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When you take out a specialist vehicle or Hot Rod insurance policy with ClassicLine, breakdown recovery is included as standard. But, if you have never had to use the service before, it might seem a little daunting. We have worked hard to build a specialist recovery scheme that is suitable for long wheelbase American cars, low to the road Hot Rods and pristine Classics, giving you reassurance that your cherished vehicle will be looked after.

So, to help put your mind at ease, we have put together our quick reference guide to using the ClassicLine breakdown recovery service

Picture the scene… you have had a great weekend at a show. You are on your way home, you have a car full of camping equipment and your cherished Classic, Hot Rod or American Car decides to fail on you.

Most of you would grab the travel tool box from the boot, grovel in the engine bay and see if you can find the problem. But, despite taking all reasonable steps to prevent a breakdown, and several attempts of trying to get it started again, it’s just not budging.

What do you do?

First, make sure you are safe and stay calm. Stand in a safe place, away from the traffic and wear a high-vis or reflective jacket if you carry one.

Call the 24 hour ClassicLine UK emergency help number: 01260 547 058
If you are calling from Europe, please call: 00 44 1260 547 058

You should have the following information available:

  • The vehicles’ registration number
  • Your name, home postcode and contact details
  • Your ClassicLine Insurance policy number
  • The make, model and colour of the vehicle
  • The location of the vehicle – tell them if you are stopped in a precarious location (or an SOS Box number if you are on a motorway)
  • An idea of what the problem is


Make sure you tell the operator what ground clearance you have, at the lowest point of the car, and, advise the height, length and width if your vehicle is oversized so they can source the appropriate recovery vehicle.


If you break down on the motorway, go to the nearest SOS emergency phone box. Ask the police to contact the 24-hour emergency helpline on the above number. You will only be able to claim the services we provide by contacting the emergency helpline number.

What will happen next?

Once the requested has been logged, the operator will set about sourcing an appropriate recovery vehicle from their vast network of local garages and recovery operators. ClassicLine’s ALPS service will keep in touch with you and they will advise the anticipated waiting time. Wherever possible, the ALPS service will try to arrange one recovery vehicle to take you all the way to your end destination.

However, there may be circumstances where your vehicle may need to be relayed between recovery vehicles. If this is due to happen, ensure that the recovery vehicle meeting you can transport your low or oversized vehicle.

Whilst waiting for recovery, we recommend that you use hazard lights if possible and stand out of the way of moving traffic or behind the barrier if you are on a motorway.

Once the recovery operative has arrived, expect them to try and fix your vehicle. However, don’t be disappointed if they don’t, as if you have a custom, American or hot rod, they wouldn’t want to try and repair a specialist vehicle.

What if you are towing?

If you are covered under a ClassicLine policy, any attached caravan or small trailer not more than 7 metres long used for private purposes will be entitled to the same service as the vehicle, as long as it is attached to the vehicle by a standard 50 millimetre (2 inch) towing coupling.

What’s not included?

Breakdowns due to lack of petrol, oil, water or frost damage or the use of the vehicle for racing, pacemaking, or being in any contest or speed trial or any rigorous reliability testing. We can offer track day cover upgrades, contact us for more information ahead of the event.

Full details of the ClassicLine Roadside Assistance can be found in your Policy Documents.