The term breakdown cover is most common in the United Kingdom; elsewhere, it may also be referred to as emergency roadside repair or roadside assistance. The service originated with the development of the first motoring organisations such as the Automobile Association and Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club, many of which were founded as membership bodies for motorists; services to assist members were often introduced later, with the creation of a fleet of patrolmen. In the case of the AA, these were traditionally motorcycle-mounted prior to the introduction of vans.
When communication technology and availability made it practical, a network of emergency phone boxes, placed at intervals by the roadside, was introduced. In recent years, the widespread ownership of mobile phones has, to a large degree, supplanted the need for an emergency phone network. With many more vehicles on the road, breakdown cover is now offered by a greater number of companies, particularly car insurers.
Breakdown Cover Comes into Its Own; Ice, Snow and Flat Batteries Mean More Motorists Will Call for Help This Week
Dec 19, 2010; Byline: TOBY WALNE CHRISTMAS and a long spell of harsh weather are set to create motorists' worst nightmare of massive hold-ups...