rangerovers.pub
The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
Member
Joined:
Posts: 628

I don't wish to temp fate, but are there any recommendations for providing breakdown cover?
My p38 is currently not covered and it is coming up to 22 years old. I occasionally tow a trailer or caravan and I don't need European cover.
I would prefer a breakdown service that calls a local garage out rather than ones that have their own fleet like the RAC or AA.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 551

The Guild of Experienced Motorists (GEM) offers an insurance based system using local contractors. You call them, they make the arrangements. You pay the contractor and claim back the cost from GEM.

Worked fine for me many years ago when my SAAB 900 blew a CV joint and had to be recovered.

GEM Members only so membership fee puts the price up. Back in the day it was an attractive deal as the total was rather less than AA, RAC et al. Only reason I joined up as soon as I'd got enough driving years in. Long time ago now. But prices have crept up over the years. Pushing £80 now I think so may no longer be decent value.

Clive

Member
Joined:
Posts: 41

I have been with Green Flag for years and have called them out on three occasions each of which they have dealt with efficiently using local contractors. Note that they do two types of cover - Personal and Vehicle. Personal only covers vehicles under 16 years old, Vehicle covers any vehicle age so make sure you select the right cover.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 309

I've used Autoaid for years now. It has gone up to £60 but covers me and Pauline and they don't seem to worry about what cars you have. One call and they send out a local contractor. Only used once when the E38 blew a bottom hose. Worked well then.

Member
avatar
Joined:
Posts: 6293

Don't totally discount the AA though. I've got full AA cover as an included benefit on my Lloyds bank account which covers me irrespective of the vehicle or even if I am only a passenger. I've used it three times. First was on the Classic LSE with a loaded car transporter on the back and the serpentine belt tensioner bearing gave way. They came out with a recovery truck, put the car on that, hitched the trailer up to the back and took car, trailer and me home. Second time was on the P38 when the water pump bearing exploded but we weren't going directly home. They arranged a hire car for us to continue our journey (and were very apologetic that they couldn't give us a Range Rover and the best they could offer was a Zafira) and recovery to home for the car. We got home in the hire car about 9pm that night and the car arrived at 11pm. Third time was while the P38 was being resprayed and I was using the Maserati. Parked it for about 6 hours only to find the battery had gone flat, got a jump start and it appeared to be charging (interior light got brighter when I revved it anyway) so set off for home. First roundabout I came to and had to stop, being an auto, I couldn't keep the revs up and it died on me. AA man came out, confirmed what I thought (short circuit rectifier in the alternator), disconnected the alternator, put a fully charged battery on it then followed me home in case it died again. I couldn't fault the service at all on any occasion.

Continental cover is a different story. None of the usual specialists will cover anything over 16 years old and don't do personal cover. Up until 2000, for 84 Euros a year, ADAC, the German equivalent to the AA would give a similar level of personal cover for anywhere in Europe but they stopped doing that unless you have a German address. I didn't realise until earlier this year when I realised I hadn't renewed it for this year. Considering I must have done at least 15,000 miles on the other side of the Channel thinking I was covered when I wasn't. Good job I didn't need them.... I haven't spoken to the AA to see how many arms and legs they want to extend the cover I already have to cover all of Europe, but the RAC will do personal European cover for around £350 a year which seems about the only option these days.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 41

I’ve had good and bad service from both the AA and RAC although it was all a long time ago. Apart from this they are just so expensive and a complete pain at renewal time. Of colleagues, friends and family/relations this seems to be the biggest gripe with both of them.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 20

I've been with the RAC for years & always been happy with the service when I have needed them. The last time I needed them was about six months ago when my new to me Jaguar S-type had a puncture while I was on my way to work. It was dark & pissing down with rain & I had to wait a couple of hours for them to arrive but I didn't fancy getting soaked & dirty changing the wheel with a jack & wheel nut spanner I had never used before. If I hadn't been on my way to work I would probably have changed the wheel myself.

About four years ago I had to call out the RAC several times for a flat battery on my P38 when I ended up needing to use the EKA & synchronise the key fob. I had the same guy each time & he was quite knowledgable about the P38 & got me going each time. I searched around the forums & discovered that my flat battery problems where caused by the remote receiver waking up the BECM all the time with spurious radio signals. I had previously lived in a rural area away from other houses & it was only after I moved to town & had to park the P38 on the street that I encountered the battery drain problem.

Other call outs I have had over the years that I can recall are:-

The clutch cable on my Citroën BX snapping as I approached a toll booth on a motorway in the south of France on a Sunday afternoon. We were recovered off the motorway then taken to a small family garage where they fabricated a new cable & fixed the problem.

The water pump on my Audi A6 ruptured when I was in a rural area in France on a Sunday. We were recovered to the nearest Audi garage & provided with a hire car. It took about three days for the car to be fixed & cost me €800.

The offside front tyre on my Audi A6 went 'Bang!' as I was driving along a fast A road. I was able to pull over partly onto the narrow grass verge. I put my warning triangle back down the road & had the flashers going but really didn't fancy trying to jack up the front of the car & change the wheel while traffic was passing so closely. The RAC guy parked his van down the road & quickly lifted the car with a trolley jack & had the spare wheel on within a couple of minutes.

I've always been satisfied with the service I've had from the RAC & they are the only operator that offer European breakdown cover on twenty year old vehicles like P38s.

I now live in France more than half the time & have re-registered my P38 on French number plates so cannot have breakdown cover from the RAC or any other UK service. There is no equivalent of the RAC or AA in France as breakdown cover is included with your car insurance but this isn't roadside assistance just a recovery to the nearest suitable garage & a taxi home.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 29

We're with Green Flag and the twice that they've been needed got a good service.
Just for info, if you have an accident they will recover you, the AA won't.
My wife (who was driving alone) was left on the side of the road after an accident, she had been with the AA for twelve years and all the lady on the phone said before putting the phone down was "we are a breakdown
service not a recovery service".

Member
Joined:
Posts: 1161

I had RAC membership as an extra with my Barclays bank account.

I broke down towing a large caravan on my way to Newquay. To cut a long story short the RAC came out and would have moved the car to Newquay but not the caravan... I had to get an independent garage to move the car and Caravan to Newquay.

I hired a car on holiday in Newquay, after the holiday the campsite allowed me to leave my car and caravan stored there, returned home in the hire car.

Took the advice of a few people on this forum including Gilbert iIrc? Joined the AA, went back down to Newquay in my other car, had a few extra days in Newquay, called the AA out, they moved the broken down car back to home in Yorkshire (took a few days for them to get it back), I towed the caravan back from Newquay with my other car.

I obviously took advantage. I doubt RAC would have moved the car with ruined engine first to Newquay and then come out again and move the car to home even without the caravan... And I needed to be there with the broken car to pretend to the AA that I'd been driving that car in Newquay, so I kept my other car out of sight before they arrived, told them I didn't need a lift home thanks because I'd hired a car, no need to mention the caravan.

I think the AA would have moved the car and caravan, either from the breakdown position to Newquay or from Newquay to home, but not both. Could hardly ask a breakdown firm to move a broken car to one place and then come out again and move it to another place.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 41

“Could hardly ask a breakdown firm to move a broken car to one place and then come out again and move it to another place.”

I did just this. When my P38’s crank position sensor went AWOL on home from work one Friday evening I had no idea why the engine had just cut out and wouldn’t restart. Green Flag came out and couldn’t diagnose/fix the problem at the roadside so the recovery truck was summoned. Normally I would have this recovered to my Indy but it was late, Indy shut for weekend and his yard secured behind locked gates and nowhere to park outside. I asked if I could be recovered home that evening and could they then come back out on Monday morning and transport the vehicle from home to the Indy. They did this without quibble.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 29

Our Green Flag cover is through the Caravan club Mayday cover.
Part of the package we have covers a breakdown on the way to a caravanning holiday. They will take your caravan to site for the holiday and then home again if the car has not been repaired.
You can also add another car to the policy for just £25.

Member
Joined:
Posts: 628

Thanks for the comments guys. Plenty of room for thought.
My experience with the AA was many, many years ago. Anyone remember the yellow huts where they kept an emergency gallon can of petrol inside? You were issued with your own key to the door. The can would be stolen now, with the hut as well no doubt. Or the AA motorbike sidecars who would give you a smart salute as they passed?
Both the AA and RAC were flogged off to venture capital companies and then cut to the bone. It must be 20 or 30 years since I used them but I remember making calls and being told 2 to 3 hours wait. They are also expensive now.
I am tempted to go back to Green Flag/ Mayday through the caravan club and also add an extra car for £25.
I need to check out Autoaid and Start rescue as well.