When I renewed my motor insurance with Budget this year, they gave me a years' free breakdown cover with DAS. Admittedly, they only offered this to me as an incentive to renew after I told them that I'd had a cheaper quote from somewhere else (they matched the quote too - yay!) I only had the most basic AA cover but the DAS scheme gives far more coverage than I had with the AA as it includes homestart and the 'get-you-home' service which I hadn't had before. They will also come out for the most mundane reasons such as a puncture or if your keys are locked in the car. I know the AA will do this too but the only time I ever telephoned the AA because I had a flat tyre, the operator asked me in horrified tones if I really felt that I needed help just to change a tyre. As it happens, I probably could do it myself but the wheel nuts were on too tightly for me to undo (I blame Kwik Fit!). The other services include onward transportation if your car is immobilised or hotel costs up to a maximum of £250. They will also contact people for you if you are going to be delayed. I have only used this service once and everyone involved was extremely polite and helpful. It was difficult to explain where I was (somewhere in the Brecon Beacons isn't the clearest location to explain) but the operator patiently worked it out, even consulting her colleagues and a map to make sure that they had it right. The breakdown van came really quickly considering my location and the fact that DAS don't give lone female priority (they say that their service is so fast that they don't need to). The reason they are so fast is that they use local garages, in fact, I'm not convinced that they actually have DAS breakdown vans, I think it is all done my independent garages. Nevertheless, the chap who rescued me couldn't have been better. He was really friendly and seemed to know what he was doing. He had even bought a flask of co
ffee because it was raining and he thought that I might need warming up - how kind if that! He got my car going fine and gave me a list of things that he thought needed to be done to make sure that it didn't happen again and recommended a reputable garage in my local area. DAS sent me a letter and a short questionnaire about three days later to ensure that I had received satisfactory service which is not something the AA does. I have heard criticism that they tend to make little effort to repair your car at the time but prefer to tow you to the nearest garage but that wasn't suggested to me. I had initialled been concerned that DAS were not contactable from the moterway breakdown phones which can apparently only connect you to the AA or RAC but the way around this is to tell the police operator that you need to be connected to DAS. I don't know if this works because I wasn't on the motorway but that's apparently what should happen. I have been really pleased with DAS partly because it was free and partly due to the service I received. To be honest, I would probably continue with them even if I had to pay provided it wasn't drastically more expensive than the AA. I suppose if they use all independant garages, the service you receive might vary - I don't suppose they all bring you flasks of coffee - but the questionnaire is designed to keep tabs on the service that is being provided. All in all, a pretty good service.