Roadside recovery and mobile mechanics; a symbiotic relationship ultimately providing you with peace of mind that a mechanic will come to you, whether it is on the M1 or at home. So what’s the difference between these two services? Is that added roadside cover premium on the car insurance necessary and do you need a mobile mechanic’s phone number in your contacts list?
Not all people will want to add roadside recovery to their car insurance, primarily it’s about weighing up the cost of the premium. So it’s quite surprising how many people we encounter who don’t actually know if they even have it. Yes, we totally get that vehicle maintenance is not a glamorous topic, but if you want peace of mind that your lifestyle is uninterrupted with “car problems” keep reading.
Okay, so let’s start with the usual prompt that gets you interested in any of this – your car insurance is up for renewal. This is an ideal time to think about your lifestyle and how your car fits into it. Do you work from home? Do you “need the car”?
If you think you might need roadside recovery and you start to look at a basic level of assistance, be aware that your car may only get recovered to the nearest garage, (that’s the point I hear you say), except the garage could be anywhere and depending on how far you are from home, it could be a logistical nightmare. It’s always better for your pocket and your car to use your preferred mechanic. Having a good consistent mechanic who knows your vehicle, will also help future proof your car. If you know the proverb, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, this can be said about cars to.
On the flip side, what happens if your car breaks down at home? Definitely worth some consideration. Not all roadside policies will help you if you breakdown at your home. We speak to many people who have tried to leave for work in the morning and their car won’t start. Whether you breakdown at home or by the side of a road, your car is still stuck. Two points to recap, if you are going to get roadside assistance, check your car can be recovered to your own mechanic and check if it covers you at home.
So what about mobile mechanics such as Panic Mechanic? Where do we come into this? Without prejudice, any service that is mobile is worth knowing. If aspects of your life can be made more convenient, that’s not a bad thing. Mobile mechanics come to you, whether that is at work or at home or even on the side of the road. However, unlike roadside recovery, a mobile mechanic’s primary function is to repair rather than to roadside assist. So yes, they can come to you, but the caveat is that your location needs to be in their coverage area and you will also need to make an appointment.
Roadside recovery is designed to get to you on the day within a timescale and get your car back home or at a garage. In some cases roadside assistance might be able to get the car going, (but there is a limit to what roadside repairs can be done), especially if the car just needs a jump start and you would have already paid for their call-out via your insurance policy. Two more points to recap from the above, a mobile mechanic can come to you to repair your car if they cover your area, but if you have roadside recovery on your policy and it includes any breakdown at home, give them a call first to get your vehicle fault diagnosed. Once you have a diagnosis give your mobile mechanic a call to come out to you to repair your vehicle.
Here is one of our google reviews which emphasizes that relationship between roadside recovery and mobile mechanic:
Car wouldn’t start (even with the AA coming out). One call and Shane talked me through what could be the problem, told me what he was going to do and how much it would likely cost (came in as quoted and very reasonable). He was out within the hour. Problem sorted.
Friendly. Super helpful. Knowledgeable and explained everything clearly.
If you are panic and need a mechanic, call Shane!
In this review Dawn called the AA, the roadside recovery service. This was a good call as this service was part of her policy. The AA would have tried to get the car going and as mentioned before, are limited to the tools and access to parts needed. In this case they couldn’t get the car going and it needed a repair. Dawn called her mobile mechanic, yes us, to diagnose and repair the problem at her home. In this example, Dawn utilised her premium to cover an initial call-out coupled with the convenience of her local mobile mechanic for the repair. No garage required, no logistical nightmare and extra expense kept minimal.
Roadside Recovery Bottomline
In an attempt to shed more light on the difference between two convenient services, this blog should have got you thinking more about how you are using your car and how to save time, money and aggro with your vehicle maintenance. This blog wasn’t meant to be an advert for adding roadside recovery to your car insurance, but hopefully you’ll check your insurance policy and ensure you are getting the most out of it. If you are lucky enough to live and commute within the coverage area of a mobile mechanic, but you don’t have roadside recovery, a mobile mechanic is certainly a great start, especially if you don’t go far. But if you want peace of mind that wherever you are a mechanic will come to you, roadside assistance coupled with a mobile mechanic will ensure you always get from A to B safely.