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Bank holiday breakdowns

19th April 2011 Print

Nearly 8 million British car drivers are planning a road trip in the UK during the April and May bumper bank holiday weekends, but more than a million don't have car breakdown cover or roadside assistance, according to new research from Santander current accounts.

The survey found that 14 per cent of the 8 million Brits planning a driving holiday over the bank holidays won't be covered if their car breaks down - and risk facing a bill of £150 or more if they are stranded on the hard shoulder of the motorway and need to be towed home.

Santander's research has also found that nearly half of drivers (48 per cent) pay for ‘stand alone' breakdown cover from one of the main providers and, on average, pay £74 a year for their cover, while 14 per cent pay between £100 and £200 a year.

By comparison, one in 10 people (12 per cent) have car breakdown cover provided as a feature of a ‘paid-for' packaged current account, which Santander believes can offer better value in many cases than if people bought car breakdown cover direct.

Gillian Almond, head of current accounts at Santander, said: "With two long weekends so close to each other it's a great opportunity to get out on the road to visit family and friends or enjoy a driving holiday, but the fun could soon turn to tears if your car breaks down.  Roadside assistance and lots of other great value benefits like travel insurance and mobile phone cover are included in the Santander accounts, for a monthly fee, which are great value for those who regularly use these services."

Most banks offer packaged current accounts - including two from Santander (Reward and Premium) - which provide breakdown cover that has roadside assistance and cover at home.

Santander's Reward current account costs £10 per month (£120 per year) and as well as car breakdown and roadside recovery from Green Flag, provides more than £400 worth of additional benefits including annual worldwide family travel insurance (including winter sports), identity protection and card loss assistance, compared to the £74 that people pay on average for car breakdown cover alone.

Santander's Premium current account provides £830 of benefits for £20 a month or £240 a year.