StartRescue.co.uk Breakdown Cover Review

  • 84% of callouts are fixed at roadside
  • 4 out of 5 customers reached within one hour
  • 5-star comprehensive cover (rated by Defaqto)
  • No excess or call out charges to be paid
  • Huge network of recovery operators across the UK and Europe
  • Less than 1 minute to report breakdown on StartRescue's app

StartRescue logo

StartRescue logo

 

Who is Start Rescue?

StartRescue.co.uk is one of the main breakdown cover providers in the UK, providing around-the-clock emergency breakdown services at an affordable price. 

You simply purchase an annual policy that gives you peace of mind for the entire year, knowing that should you breakdown and need emergency assistance, Start Rescue has got your back and are on hand to help.

Breakdown insurance packages – what they have to offer

Start Rescue’s main package is their car breakdown cover, but they also offer emergency breakdown cover for:

  • Vans
  • Motorbikes
  • Classic cars

Start Rescue also offer Personal breakdown cover, which protects you and 3 other people in your household on the same policy for any vehicle (cars and motorcycles of any age, and vans up to 8-years-old at the time this policy incepted, which do not exceed 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight).

Furthermore, they have a multi-car policy, allowing you to cover more than one car that's registered to the same address - this comes with a 10% discount, so it works out much cheaper than buying individual policies for every member of your household.

Car breakdown cover

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

1. One Star Breakdown Cover

One star breakdown cover with Start Rescue comes as standard with all of their policies and it is their cheapest policy.

Its key features include:

  • Roadside assistance – a mechanic will be sent to attempt to sort out your vehicle at the side of the road (this must occur more than 1 mile from your home address)
  • Local vehicle recovery - up to 10 miles
  • Accident recovery - if the accident has left your vehicle in an illegal or immobile state
  • Alternative travel - up to £250 towards the cost of alternative transport if your car cannot be fixed on the same day (or pre-agree period)
  • Emergency overnight accommodation - £150 for one person travelling alone, or £75 per person (maximum of £500)

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.

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

  • 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.
  • Free app - you can use this to report your breakdown instead of having to call
  • Access to a range of exclusive deals, such as vehicle hire, travel insurance and more
  • Cover for your trailer or caravan

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 <<<

 

2. Two Star Breakdown Cover

Start Rescue’s Two star breakdown policy offers all of the benefits of the One star policy listed above, as well as the added bonus of Nationwide Recovery.

If your car cannot be fixed at the side of the road, Nationwide Recovery allows 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 <<<

 

3. Three Star Breakdown Cover

Start Rescue’s Three star breakdown cover is their most popular choice, offering the same benefits as their One and Two 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 policy will also provide help if you discover that your car has a flat tyre or dead battery, for example.

Again, this level of cover is also available for vans and classic cars, as well as on a personal basis.

 

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

 

4. Four Star Breakdown Cover

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

As well as providing all of the same benefits in the UK as their Two 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.

This policy also includes Pre-Departure cover worth up to £500 as well as the 'reasonable cost' to cover shipment of spare parts to the garage in Europe.

This level of cover is not available for vans, classic cars or on a personal basis and while it is a perfect option for travellers in Europe, it is important to make sure you know what countries you are and are not covered for, as well as the other terms and conditions of the policy should you need to make a claim while on your trip.

 

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

 

5. Five 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 <<<

 

Temporary European breakdown cover

Start Rescue also offers short-term breakdown cover in Europe, meaning a 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:

StartRescue: The cost of breakdown cover

 

1 Star Breakdown Cover

Roadside assistance, local recovery and extras

Car breakdown cover: From £19.75 per year / Personal cover: From £53.12 per year

Get a quote

 

2 Star Breakdown Cover

Roadside assistance, local and nationwide recovery, plus extras.

Car breakdown cover: From £25.00 per year / Personal cover: From £76.86

Get a quote

 

3 Star Breakdown Cover

Roadside assistance, local and nationwide recovery, home assist, plus extras.

Car breakdown cover: From £30.80 / Personal cover: From £89.57

Get a quote

 

4 Star Breakdown Cover

European cover, roadside assistance, local and nationwide recovery, plus extras.

Car breakdown cover: From £59.80

Get a quote

 

5 Star Breakdown Cover

European cover, roadside assistance, local and nationwide recovery,

home assist, theft, vandalism and driver illness/injury, plus extras.

Car breakdown cover: From £72.80

Start Rescue Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 84% of callouts are fixed at the roadside.
  • Excellent value for money
  • No excess or callout charges
  • 4 second average call answer time
  • 4 out of 5 customers reached within one hour
  • 5-star comprehensive cover (rated by Defaqto)
  • Huge network of recovery operators across the UK and Europe
  • Less than 1 minute to report breakdown on StartRescue's handy mobile 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 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
  • App performance has been developed and improved

Cons

  • An operator will call you back before sending help, asking you to confirm your details
  • Some customers have experienced a few problems with the app, which has caused further delays

When does StartRescue breakdown cover start?

Your Start Rescue breakdown cover policy will be valid 24 hours after your payment has been processed – any claims made within these 24 hours will not be covered.

Does Start Rescue cover caravans and trailers?

Yes. Caravans and trailers up to a maximum length of 7 metres will be recovered along with your vehicle, but any breakdowns or damages to the caravan or trailer itself are not covered.

How quick is StartRescue’s service?

Start Rescue aim to have a recovery service at your side within 60 minutes.

Do StartRescue cover wrong fuel?

Start Rescue will recover your vehicle to the closest garage for repairs if you fill up with the wrong fuel.

Do StartRescue offer breakdown cover for business vehicles?

Not specifically – but personal breakdown insurance covers you and three others in the same household against breakdowns in any eligible vehicle, so this could be an alternative option. To find out more, contact StartRescue to see what they can offer for businesses.

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 800 reviews on Trustpilot, 76% of customers rated StartRescue as either ‘excellent’ or 'good'.

The positive reviews have been made by customers who were pleased with their quick recovery time (arrived within one hour) 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 StartRescue 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):

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

Which?

For 2019 and 2020, 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 01206 785999 or 0333 320 0975 to report a breakdown in the UK and +44 1206 785 999 for breakdowns in Europe

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.