Onward travel cover makes sure you get to where you need to go, even if your car has other plans. Find out what's included and what to do if you break down.
What does onward travel mean in a breakdown cover policy?
Having breakdown cover means you can have an engineer come out to look at your car if it breaks down at the side of the road. With onward travel cover, you will get help to continue your journey in case your car cannot be fixed at the roadside (or on the same day).
This can mean your insurance company will pay for a hire car, a ticket for public transport or an overnight stay at a local hotel. Note that, usually, you will have to pay for these things yourself and then be reimbursed by your insurer later.
When can onward travel be useful?
Onward travel can be particularly helpful if you’re travelling long distances or if you have somewhere particularly important to get to (like a work conference or family event).
That said, having breakdown cover can be helpful in a variety of circumstances, as being stranded at the side of the road with a broken-down car can be extremely frustrating and even dangerous.
Is it included as standard in a breakdown cover policy?
In most cases, no. The type of breakdown cover that is usually included in standard policies is roadside assistance – the most basic form of cover.
Onward travel can be included in more comprehensive policies or be added as an optional extra to an existing breakdown policy, depending on the provider and level of cover you choose.
What is included in onward travel cover?
Insurance policy specifications vary by provider, but onward travel policies usually include your insurer paying for a hire car, a ticket for public transport or an overnight stay at a local hotel.
This will usually involve you paying to continue your journey or for a hotel stay and being reimbursed by your insurer.
Elements of the policy that are likely to vary include the following:
- How long you will be able to keep your hire car for.
- The amount you can be reimbursed for train tickets, a taxi, flights or other public transport.
- The amount you can be reimbursed for a hotel stay.
- How far away from home you need to be before you are covered (most policies specify at least half a mile).
- The number of people who can be included under the policy and have their onward travel paid for.
The type of hire car you can expect to receive as part of your onward travel policy can also vary, but will usually be a standard hatchback.
Some providers may offer cover for special medical assistance if this is required.
What isn’t covered with onward travel?
Exclusions will also vary by provider. Onward travel cover is usually taken out as part of a comprehensive breakdown insurance policy, the specifications of which will depend on the provider and the level of cover you choose.
Some providers might exclude the following from their onward travel cover:
- Cover for toll charges and ferry costs.
- Any cover if you break down very close to home (usually within half a mile).
Can I get onward travel without taking out a policy?
Unfortunately, probably not. If you break down without insurance, you can still get someone out to help you by calling Green Flag on 0800 88 77 66, but onward travel is unlikely to be included in this.
Some providers, like the AA, offer instant breakdown cover, but they might not include onward travel if you’ve already broken down.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Compare current accounts
If you don’t feel like you’re getting much from your bank account, switching has never been easier! Banks and building societies offer up cash and vouchers when you switch, and will handle the boring bits for you.
How to read annual reports
Find out what you need to know about annual reports, including how to read and understand them.
Credit cards with travel insurance for 2022
Find out whether a credit card with included travel insurance could work for you.
The best way to take travel money on holiday
It may not be the most interesting part of planning your holiday, but taking time to think about how to take and spend money before you set off could be the difference between enjoying the trip of a lifetime and enduring the holiday from hell.
Siemens washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances – Reviews by owners
Siemens makes plenty of appliances to kit your kitchen out, including built-in ovens, ovens with integrated microwaves and double ovens. Find out what customers think of Siemens appliances.
Ninja kitchen appliances: Are they any good?
Whether it’s an air fryer, ice-cream maker or grill, Ninja has you covered in the kitchen. What did those surveyed think about their appliances?
Virgin Money Club M current account review
Discover what the Virgin Money Club M current account has to offer.
Revolut international transfer fee calculator and review
Revolut has made a name for itself as a favourite for frequent travellers by offering great currency services. Stick within the “fair usage” limit for your plan and the pricing can be hard to beat.
Is my pension lump sum taxable?
Under pension freedoms, you can usually take 25% of your pension as a tax-free lump sum. Here’s what you need to know.
Crypto.com vs Coinbase: Which crypto exchange is better?
Crypto.com and Coinbase a large, well-known crypto platforms. See which could be right for you.