Newest Review: ... in a dark remote part of Scotland!) I phoned the AA, after some annoying automated menu's the phone rang, and rang, and rang - I waited 3... more
Don't knock it 'til you tried it
The AA Breakdown Cover
Member Name: Namek_Assasin
The AA Breakdown Cover
Advantages: Value for money, customer services
Disadvantages: None yet
It seems that both companies have people who rave about them and equal amounts of people who aren't satisfied with either or believe roadside cover is overpriced.
Usual format here, I will go through a few basic details and then give you my personal experiences and opinions.
Who are they?
The Automobile Association was created in 1905, started by some motoring enthusiast's in London. They put up thousands of roadside safety signs in the early 1900's. In 1949 they started roadside recovery, firstly only available in London at that time but now available throughout the UK. You may remember back in 2007 they cut 10,000 jobs and dropped a number of patrols across the UK to "improve efficiency". The company is the 20th largest in the UK. Finally in 2008, The AA fielded 5.6 million calls with 3.6 million requiring assistance.
What they offer?
Cover for your car and yourself. Whether it be your motor not starting on your driveway all the way through to breaking down on the motorway.
Roadside - This is the basic option, it provides assistance if you've broken down at least 1/4 of a mile away from home. If they can not fix the problem there and then they will two you too the nearest garage where you pay for any repairs.
Relay - Regardless of where you break down on the UK mainland if they're unable to fix your vehicle or arrange a local repair within a reasonable time, they will transport you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers to any mainland UK destination of your choice.
Homestart - This covers you throughout the UK but also from your home, meaning if your car doesn't start due to a freeze for example then they will aim to fix it at your house. If unable then again you will be towed to a local garage.
Staymobile - All the cover from the above packages but they also provide a courtesy car for 72 hours use, travel fairs or overnight accommodation whilst your car is being fixed.
Breakdown Repair Cover - This cover's you for repair bill's on your car, if you break down they will tow you to a garage and pay the bill for you. Very good value if something like your head gasket goes. There is an excess payable of £25.
I've had to call out The AA 6 or 7 times since I have been a member, every time but once they have fixed the issue at roadside. Once changed my tyre and the rest was kick starting my duff battery. The one time it couldn't get fixed at roadside they towed me to my brother in laws garage. It is worth noting that you don't pay anything extra whether they have fixed the car at the side of the road or just towed you.
When you breakdown you just call the number printed on your credit card style membership card and quote your member number which is printed on the front of it. Tell them your location and they call someone out. The length of time they get to you depends on a few factors, time of day, location of patrol vehicle etc...I have never waited any longer than 1 hour 15 mins. The person on the other end of the phone has always been friendly, helpful and try there best to keep you calm. The patrol person has always been polite and eager to help, offering advice and always informing you of there progress.
Excellent value for money I believe, when you think how much it would cost you just for a tow somewhere (£80+). If you have an older car, not great with car's in general or just want peace of mind then I couldn't recommend this anymore. Some people will see car cover as pointless, however they wouldn't be saying that if they just had to fork out for a hefty repair bill and tow at the side of the road.
Summary: Excellent value for money