November 15, 2023

Do driving instructors need motor breakdown insurance?

By Bethan Harper

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For driving instructors, a car is not just a means of transportation; it’s a crucial part of their business and the way they make a living. As a result, a reliable vehicle is essential for providing consistent, high-quality driving lessons.  

And, just like a shop owner would insure their premises and stock, driving instructors need to insure their livelihoods too, particularly against scenarios which could prevent them from working, like a vehicle breakdown.  

But do driving instructors need breakdown cover and is this type of insurance actually beneficial? This article will explore the benefits of motor breakdown insurance for driving instructors and whether it really is worth the additional cost. 

Jump straight to a specific section or read on for the full piece: 

motor breakdown insurance for driving instructors
Driving instructor teaching a lesson

Is motor breakdown insurance a legal requirement? 

Firstly, it’s important to clarify that motor breakdown cover is not a legal requirement for driving instructors or any motorist in the UK.  

While standard car insurance is mandatory for all drivers, having cover for breakdowns is an optional service that drivers can choose to add for greater peace of mind. However, just because it’s not legally required doesn’t mean it’s not important. 

A breakdown can really impact your plans on the best of days, but when it could bring your entire business to a halt, it’s something to take into consideration, even if it’s not legally required. 

Also see: What are the benefits of motor breakdown insurance

What are the benefits of motor breakdown insurance for driving instructors? 

Motor breakdown insurance for driving instructors offers several significant benefits that could help you get back on the road quicker and limit the impact a breakdown has on your business, including: 

  • Minimised downtime: As a driving instructor, if your car breaks down, not only do you have to deal with the immediate inconvenience, but you also face the potential loss of income from cancelled lessons. Motor breakdown insurance ensures that you get back on the road as quickly as possible, reducing the financial impact of a breakdown. 
  • Professional reputation: Reliability is key in the driving instruction business. Regular breakdowns can damage your reputation and lead to negative reviews from students. Breakdown cover helps maintain a professional image by ensuring that you can always provide reliable service. 
  • Specialised cover for dual control cars: Driving instructor vehicles often have dual controls, which can complicate repairs. Motor breakdown cover for driving instructors often includes cover specific to these types of vehicles, ensuring that any unique issues can be swiftly and effectively addressed. 
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you have a plan in place in case of a breakdown can provide significant peace of mind. This allows driving instructors to focus on teaching, rather than worrying about potential vehicle issues. 
  • Cost-effective: Considering the potential loss of income from a single day’s worth of cancelled lessons, the cost of breakdown cover is generally quite reasonable. It’s an investment that can save money in the long run. 

What should driving instructors consider when it comes to an insurance policy? 

If you think motor breakdown insurance is right for you, you’ll be pleased to know there are a variety of options on the market offering a range of features and levels of cover. However, with so many options to choose from, it’s important to do your research before purchasing a policy.  

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a motor breakdown insurance policy: 

  • Level of coverage: There are different levels of coverage available, ranging from basic roadside assistance to more comprehensive policies that include features like home start, onward travel and national recovery. Instructors should assess their specific needs based on their teaching areas and schedule. 
  • Response time: For a driving instructor, time is money. Therefore, choosing a provider with a proven track record of quick response times is essential. 
  • Replacement vehicle cover: Some policies offer the provision of a replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired. This can be a crucial feature for driving instructors, ensuring that their business operations can continue uninterrupted. 
  • Coverage for punctures and minor issues: Driving instructors often spend a significant amount of time on the road, which increases the likelihood of issues like tire punctures. Ensuring that your policy covers these minor but common issues can be very beneficial. 
Motor breakdown insurance
Man with his broken down vehicle

Motor breakdown insurance vs. standard car insurance 

We’ve already established that standard car insurance is a legal requirement and breakdown cover is not. But what are the other differences between these two policies? 

While car insurance covers accidents, theft, and damage to your vehicle and others, motor breakdown insurance specifically covers vehicle breakdowns and the associated services to get you back on the road. 

Also See: What is breakdown cover for driving instructors?

Is motor breakdown insurance worth it for driving instructors? 

The benefits of maintaining a professional image, ensuring minimal disruption to your schedule, and the peace of mind breakdown cover offers are just some of the benefits you can enjoy with this type of insurance.  

However, if you’re more concerned from a financial aspect, we’ll break down how costs compare.  

While policy prices are dependent on a few things, such as the level of cover and can even vary from provider to provider, basic cover could start from just under £35 per year (SaveMoreMoney, 2023). 

However, a mobile mechanic call-out fee could cost as much as £85 (Checkatrade, 2022), and that’s without considering potential payment for parts or recovery to a local garage. 

So, with just one call out you could be saving as much as £50, and that’s without considering any additional services.  

The bottom line 

While motor breakdown cover is not a legal requirement for driving instructors, the benefits it offers make it a very attractive consideration. The right breakdown cover can protect against income loss, maintain a professional reputation, and provide the specific coverage needed for dual-control vehicles.  

When choosing a policy, driving instructors should consider the level of coverage, response time, and additional features like replacement vehicle cover. Investing in motor breakdown insurance is a strategic decision that can provide long-term benefits for driving instructors in managing their business effectively. 


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