Motorists are being urged to give themselves the gift of breakdown cover this Christmas as new figures show the expense those without a policy are likely to face if they require roadside rescue.
Research by leading breakdown and recovery service, StartRescue.co.uk, shows uncovered drivers will face an average bill of £250 to be recovered to the nearest services of garage.
But the nightmare for those drivers will not end there.
Trying to sort their own recovery from the side of the road could leave drivers at the mercy of unregistered and unregulated operators, many of whom are not CRB checked and do not have the appropriate insurance.
In addition, lack of a breakdown and recovery policy means rescued motorists will simply be dropped off at a garage, dealership or service station – even in the middle of the night – without help to secure emergency accommodation or to arrange onward travel.
When accommodation and onward travel are factored in, the price of breaking down at the side of the road without a policy in place could increase massively.
On roads managed by National Highways, traffic officers can recover vehicles to the nearest service station or safe place if they are causing an obstruction.
This costs £150 but onward transportation of the vehicle must then be arranged at further cost. Storage charges will be applied for every day the vehicle is not collected and failure to pay can result in the vehicle being scrapped.
All of this though could be avoided by taking out breakdown cover.
Ben Johnson, Director of Networks at StartRescue.co.uk, said: “A breakdown recovery policy may seem like an unnecessary luxury when everything’s running well but I guarantee you’ll be glad you have one if you ever find yourself stranded by the roadside.
“Trying to sort your own recovery from the roadside can be a nightmare before you even begin to factor in the costs involved and the risks associated with calling out unregistered and unscrupulous operators.
“For the sake of twenty quid, why would you take the risk?”