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Breakdown assist Cover other than AA

  • 07-08-2021 9:52am
    Registered Users Posts: 453 ✭✭ Nickindublin

    Just got my renewal from the AA and it has gone up 36%. They have added an installment fee to the admin fee and are now charging me for home start. Last Year it was €124 for Roadside and €12 Admin fee with home start free. This year it is €130 for Roadside €24.50 for Home Start Admin Fee €12 and installment Fee €18. I rang them up and queried it and got some sh... that home start is only free for year one when i have being with them 4 years. Installment Fee is because i pay monthly which i never paid before. So i cancelled it.

    So i am looking for an alternative. I cant add it through my insurance until renewal. Anyone with suggestion or experience is greatly appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,481 ✭✭✭ Bazzy

    I had cover with them for a long time along with insurance, The renewal for both insurance and the cover went sky high so I jumped ship I didn't bother ringing them I was about to pull the trigger with them lads but my new insurance had breakdown cover.

    I had two WOEFUL experiences with the AA I was left stranded when a starter motor gave up and both times they sent a sub contracted recovery truck with no notion of trying to diagnose or repair the fault just where do you want it towed to.

    i had to walk with two baby car seats about 3k as they couldn't get a taxi, thankfully a neighbour seen me and gave me a lift.

    At least with them lads you'll not get caught for the price of a tow.

    Id say theres big changes happening in the AA Conor Faughan jumped ship not so long ago

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,468 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj

    I had two WOEFUL experiences with the AA I was left stranded when a starter motor gave up and both times they sent a sub contracted recovery truck with no notion of trying to diagnose or repair the fault just where do you want it towed to.

    Whereas an AA truck would have installed a replacement starter motor on the spot and sent you merrily on your way?

    I'm pretty sure the only solution (in the field) for a broken starter motor is a replacement - either new or recon. So even if they sent out an AA van, chances are that the service they'd have offered would have been the same as what you got from that local indie.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,436 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko

    When is your insurance up for renewal? It is a standard part of most policies now.

    You might be best just winging it for a few months, and biting the bullet and paying for a tow truck if the worst happens. If you have a decent relationship with whoever does your servicing, they'll have contacts to arrange a tow truck as required.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,246 ✭✭✭✭ Esel

    You probably have breakdown cover on your current policy already. Most companies offer it as standard.

    Not your ornery onager

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,481 ✭✭✭ Bazzy

    The problem at the time was not starting it turned out to be a starter motor when diagnosed by a garage, I was paying for roadside assistance not a recovery the gentleman that arrived had no interest in even opening the bonnet. He merely wanted the towing eye to winch it onto the back of the truck

    This was the following day after trying to leave me waiting for 4 hours the night before.

    A lot of the other companies use AA which is why they drive a lot of unbranded AA vans merely stating customer service or breakdown support.

    If you believe their marketing they "fix 8 out of 10 cars at the road side" is based on some week a year ago if you check the terms and conditions

    They charge for a premium product and offer a budget service in my experience

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,853 ✭✭✭ Tzardine

    Have always found the AA to be fantastic. They have got me out of a hole on many an occasion. I would not be without it, even though I have the breakdown cover already on my main and classic policies. The biggest advantage of the AA is that they will bring your car anywhere in Ireland when it breaks down whereas any other policies just bring you to the nearest garage or within a measly range of the breakdown. The AA brought my car from Blarney in Cork to Clane in Kildare when my fuel pumps died about 7 year ago, as I was going to do the repairs myself. Other big benefit of the AA is that they cover you in any car, not just the one on your insurance policy. Even if you are a passenger in a broken down car you can use them.

    Every year at renewal they send a mad quote out, its typically about 50-60% higher than what you can get it on the website for. You just have to ring them at renewal each year and tell them you want the online price. I never have any bother getting it from them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 269 ✭✭ Leonita

    Their app does not seem to be working atm either. Could not get the 4c off fuel at the petrol station earlier. Of course they are so good they don't even need a complaints email to handle issues 🤬

    Before anyone says try logging in I did but just keep getting kicked out of it.

    Any time I've called them out they were very helpful apart from twice when they sent out an indie who just towed the car to the nearest garage and zero help. Haven't needed them for the last few years though so things might have changed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,097 ✭✭✭ ebbsy

    Ive had my car towed from Dublin to Rathangan in Kildare twice by the AA.

    their service is great.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,640 ✭✭✭ SCOOP 64

    The breakdown service with your insurance company will only tow you to the nearest garage not home, i broke down last week wanted to tow me down the road and leave outside a a garage which was closed i had to pay him €60 to tow me about 20kl to get home, if your paying AA hopefully they will attempt to find fault and fix it or maybe tow you home otherwise whats the point in paying extra.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,886 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005

    Recovery has been a cost option on insurance for several years it's no longer standard, still cheaper than the AA.

    AA is over €100 a year. Unless you are breaking down regularly, or are a person the AA will prioritise, the €100+ annually would get you a long way on a recovery wagon. And if you are breaking down regularly you'd be better getting the vehicle diagnosed

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,436 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,715 ✭✭✭ zg3409

    In terms of fixing 8 out of 10 the details are:

    Flat tyre often with a spare in the boot

    flat/old battery/alternator/lights left on

    Out of fuel/wrong fuel

    Locked out, lost/bent keys are somewhat common

    This covers most common issues and how they can "fix" on roadside.

    They do offer some benefits that may not be covered by standard covers such as

    Home start (optional extra) where they help you in home driveway.

    They have catches such as max 3 callouts per year after that you have to pay.

    Often newer cars have free breakdown cover, and insurance often has cover, even if extra cost, is less than AA.

    If you are not a member you can still ring them and pay a few hundred euro. If it's a tyre problem it might be cheaper to ring mobile tyre company who will fit new correct tyre on the spot. You can haggle with AA on prices and they try rip you off every year with price increases.

    In terms of fixing a starter motor, unless it is the starter solenoid and it can be fixed with a tap, or if they are willing to try push start (which they might not like due to risk of you crashing on starting, or hurting your back on pushing) I doubt the real AA can help.

    If they tow you to your home, then you need to get car to a garage.

    Personally I take my chances and I have a few hundred on credit card for general emergencies. I also prefer to fix it myself/ring someone local/friend to tow rather than waiting 1+ hours for someone to show up to start to help.

    Having a basic self help kit in car, spare tyre, jack, can of tyre goo, compressor, good battery, jump leads, good maintenance, filling up before you run out, will remove 80% of possible issues.

    It looks like you were expecting free on site mechanic to diagnose issue for free, and try to refurbish starter on site, which is not really emergency break down cover. That said a really good guy might have got it going. I have driven cars for days with broken starter motor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭ BrentMused

    I've had two very good experiences with the AA in recent weeks.

    The first was on a commute home about an hour away (posted in another thread) when I got the orange engine light, engine vibrating, no power under acceleration, and the car revving by itself.

    Went onto the AA app, filled in the details, got a call back 5 minutes later and 2 hours later had the car on a tow truck on the way to a location of my choice.

    The second was whilst away, 4 hours from home in one of the most remote areas of the West, at the end of a holiday last week. The same incident as the above occurred but this time far more intense and the car was essentially undriveable.

    This time the AA sent a patrol around. He was fantastic, really spent the time to try and find out what was wrong and brought the car for a drive himself to see if he could get to the bottom of it. Ultimately, it couldn't safely be driven that distance and a tow was arranged. The AA also organised a rental car for me to get me home and although I needed to arrange to pick it up over an hour away as Enterprise couldn't do a drop-off to me until the next day, they have reimbursed my taxi costs for same. Between the wait for the rental car and tow it was about 5 hours until I was actually on the road home but I genuinely don't know what I would have done if I didn't have AA.

    My insurance only does a "nearest garage" policy which would have been less than useless for me in that location and a tow home would probably have cost as much as the car is worth!

    At circa €20 per month for Rescue Plus for myself and herself, it has probably paid for itself for the next 2 years considering how much both of those incidents would have cost me to have towed.