Car breakdown insurance

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NeillNeill Frets: 372
Swapped cars last year and the "new" one came with a year's breakdown insurance which is about to expire.   I'm tempted to go "off grid" this year as I think most of our mileage will be just local stuff and I have a very good local garage, but my wife will probably insist we take out some sort of cover. 

I'm told the quality of response varies year to year with different companies so I'm interested in any views on this and whether there is a consensus on who's the best at the moment.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3352

    We get breakdown cover with our bank account.  It's one of those ones that comes with a monthly fee, but gives us breakdown cover and a basic travel insurance policy, plus lets you use a card abroad without some of the charges.  There might be one or two other minor benefits as well.

    We actually claimed on the travel insurance a few months ago.  We had a holiday booked in the UK but had to cancel it as my wife's nan died.  Turned out the travel insurance covered that.

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8439
    My motor insurance tried to bundle breakdown insurance with it. I sorted out my own breakdown insurance for half the price. Turns out their bundle was with the same breakdown people that I went to independently, and the motor insurance were trying to pull a fast one, hoping I wouldn't notice.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • cj73cj73 Frets: 617
    I've got it as part of my current account as well but I've also got a separate one through a work benefits scheme because it gives a lot more coverage.  The one with the bank account is fairly limited, it covers roadside repairs or if not possible towing the car to a garage within 5 miles.
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  • rich75rich75 Frets: 10
    Although I haven't needed to call them out so far and therefore can't comment on experience of the callout service (I really hope I haven't just jinxed myself!) I use AutoAid, which costs just over £40 per year fully comp. They're quite highly thought of on Moneysavingexpert.com and I think you can sometimes get special offers through them as well.
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  • adamm82adamm82 Frets: 358
    I have mine through Barclays which gives RAC cover, I pay a monthly fee but I get travel insurance too and as I have a loan they give me some cash back each month so all in all a few quid a month.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    Crikey I thought I had better check my bank account in case I was already paying for it...I'm not.

    @rich75 thanks for that - I hadn't heard of Autoaid, but that's about a third of what I was paying a couple of years ago.    

       
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  • DiscoStuDiscoStu Frets: 2769
    edited January 12
    I've just sorted my car insurance and breakdown this week. The bundled breakdown wasn't too bad a price but was with Green Flag who don't have the best rating so didn't take it.

    I was with Gem before but the renewal was £95. Googled options and having read loads of reviews I have switched to AutoAid. £43.31 for full cover.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2230
    I used to have cover with the bank but stopped that two years ago and saved quite well. I haven't replaced it because I can change a spare wheel and much of my mileage is within this county or the neighbouring ones so my local recovery man is good for that. On longer journeys Herself is usually present and carries AA cover for any vehicle she is in (she likes to have it but would probably call me first anyway in the event of an incident). At present I don't feel obliged to get cover although I keep my eyes open for a deal.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30905
    Full all-options RAC membership has been worth every penny I’ve ever spent on it.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    The thing is guys, in 45 years and over half a million miles I've only ever had to call for help twice. First time was a brand new Citroen that was on lease, the second was an old Porsche that I had on a classic policy for I think £20 a year.  So I don't really see the point in paying any more than the absolute minimum - does anyone take a different view? 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30905
    Neill said:
    The thing is guys, in 45 years and over half a million miles I've only ever had to call for help twice. First time was a brand new Citroen that was on lease, the second was an old Porsche that I had on a classic policy for I think £20 a year.  So I don't really see the point in paying any more than the absolute minimum - does anyone take a different view? 
    When your car breaks down on holiday 400 miles from home, on a Sunday when you have to be back at work/kids at school the next day, and the only other option is to pay for a tow truck for the car and train/bus tickets for your family to get home, you'll realise why it's worth the money.

    Your call, but that one day saved as much money as I've spent on RAC membership in over 20 years.

    It's also quite handy when you leave the house as usual to go to work and the car just won't start.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • breakdown cover is worth every penny afaic. usually use at least once a year. peace of mind for whem mrs midlife is out driving.   been with green flag about 10 yrs, sometimes theyve come amazingly quick, within 30 minutes, other times been a couple of hours.
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 12082
    Just beware of some of the so-called breakdown cover that is offered when you renew your car insurance on comparison sites. The last one I looked at, was simply an hour’s roadside assistance, and after that, you were on your own, matey.


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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    You're all giving sound advice I know, and thanks.

    I think my objection to shelling out for this "peace of mind" harks back to the days when hardly anyone had recovery insurance because the vast majority of breakdowns could be fixed - often by the owner - at the roadside.  I have "broken down" many times, but apart from the two occasions mentioned I've always been able to identify and repair the fault myself. 

    I recall having this conversation with a recovery driver a few years ago and he said 90% of call outs end up with the vehicle being taken to a garage usually because it's an electrical issue and needs specialist equipment.  I suppose it's the price we pay for cars being vastly more reliable than when I started motoring.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6811
    edited January 12
    Brittania. Not even sure of the cost TBH. It’s personal cover for me and MrsTheWeary so covers any vehicle ( we have 3 between us).
    When I first learned to drive my car broke down and I didn’t have cover. My father came out to where I was and called the AA on his cover, which worked. He told me he was never, ever doing that again and I joined the AA the next day. 

    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4556
    If you don’t want your money to pay the road lobby, have a look at the Environmental Transport Association. They use local recovery services rather than their own drivers. They’ve saved me several times over the many years I’ve been with them. When my engine caught fire in a remote part of mid Wales they were there in an hour and towed me to a garage a hundred miles away (round the corner to where I was heading that day).
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6811
    If you don’t want your money to pay the road lobby, have a look at the Environmental Transport Association. They use local recovery services rather than their own drivers. They’ve saved me several times over the many years I’ve been with them. When my engine caught fire in a remote part of mid Wales they were there in an hour and towed me to a garage a hundred miles away (round the corner to where I was heading that day).
    That’s what Green Flag do as well. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4556
    The difference is that ETA don’t lobby the government to raise speed limits and build more roads. The money I pay them, if it doesn’t have to pay for my recovery, goes into promoting cycling, walking and public transport.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6811
    The difference is that ETA don’t lobby the government to raise speed limits and build more roads. The money I pay them, if it doesn’t have to pay for my recovery, goes into promoting cycling, walking and public transport.
    Ahh, interesting. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    If you don’t want your money to pay the road lobby, have a look at the Environmental Transport Association. They use local recovery services rather than their own drivers. They’ve saved me several times over the many years I’ve been with them. When my engine caught fire in a remote part of mid Wales they were there in an hour and towed me to a garage a hundred miles away (round the corner to where I was heading that day).
    @thermionic ;That is interesting.  Quote is about £90 a year for me, I will give that some thought, thanks..
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  • shrinkwrapshrinkwrap Frets: 120
    The weirdest thing about breakdown cover is that I used it twice in the last ten years and both times I was parked in the same street, near the Tate gallery on a weekend. I don't live near by and I don't go to the Tate often.
    One time the radiator hose had burst, the other time, on another car, the battery decided to die.
    So yep very useful to have - mine is also via Barclays.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2230
    These days a lot of cars require at least a diagnostic handset to trouble shoot and even then you'd be hard pressed to get anything much done on the mechanicals. Simple electrical faults can be sorted given time and a multimeter or probe tester. the biggest downside with modern cars is the complete lack of a spare wheel which is substituted for a bottle of gunk and a pump. Now often the hole seems too big for the gunk to work properly but by then you've ruined the tyre for sure and pissed off the quick fitter that now has to clean the rim of the sticky gunk before he can charge you a fortune for a new tyre.
    Punctures don't seem to be getting less for me, if anything I get more these days and since they are all branded tyres a puncture works out expensive what ever 'cover' you had. You might get home on a recovery vehicle late at night but in the morning you are at home with a flat tyre!

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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 2192
    AutoAid. I've been with them for a number of years and had 1 or 2 call outs, handled well. They do use local contractors so your experience may vary, but IME the local folks have been better than the dedicated breakdown companies, who to be fair always did what they promised but usually took a very long time to do it. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30905
    ESBlonde said:

    the biggest downside with modern cars is the complete lack of a spare wheel which is substituted for a bottle of gunk and a pump. Now often the hole seems too big for the gunk to work properly but by then you've ruined the tyre for sure and pissed off the quick fitter that now has to clean the rim of the sticky gunk before he can charge you a fortune for a new tyre.
    I won't buy a car with that. A 50mph 'space saver' spare wheel is acceptable, since most cars don't have the room to carry the size of wheel you normally find on anything bigger than a 1-litre shopping trolley now.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6811
    I started looking at ETA but their exclusions are different than Brittania’s and they wouldn’t cover my camper. Although Green Flag ( using a similar local network) would. 
    So, probably staying where I am but worth looking at the small print sometimes. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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