A break­down in the bush can be­come an ex­pen­sive night­mare with­out the right cov­er­age.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents - WORDS PHIL LORD

EVEN though 4WDS are more re­li­able than they have ever been, even the best­prepped, well-looked-af­ter and care­fully driven ve­hi­cle can suf­fer a break­down. That’s no prob­lem if your 4WD grinds to a halt in town, as you can join a state mo­tor­ing club to ac­cess ba­sic road­side as­sis­tance (al­though you’ll cop a sur­charge if you join up af­ter break­ing down).

When you’re in the bush it’s a dif­fer­ent mat­ter. Just to get your ve­hi­cle from where it broke down in re­mote bush­land to some­where it can be re­paired can leave you thou­sands of dol­lars out of pocket. How­ever, there are pre­mium break­down sub­scrip­tions avail­able that can get you out of strife with­out you hav­ing to pay big money.

The good news is that if you’re towing a cam­per trailer or car­a­van, most pre­mium break­down poli­cies will also cover towing the trailer


THE dif­fer­ence be­tween break­down providers’ poli­cies is all to be found in the fine print. If your ve­hi­cle can’t be re­paired on the spot, then all providers will tow your ve­hi­cle. The key points of dif­fer­ence is the dis­tance limit for towing your broken-down ve­hi­cle (most pro­vide ‘round trip’ dis­tances, or, in other words, the dis­tance the re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle has to travel to get to you is in­cluded) and if there’s a weight limit to what they will tow (some providers will only cover towing ve­hi­cles weigh­ing up to 2000kg).

The good news is that if you’re towing a trailer and break down, most pre­mium break­down poli­cies will cover towing the trailer as well.

Most break­down providers won’t touch a ve­hi­cle if it has been crashed – that’s go­ing to be down to your in­surer to come to the party and lend a help­ing hand – but some will cover the in­ci­den­tal costs such as ac­com­mo­da­tion and trans­port while your ve­hi­cle is re­paired, or the trans­port costs in­volved in get­ting home.


THE most pop­u­lar break­down cov­er­age comes from state-based mo­tor­ing clubs such as NRMA, RACV and RACQ. All the mo­tor­ing clubs share re­cip­ro­cal rights, so if you break down in­ter­state, you’re cov­ered. Note that the re­cip­ro­cal rights don’t guar­an­tee the same level of ser­vice if you’re in­ter­state – many only guar­an­tee re­cip­ro­cal cov­er­age at ba­sic level. You may need to pay up­front for ser­vices and get

When all else fails and a tow’s re­quired, you bet­ter have cov­er­age!

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