Breakdown cover - any good ones?

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Richard_C
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Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Richard_C »

My roadside assistance/recovery cover is bundled with car insurance, but I'm changing insurer so need to choose who to go with. I want full on assistance, recovery and Europe cover so I can 'file and forget' until next year. Can do a 2 car deal if its worth it, wife's car cover expires in 4 weeks. Need to cover car, not driver, as the offspring sometimes use our cars when they are home for a few days. 2 new-ish cars. It's pretty important that they would turn out to change a wheel after a flat (with our own spare) because my wife certainly couldn't manage it - this isn't a sexist comment, she could once but age robs the wrists of strength. Chances of a call out are slim, can only remember 4 in 48 years of driving, but when you need it you need it to work.

Trouble is, I started to look at reviews and for every positive review there's a bunch slagging the company off: took an hour to answer the phone, took 6 days to arrive, broke the engine, stole the battery, ate the dog and charged me £££s for the privilege. RAC, AA, Green Flag, Britannia .....

Suggestions, recommendations?

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I've used a few - AA, Green Flag, Allianz, but dumped the AA after 25 as they kept hiking their prices and got fed up of ringing them up to negotiate it down every year.

Now, as with my insurance - I use the comparison sites for anything outside the AA and RAC - pick and choose your cover options - it's all laid out for you at a glance and easy to check the options - simples :-D . The beauty is once you have set up everything once, it is there already for next year so you don't have to go through the process again.

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bobins
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by bobins »

For an overview of goods and bads and what's on offer:
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/car-i ... down-cover

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Sloppysod
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Sloppysod »

Used these for a few years, many many years ago https://www.motoringassist.com/

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Michel
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Michel »

I recently re-joined the AA because I'd been away long enough to be classed as a new member, and got a great deal on cover for both Mrs. Michel and me, with home-start, breakdown and nationwide recovery for about £113. It was the cheapest of all of them, and TBH, all I really want is to get home with the car and decide what to do with it myself

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Paul-R
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Paul-R »

I was with the RAC for many years and they gave me good service. They sorted me out when I had the head gasket fail on my old Montego in France. On two separate occasions in fact. Both times they put us up in hotel overnight while stuff was sorted out. The first time was on our way down when I was towing a four wheel trailer and had a bike on the roof bars.

They arranged for a hire car (a diesel Range Rover) with a tow bar which we had for the maximum ten days. We met up with our poorly Montego in Calais and gave the RR back. The Montego with trailer was pushed onto the ferry and, when we arrived in Dover there was a breakdown truck waiting to transport us back home.

The second time we were on our way home in the Montego and they picked us in Paris, put us up overnight and then transported us to Calais and transported us from Dover to home.

The third big call was in 2012 when we had fuel pump problems with our Xsara while touring Europe. We broke down in the Czech Republic and they arranged for a breakdown truck. The truck took us to his garage where he fitted a second hand pump to get us on our way. Unfortunately this pump then failed when we were in Hungary and this time they arranged for the Citroen dealer to pick the car up. They didn't have a pump in stock so the RAC paid for two nights hotel while one was ordered from the factory.

As a bonus the insurance covered the cost of any parts fitted (not labour) so I was reimbursed for two pumps and seals.

The only problem was the price. We couldn't fault them for service. The cover included car and any driver and also my wife and I for any car we drove. I got a new bank account which includes European breakdown cover (amongst other things). It only includes me as a driver so is not really suitable for your purposes.

FWIW we've not tested it for a major breakdown yet but they responded pretty quickly when I flattened the battery in the Xsara in Calais a couple of years ago. They also don't reimburse any costs for parts fitted.

One further thought. Before I went with the bank account cover I was seriously considering ADAC, the German motoring organisation. There were quite a few posts here about this a few years ago.

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Paul-R
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

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Peter.N.
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Peter.N. »

I have been with the AA since 1958 and they have given me good service, I think I have had my moneys worth over the years. A couple of years ago the price was getting ridiculous so I threatened to leave but was quite rapidly given a reduction of about £60 so I stayed.

I must say my experience of them has been very good, they usually arrive fairly promptly and on most occasions the car has has been recovered which is all I want really. If it can be repaired at the roadside I always used to be able to do it myself but most cars are now so reliable I don't even carry a toolkit.

Peter

Richard_C
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Richard_C »

Thanks for inputs.

Looks like Green Flag in the lead with their online discount, and be careful to check price rise when auto renew comes round in 12 months. I suspect that with them, and with all of the insurers who use "a network of carefully selected agents", its a roll of the dice how quick and how good the person who attends is but at least you should get recovered. AA and RAC employ their own people but still use agents at some times and when busy. All get their fair share of awful reviews, and a share of good reviews.

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Michel
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Michel »

I think generally people don't review services online if they're happy with them. Sure, there may be some good reviews, and some bad ones. I've hardly ever left an online review, and if I have, it's been for a small business that may benefit from it, not a large corporation like the AA or GF or whoever..

Richard_C
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Richard_C »

Agree - I never book a hotel if ALL the reviews are bad, I often book a hotel if some of them are. Same with forums, people post on the technical ones if they have a problem, not if they don't.

Just back from a trip to New Zealand where the owner of some very high standard apartments that we really enjoyed staying in (lots of good reviews, one awful one) told us the person who left the awful one had stayed without complaint, then emailed a couple of weeks later demanding a refund "or else" .... told me it is happening more and more. Blackmail by threat of review.

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momag46
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by momag46 »

I’ve been in the AA since 1968 ( Peter.N beat that by ten years :!: ) and like Peter I’ve found them very good. I also found that by talking to them you can get some good discounts.
I had a CX Safari with a pipe problem (some other time) and called them out four times within four weeks, once with the suspension almost on the floor and they managed to get the car onto the truck and to my Indy garage.

Couldn’t knock them.

My brother-in-law was with Greenflag and the breakdown guy wanted to jump start his Focus using 24v ‘cos it wouldn’t start using 12v - he told the guy to go away and cancelled his membership.

Maurice

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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Homer »

Peter.N. wrote:
15 May 2018, 11:17
I have been with the AA since 1958 and they have given me good service,


Wouldn't touch them again after they left me stranded for six hours in the Peak District with a BX which had dumped all it's LHM. I rang them, told them I needed a recovery truck, it would have to be a flatbed as no suspension, they sent out a small van, guy took one look and said you need a recovery truck. Then disappeared as he had no phone signal.

Then I had a cam belt snap and a repeat of the same joke.

All that was back in the early 1990's but I still give the guy a hard time for it when he's trying to flog their over priced product outside ASDA.

I use https://www.startrescue.co.uk/ - great service - have called them twice and they were out with a recovery truck within 30 mins both times, and kept me informed of what was happening. And very reasonable price.

Peter.N.
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Re: Breakdown cover - any good ones?

Post by Peter.N. »

I broke down at the A30 slip road on the M5 at Exeter and they were there in about 7 minutes, mind you they do use Exeter services as a depot.

Peter