Breakdown cover

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411514
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by 411514 »

The way they all operate is just with a small core fleet of their own patrols, and then subcontract out to local recovery firms for any areas not covered or when their own patrols are unavailable/engaged. Thus id imagine it makes very little odds who you choose to provide the service as you're more than likely in the event of a breakdown to be assisted by the same local recovery firm. Iv got too say I was with RAC for a few years and used them twice, both times very quick reponse from agent. Best bet is probably just to go with the cheapest, Sam

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spider
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by spider »

I'm still with the RAC, I initially got cover around the year 2000 or 2001. Previous to that I'd had a couple of breakdowns over the years (read on if curious)

I did not pick their standard cover as like Xac I guess, the "best garage" is home, so I explained the cover I wanted as from what I remember (it may of changed) it was limited to the nearest garage or x miles, I told them I had to have cover where the car would be taken home not to the nearest garage regardless of where I was...

I've had banks etc offer cover but none could match the cover I needed, basically wherever I am car to go home or to a destination of my choosing anywhere in the country. Given I'm in Derby if I have a "problem" in say London I'd want said car any myself back here not taking to a nearby / within x miles garage.



On various cars, some of the more memorable ones over the past 20 years:

Water pump seized and took cambelt (and valves) with it. Did not know anything about cars really then, I was about 40 miles from home thankfully a garage was just up the road and they took it in and repaired it and got me a taxi home (expense)

Distributor cap centre pin decided to do a runner. Managed to bodge it with a lot of wire strands inserted. I was only about 2 miles from home and it ran enough to get me back.

Driveshaft breakage. Was lucky to get a tow most of the way back and we managed to push it the rest of the way (the tow was up a hill and its flat after that)

Fuel pump failure (carb engine) walked home collected full fuel can and small squeezy bottle, eventually got car home by repeatedly filling carb up via squeezy bottle. Took a couple of hours but I managed it.

Stop solenoid wire fell off. Interestingly I'd replaced the wiring to it, the failure was in an original PSA connector a bit further up the loom. No problem there except battery was about dead and it was waiting at a massive junction of all places. I managed eventually to push it out the way after two light change sequences so I could sort it out, was too dangerous to even open the bonnet where it stopped. No having any suitable tools with me I just pulled the connector (which was faulty anyway now, old PSA electrics lol) off and jammed the bare wire into the sidelight wiring. :D Got me home once I'd 'rested' the battery enough to give it a whirl. That's what I loved about the XUD, it would start instantly with the slightest turn.

wheeler
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by wheeler »

Citroenmad wrote:insisted on sending a van to check out if the car was repairable even though we told them it wasnt.
Just think though how many people call in every day saying the same thing then a patrol turns up & fixes it, there are too many 'experts' out there that would open the bonnet & see a snapped aux belt & think its the timing belt gone.
The other thing is think how many people try to treat the breakdown services as a car transportation service, buying cars of ebay with no tax, insurance or MOT & want the car taken from Aberdeen to London, just call the AA & saying its not repairable, just send a recovery truck & take it to London. They need to send patrols out to check that peope aint taking the pi55.

As far as the different companies go Green flag dont actualy have any of there own patrols, they are franchises run by individual garages with vans painted up with the green flag livery, they get paid per job so as you can imagine they want to spend as little time on the job as possible & move onto the next, they have no incentive to fix anything & they guys that turn up are not always mechanics.
The AA & RAC guys are all employees (although there are roumours that the RAC might be going onto frachises), For their roadside patrols (not recovery drivers) they both only employ either trained mechanics or people with relevant engineering experiance, they carry a range of common failure parts that are easy enough to fit at the roadside and they are on incentive schemes to repair cars & get them going rather than tow them. They also carry diagnostic equipment & autodata.
As far as other companies like Britannia & GEM I dont know for sure but i believe they run very similar to Greenflag.

jacksun1987
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by jacksun1987 »

I have break down cover with my insurance now. Fuly comp or the trimmings. I was thinking shuld i get rid of aa Save 16 pound a month. But dont have home start. And can only tow in a 10 mile reduies

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TooMany2cvs
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by TooMany2cvs »

evilally wrote: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!
We've been with ADAC for the last couple of years. A big annual saving over the RAC, but especially so when you take the international cover (any country with a border onto the Med, as well as "Europe") into account. We needed to use them the other summer, when the van shat a recently badly replaced CV joint by the roadside in the Dordogne. They recovered us to the nearest VW dealer quickly enough, but sort of forgot to tell the dealer we were on the way. The dealer then spent three days ignoring the large red lump lowering the tone of their forecourt. That wasn't really ADAC's fault, true, but the lack of communication was. It then got really stressful, as they insisted on recovering us back to the UK. Which we didn't want. Eventually, they agreed to pay for us to be recovered to a friend's place, 200km away in France, but we had to organise it ourselves... Fortunately, our own enquiries paid off, and we got sorted locally by forum mates.

The next fun started when we submitted our receipts for accomodation whilst we were waiting on the VW garage. Turned out that the €120/night is just for accomodation. If you spend less than that for accomodation plus food, under the misconception that's what was covered, they will refuse the food portion of the claim. In the end, it did get paid, but...

If there was another show in town, I'd leave ADAC. But there isn't that I can find. Not for full pan-euro cover for anything close to that price. Apparently, the AA patrols can get a bit pissed off at a UK resident in a UK-reg vehicle using an ADAC card, but screw 'em. There's a good reason, and they can't refuse to help you.

If you DO want to leave ADAC, then plan ahead - you need to give them THREE MONTHS notice to cancel. Seriously.

Full story of it all is on our blog.
Part 1 - http://wherevertheroadgoes.com/2011/08/ ... ok-untidy/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Part 2 - http://wherevertheroadgoes.com/2011/08/ ... dy-part-2/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Part 3 - http://wherevertheroadgoes.com/2011/10/ ... dy-part-3/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Chlorate
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Chlorate »

Fun day with the AA yesterday....

Xantia decided to kick me again yesterday (must have known I'm not going to be using her for a while). Battery discharge light wouldn't go off when I got in the car to go home, drove it a little to see if it'd wake up to a nearby service station. Whipped out my multi-meter, Haynes manual and contact cleaner to see if I could mend something obvious. No such luck.
35 miles to drive home at night, I doubted the battery would get me back. Called the AA told them the alternator had packed up, they probably couldn't repair the car and they should send a flatbed for recovery.

Half an hour later a patrol van turns up:
"I'm slightly worried you're in a van and not a truck, I doubt you can fix this unless you have a spare alternator in the back"
"You always get a van first, try giving it a tap that sometimes works".
So he belted the alternator with a hammer and a bit of pipe, battery light went out, 14v at the battery. "Worn brushes, sometimes you can knock a bit of life back into them, that'll get you home".

5 minutes later, just got onto the M1, discharge light on again :evil: .
Pulled onto the hard shoulder at J22 and administered another whallop - battery light went out briefly but promptly lit up again when I got back on the road. Pulled up somewhere relatively safe on the A50 and called them again.

This time "Oh, we're sorry but we're rather busy at the moment, I'll put on the system that we've been out to you before and the repair didn't work. But it could take up to 2 hours I'm afraid".
2 hours later...
"I'm sorry, the garage we called have been delayed, they'll get to you as soon as they can"
"Can you please be sure that they're going to send a flatbed to recover the vehicle?"
"please hold.....they want to send someone out to assess the vehicle first before they do the recovery"
"the vehicle has already been assessed by an AA patrolman, it needs recovering"
"OK I've told them"

1 hour later...getting quite cold now
Poxy tow truck turns up.
"We have a problem, can't tow hydropneumatic cars"
"Yeah you can, it just locks off"
"no it doesn't, the engine needs to be running to maintain the ride height, it doesn't work like normal suspension"
"I've had one of these before, and it was fine pop the bonnet and let me have a look at it"
"the alternator is dead.."
"oh, and you want it on a flatbed"
"yes"

Another phonecall to the AA
"I've been told their flatbed is just finishing another job and they'll be with you within the hour, but they hope to be with you in much less than that"

1 hour later and approximately 6 hours since I left work the Xantia is finally on the back of a truck. Not a good day.

On closer inspection the receipt from the recovery chap was amusing.
Apparently his name was Log, and I have a Cit reon Za ntia (spaces added to fool the wordfilter) with a faulty altonotor.

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Xaccers
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by Xaccers »

When the AA was taken over by Centrica and they used 3rd party recovery companies they had an issue where a flatbed would turn up, try and fix it and if they couldn't they'd recover the customer, but charge the AA for a mechanic call out and the flatbed call out.
One of my colleagues' role was to phone customers and confirm if they had two vehicles turn up (good) or just one flatbed (bad - AA being scammed by recovery company).
She also had to monitor where patrol vans were and report any suspicious behaviour, such as deliberately parking in an area unlikely to be called out from causing other patrol vans to do more than their fair share of the work.
After I left the AA I believe they gave the recovery drivers 1 of 3 choices; 10K severence pay, retrain as a patrolman, be tupe'd over to one of the 3rd party recovery firms.
Centrica's involvment with the AA was the start of it going really downhill. Before then of the three times I had to call out a patrol they all arrived within 10 minutes and got me back on the road.

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CitroJim
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by CitroJim »

Gosh, that's not a good advert for the AA at all...

I don't know if it's my imagination but the sight of an AA vehicle (van or lorry) is rare these days. It seems the RAC is much more in evidence...

If some illiterate oik took a big hammer and bar to my alternator I'd be most displeased and that would be the beginning of a serious complaint against the company...

last time I needed to use Britannia I told then a flatbed was needed, it was a hydropneumatic automatic that couldn't be towed and unless they had an ES9 ignition coil it was not fixable by the roadside. In less than an hour a flatbed turned up and the experience was a happy one.

andy5
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by andy5 »

Things keep changing. Years ago you could join Citroen Assist for about £60 a year, which was with Green Flag. But now it's only offered on new cars as far as I can see, and they may have moved the contract around once or twice.

After a few years without, or just very basic breakdown cover with Green Flag included in my previous Zurich main insurance, I recently took out a policy with Quoteline Direct, which is a broker discounted version of Axa. £59 a year including European cover.

The other choice for inclusive of Europe would have been ADAC for about €79, though as pointed out above in the UK that puts you back with the AA here.

Or maybe you don't need formal foreign cover. Twice when I or a friend have broken down in Germany we've been helped by someone from ADAC who turned up in a few minutes completely by chance and then didn't even bother to check membership, and in fact we weren't members. I had an auxiliary belt on the BX, and another time we got a bit of a lash-up and then escorted to an exhaust place with his

wheeler
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by wheeler »

andy5 wrote:Things keep changing. Years ago you could join Citroen Assist for about £60 a year, which was with Green Flag. But now it's only offered on new cars as far as I can see, and they may have moved the contract around once or twice.
The AA currently have the Citroen assist contract that comes with new cars for the 1st year but you can extend it after that.

andy5
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by andy5 »

wheeler wrote:
andy5 wrote:Things keep changing. Years ago you could join Citroen Assist for about £60 a year, which was with Green Flag. But now it's only offered on new cars as far as I can see, and they may have moved the contract around once or twice.
The AA currently have the Citroen assist contract that comes with new cars for the 1st year but you can extend it after that.
But is that mainly for cars in the scheme from new, or can people still enter separately after several years?

pug_owner2002
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by pug_owner2002 »

I jumped ship from the AA to the RAC and wow! The RAC are rubbish!
First time I tried to use them they told me it would be a 6 hour! wait due to the weather, so I limped the car home.
last time (November) I spent 25 mins waiting for my phone call to be answered & 2 & 3/4 hours waiting to be towed.

wheeler
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by wheeler »

andy5 wrote:
wheeler wrote:
andy5 wrote:Things keep changing. Years ago you could join Citroen Assist for about £60 a year, which was with Green Flag. But now it's only offered on new cars as far as I can see, and they may have moved the contract around once or twice.
The AA currently have the Citroen assist contract that comes with new cars for the 1st year but you can extend it after that.
But is that mainly for cars in the scheme from new, or can people still enter separately after several years?
No, im pretty sure you can only get it with either a brand new car or an approved used car when bought from a Citroen dealer & you can extend it on both of them when it runs out but you cat just phone up & join Citroen assist.

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rabenson
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by rabenson »

I insure my car through Adrian flux brokers. their flux rescue is £62 per year for full European roadside assistance, vehicle rescue and home service - excellent value.

PS I have used the service both here and in France and it was excellent.

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TooMany2cvs
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Re: Breakdown cover

Post by TooMany2cvs »

Had to test ADAC out yesterday. A small cloud started following the 205 - pulled into a layby, opened the bonnet, coolant everywhere. The hose from 'stat housing to heater matrix had burst, just where it disappears round the side of the (TU1) head. Arse. No coolant, no water, no tools. Out with the mobile.

Initially, I rang the UK number given on the ADAC paperwork. That went through to a German (but bilingual) guy at the AA. Yes, they'd come and sort it, but they needed ADAC to request it. I had to call Germany. OK, so I call Germany - the guy who answers is very helpful, very friendly, and speaks perfect English. He's happy to ring back (from, it turned out, a Slovenian number - outsourcing to third world countries, eh?).

Half an hour later, I simultaneously get a call from the AA's patrol guy, and a text from their control centre. 15 mins. Sure enough, 15 mins later, a yellow Renault van rolls up. Within half an hour, we were sorted - hose removed, manky (oil soaked) bit cut out and a joiner piece inserted, refilled and bled. That was it. An hour and a quarter from call to driving off.

I'm happy with that, confusion over phone number notwithstanding.