Breakdown cover

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Xaccers
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Breakdown cover

Post by Xaccers »

With a week and a bit of short train station and back journeys, and a long weekend in the middle with no driving at all, Cassy's battery has decided it no longer wants to turn the engine over, so I'm sat here waiting for the AA man.
Held in a top priority queue (like there's more than one queue) for nearly 10 minutes, then told "It is now 6:46, someone will be with you by 5 to 8" and I thought you're having a giraffe.
I'm fed up paying for poor service, once when Cassy's aux belt tensioner bolt snapped (ECP part) it took them over 4 hours to get someone out to take us home, and that was a 3rd party they contacted. As we pulled up to the house the AA rang to say they were 10 minutes away from picking me up.

So there must be a better service provider, someone who doesn't take 1hr+ to turn up.

Are Green Flag any good? I saw they aim to get to most people within 45 minutes, and they're cheap, £35 for a year's cover for Cassy on the lowest rate, but I notice they'll only take you to the nearest garage, not home, and as the nearest garage I'd trust with Cassy IS home, I don't know if their service would be right for my needs.

RAC any good?

Chlorate
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Chlorate »

I had a fun one with the AA the other day actually.

Had a spot of trouble on the M1 on Sunday night, hobbled the car into a Texaco fuel station on the A45 and gave them a ring. Was on hold for a good 10 minutes and eventually told "I'm sorry, we have a huge number of calls at the moment with the weather as it is, we hope to be with you within the next 2 hours" it was 10:30...
Later I got a text saying they'd be with me by 2:30 am...
Followed soon after by a number of phone calls by someone trying quite hard to find a third party to do the pick up for them.
In the end they advised that I left the keys with the chap at petrol station ( :evil: ) and they'd send a taxi and pick up the car later in the night. By this time it was midnight and I really just wanted to get home.

In the end the car wasn't recovered until 2:30pm the following day...by which time I couldn't get someone to mend it for me. And in the end I had to take 2 days off work. (Which could have been avoided if a Halfrauds autocentre actually performed the work I asked them to a week earlier, but that's another gripe!)

More to the point, it's probably going to be a similar story with all of the national breakdown recovery companies. They'll have a lot of patrols but they also have a lot of customers, and due to the nature of the beast when people break down it'll always be at the same time as a million other people.

A friend of mine switched to the RAC when the AA put his premiums up, haven't heard any complaints from him so far and would consider it myself when my renewal comes up.

Alex

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CitroJim
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by CitroJim »

Britannia Rescue have always been good on the very few occasions I've had cause to use them. The few times have always been a way from home too but the 40 minutes they claim is pretty on the mark...

I pay £85 a year and that covers whatever I'm driving...

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Xaccers
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Xaccers »

Checked out Britannia, £85 UK recovery for Cassy, or £120 for the same in any car.

If I plan on only breaking down 10 miles from home (actually, with a Xantia that's quite likely as they mostly seem to throw a wobbly near home) then it's £55 just for Cassy, or £83 for any car.

AA renewal is up in April, I think I will jump ship for Britannia Jim :)

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DickieG
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by DickieG »

I wonder abot the financial wisdom of paying out for breakdown cover, I've never had it (nor have I needed it) so I've saved over £2k against the money I'd have thrown down the drain or given to the AA or whoever.

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Xaccers
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Xaccers »

DickieG wrote:I wonder abot the financial wisdom of paying out for breakdown cover, I've never had it (nor have I needed it) so I've saved over £2k against the money I'd have thrown down the drain or given to the AA or whoever.
It's insurance really.
Where I was doing so much travelling with work, I couldn't take the risk of being stuck somewhere without the means to get home, or if Danielle and I have taken her parents away for the weekend, well, her mum is highly strung at the best of times...

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Fake Concern
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Fake Concern »

I have GEM cover for 4 cars. I changed from the AA when the price got too silly. As said above, its insurance, especially for my daughters, who live away from home. We have had very good service, when daughter no. 1's rear brake seized on, they recovered the car to home & as it was Sunday & everything was shut, they picked it up on Monday & took it to our local garage. Also started it after a flat battery in the snow recently (she came home so I could buy & fit a new one!). I pay much less for covering the 4 of us than I did on 1 car with the AA!

PS, GEM have won awards for service from Auto Express 3 years running.

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Xaccers
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Xaccers »

Fake Concern wrote:I have GEM cover for 4 cars. I changed from the AA when the price got too silly. As said above, its insurance, especially for my daughters, who live away from home. We have had very good service, when daughter no. 1's rear brake seized on, they recovered the car to home & as it was Sunday & everything was shut, they picked it up on Monday & took it to our local garage. Also started it after a flat battery in the snow recently (she came home so I could buy & fit a new one!). I pay much less for covering the 4 of us than I did on 1 car with the AA!

PS, GEM have won awards for service from Auto Express 3 years running.
I'd never heard of them before, but with their reclaim package (you pay for recovery/service then claim back from GEM) it's only £68.95 a year for UK recovery and any car driven which sounds like a good deal to me.

red_dwarfers
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by red_dwarfers »

We're with Autonational Rescue here. It's £66 for the first car, then £33 for each additional one. It's an everything in the UK package, put you up in a hotel, pay for on going travel, start at home, bring you back to home wherever in the country you are etc. They use a network of local garages. I've only had to use them once in RUNN when the clutch cable snapped and they were about within the hour. Trouble is it's hard to judge a company properly by just one experience good or bad.

handyman
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by handyman »

Oops!

addo
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Post by addo »

Et fourni un autre voiture pour le mouton? :shock:

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CitroJim
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by CitroJim »

Xac, if it's the short journeys that's killing it then why don't you keep your booster pack well-charged and leave that in the back of the car so if again you find yourself in low battery territory you can give it a boost...

Britannia offers quite good discounts if you're a public servant. I'm quite surprised how expensive it is without the discounts..

I agree it's insurance. I'd never be without it... Needed it just enough to prove it's worth and once when I had none and broke down it cost me severl arms and a leg to get recovered...

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Ben82
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Ben82 »

DickieG wrote:I wonder abot the financial wisdom of paying out for breakdown cover, I've never had it (nor have I needed it) so I've saved over £2k against the money I'd have thrown down the drain or given to the AA or whoever.
When I had my Oil Pressure issue on NYE, I didn't have cover, car was towed to the nearest garage (later found out it was less than 2km away), it cost me about £150! And we had to make our own way home (~60km)... The swedish breakdown cover I have now (Falck), costs about £52 per year... The tow would have been free, and they would have paid for us to stay in a hotel for up to ~£100 per person per night for 2 nights... also with being able to have a hire car for up to 3 days (up to a maximum of when the car is fixed).
So would have saved me £150 so far (since I've now got the breakdown cover!)

evilally
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by evilally »

I'm seriously considering ADAC cover. 70 something euros a year for their premium package which covers any car anywhere in Europe. The AA wanted nearly the same just for cover in Europe for a week in my 405. They are Europe's largest breakdown service provider and get great feedback on the web. The thing is they sub contract out to the AA for UK calls so doesn't really help you in that respect!

Citroenmad
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Citroenmad »

It is insurance and its good to know that its there should you need it.

We have an RAC family membership which covers everything, it also covers any car I'm in even if its not my car. The couple of times we have needed them (one with a Rolls Phantom which broke down and another when the Traction ran a big end bearing) they were reasonable. They did take an hour or two to get there, insisted on sending a van to check out if the car was repairable even though we told them it wasnt. They then sent out a truck which was just big enough for the Tractions wheelbase but the body was off the end and the truck they sent for the Rolls was far too small, they had to send a larger one. Which took about 4 hours!

I think they will all be pretty poor for timings as they cover big areas and only have limited resources. I still wouldn't be without a breakdown membership though.