the benefits of the 1 star policy, as well as the added bonus of nationwide recovery.

Nationwide recovery allows for you, your vehicle and your passengers to be taken to your home address, or if you would rather, another location in the UK that is closer to the location where you broke down.

This level of breakdown cover is also available on vans and classic cars, as well as on a personal basis.

>>> Get a quote for 2 star breakdown cover <<<

Start Rescue 3 Star Breakdown Cover

Start Rescue’s 3 star breakdown cover is their most popular choice, offering the same benefits as their 2 star policy, but with the additional benefits of ‘home assist’ cover.

Home assist, sometimes known as ‘home start’ or ‘at home’ cover, allows you to call your recovery service if you have broken down at, or within a mile of, your home address.

This level of breakdown cover is also available on vans and classic cars, as well as on a personal basis.

>>> Get a quote for 3 star breakdown cover <<<

Start Rescue 4 Star Breakdown Cover

This policy is Start Rescue’s base-level cover for European travel.

As well as providing all of the same benefits in the UK as their 2 star cover, it also allows you access to recovery services across Europe.

If your vehicle cannot be repaired within either a) 48 hours or b) the date that you intended to return, your vehicle will be transported back to your home address at no extra cost.

There are a few changes to the onward travel policy when in Europe, with the maximum cost of emergency overnight accommodation rising to £1000 (£150/pp).

This level of cover is not available for vans, classic cars or on a personal basis.

>>> Get a quote for 4 star breakdown cover <<<

Start Rescue 5 Star Breakdown Cover

This is their most comprehensive level of breakdown cover, offering everything that we have discussed so far both in the UK and Europe.

It will also cover you against damage caused to your car when stolen or vandalised, recovering it to either your home address or a local garage of your choosing. If this occurs while you are more than a mile away from home, Start Rescue will reimburse you with up to £1000 in public transport costs to get you home.

As well as this, you will be covered against illness or injury that prevents you from continuing a journey, provided that nobody else in the vehicle can drive. In this case, an emergency driver will be provided to take you and your vehicle to your intended destination.

This level of cover is not available for vans, classic cars or on a personal basis.

>>> Get a quote for 5 star breakdown cover <<<

Start Rescue also offer short-term breakdown cover in Europe, meaning that their 5 star policy can be taken out on a one-off basis for periods ranging from 1 to 31 days.

For an extended guide on breakdown cover and the different kinds of policies available, read: A Complete Guide to Breakdown Cover.

Other benefits

When you purchase any of the above Start Rescue breakdown cover policies, you are also entitled to exclusive discounts on the following products through partnered companies:

  • Vehicle hire
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport parking & hotels
  • Home emergency policies
  • MOTs/Services

StartRescue: The cost of breakdown cover

1 Star Breakdown Cover

Roadside assistance

Local recovery

Onward travel

Vehicle cover: From £26.10 / Personal cover: From £51.56

2 Star Breakdown Cover

Roadside assistance

National recovery

Onward travel

Vehicle cover: From £27.45 / Personal cover: From £72.50

3 Star Breakdown Cover

Roadside assistance

National recovery

Onward travel

Home assist

Vehicle cover: From £37.65 / Personal cover: From £85.21

4 Star Breakdown Cover

European cover

Roadside assistance

National recovery

Onward travel

Vehicle cover: From £68.95

5 Star Breakdown Cover

European cover

Roadside assistance

National recovery

Onward travel

Home assist

Vehicle cover: From £75.00

Start Rescue Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 78% of callouts are fixed at roadside.
  • Excellent value for money
  • No excess or callout charges
  • 4 second average call answer time
  • Handy smartphone app

Cons

  • Limited to 6 callouts per year
  • No option to cover repairs
  • Cannot be used for the same problem more than once within 28 days

Start Rescue Smartphone App

StartRescue.co.uk has a smartphone app, which is available on both Apple and Android devices.

Pros

  • Report your breakdown in as little as 15 seconds
  • Informs the recovery service of your exact location
  • Can be used on a Pay On Use basis for non-customers
  • Receive a message stating who is attending your breakdown and how long they'll be

Cons

  • An operator will call you back before sending help, asking you to confirm your details
  • Not yet optimised to fit screen sizes on iphone X and upwards
A screenshot of the StartRescue app

FAQs

For the answers to more frequently asked questions about breakdown cover, head over to our Breakdown Cover FAQs here.

Customer Experience

Looking at customer reviews is a good way to assess the level of cover provided by a breakdown insurance provider.

From over 300 reviews on Trustpilot, 60% of customers rated Start Rescue as ‘excellent’.

The positive reviews have been made by customers who were pleased with their quick recovery time as well as the level of customer service received over the phone. Most positive reviews were made in reference to the price of Start Rescue’s breakdown cover, which seems to be one of their key selling points.

However, there were also some negative reviews left by over 30% of SmartRescue customers, some of whom said that their prices had dramatically increased year-on-year without reason. In contrary to the positive reviews, there are also customers who suggest that they have waited up to 4 hours for roadside assistance.

It is important to look at both positive and negative reviews, because like anything, services can vary depending on a number of circumstances – and usually, ones that are out of their control. Try to weigh up both sides of the company if you can.

Ratings (out of 5):

Trustpilot: 3

Reviews.co.uk: 4.5

ReviewCentre: 4.5

Average: 4/5

Expert Ratings

Defaqto

  • 5 star rating for Start Rescue’s 3 Star Breakdown Cover
  • 3 star rating for Start Rescue’s 1 & 2 Star Breakdown Cover

AutoExpress

  • AutoExpress ranked Start Rescue as 8th best breakdown provider in the UK for 2018, just behind other popular providers such as the AA, GreenFlag and LV= Britannia Rescue.
  • In June 2019, Start Rescue were awarded with Which? recommended provider status for breakdown cover policies in the UK.

What to do if you break down – How to contact Start Rescue

There are two different ways to contact Start Rescue in the event of a breakdown. These include:

  • The Start Rescue smartphone app
  • Phone (UK) – 01206 785999 or 0333 320 0975
    • (Europe) - +44 1206 785 999

If you’d like to learn about other breakdown cover providers and the policies that they offer after reading this Start Rescue Review, check out our other breakdown cover reviews here.