RAC Breakdown Cover Review

As a Company, the RAC have been around for so long that even my grandmother can remember them and she is in her 80’s! The fact that this company that deals in breakdown cover is still around today is testament to the fact that they know what they are doing. If you ask anyone about the RAC they will know who you are talking about and will more than likely have an insurance policy with them or know someone who does. When you are in a position to start looking for breakdown cover, you will need to know that the company you choose is reliable and will be around for the duration of your breakdown cover policy. You will have no such problems with the RAC.

So, let’s deal with what the RAC actually offer when it comes to breakdown cover. At the moment, if you look at their website, you will find that they currently have a spring offer. If you are new to the RAC and join up throughout spring you will be offered additional savings and they can give you a breakdown cover policy for as little as £29.99….this is some mean feat; there are not many other companies out there that can boast this sort of price.

It’s worth remembering here that the larger the company the more they can offer you in terms of service and affordability. The RAC are, quite simply HUGE…they have a network of branches right across the UK and when it comes to roadside assistance, they have mechanics that can be with you in as little as 40 minutes, for you ladies out there, don’t worry, the RAC will give you priority when you call them, especially if you are out on the road alone.

Incidentally, it doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, the RAC will stick to this time limit even if you have ended up in the middle of a field due to a tyre blowing out! For the people that like statistics that are reading this article, the RAC has approximately 2,000 mechanics out on the road 365 days a year 24 hours a day. As a company the RAC can boast that they have over 100 years experience in the breakdown cover arena.

Breakdown Cover that the RAC offer

  • You (something that many companies overlook) and your car.
  • Owners of motorbikes and 4×4’s can take out breakdown cover with the RAC as standard…lot’s of the major breakdown cover companies require you to take out specialist breakdown cover if you have a 4×4 or motorbike, the RAC see no reason why this should not come as standard.
  • You can have up to 5 callouts per year under your breakdown cover policy and if you have additional vehicles attached to your policy this number will raise. Unless you have a complete old banger that breaks down the minute you pull out of your driveway, it’s unlikely that you will need to make this many callouts in one year.
  • One important thing to note here is that many other companies that offer breakdown cover will charge you in addition to the premium you pay for any parts or labour that is required if you need roadside assistance. With the RAC you only pay for the part itself, the mechanics time is part of your breakdown cover.
  • When it comes to paying for your breakdown cover, you will be able to pay either monthly or annually. This is a great idea for those of you that would rather just get the whole thing paid for in one go and not have to worry about it again until it’s time for you to renew your breakdown cover.

Other Options the RAC offer with Breakdown Cover

Again, I cannot stress enough that you can get breakdown cover from the RAC for as little as £29.99 per month at the moment….get in their fast; this offer will not be there forever!

  • Nationwide Recovery – This means that no matter where you are in the UK, the RAC will transport your car to your home or another address. This can include you as the driver and up to 7 people travelling with you (for those of you that own 2 seat sports cars or minis, this will not be a problem you are likely to encounter). If you happen to get ill when you are travelling and can no longer drive your car and do not have any passengers that can take over then the RAC will come and rescue you.
  • From Home – With the standard breakdown cover from the RAC you will not be covered for any issues that arise within a quarter of a mile from your home address, you can opt to take out breakdown cover with them which will cover this. So, if you get up one morning and your car won’t start or it just gives up on you as you pull out on to the main road, the RAC will send a mechanic to help you out.
  • Onward Travel – This is also an optional extra and this will come into play when your car or motorbike cannot be repaired on the roadside. You can get a courtesy vehicle for up to 3 days whilst you own vehicle is being repaired…age limits apply here so make sure you check this out first. If you need to use public transport and incur a cost because of this the RAC will reimburse you up to £150 or £500 if you are a group of people travelling. Bear in mind that this breakdown cover extra does also include air travel. If you need to stay overnight in a bed and breakfast, you will also be reimbursed for the cost, the same amount applies as for public transport costs. If you happen to have a caravan or trailer, the RAC will take this for you, however, be aware that you will need to meet any extra costs for this yourself.

One of the most common problems that occur with cars on the road is that darn battery failing! I myself have been in this situation a couple of times and I’ll be honest with you it’s a right pain in the proverbial! As with other major breakdown cover companies you can become a member with the RAC. If you are a member and your battery does conk out on you the RAC will send a mechanic to replace it for you. All you have to pay for is the battery itself, everything else is covered with your breakdown cover membership.

So, you have had a new battery fitted under the breakdown cover that you have with the RAC, what about the warranty? Well, this is easy, depending on the type of battery you have had replaced the RAC will guarantee it for up to 5 years. There are conditions when it comes to the replacements of batteries simply because it is such a common problem, so make sure you check that this type of breakdown cover is just what you need. One thing to note is that you do not have to be out on the road when your battery fails, if you are at home and find that you need a replacement; the RAC will arrange a time to come out and replace it for you. Once again, be aware that this will only apply if you are a member of the RAC.

Some of you may be people that often travel in your vehicles in Europe; you have not been overlooked when it comes to RAC breakdown cover. There are polices for you too and these cover over 47 different countries throughout Europe. There are 2 types of breakdown cover that you can go for when travelling in Europe – Single Trip or Comprehensive. The benefits you can expect to receive are as follows:

  • Have your car fixed at the roadside or towed to a garage (if on a single trip breakdown cover policy this will only last for 5 days).
  • English speaking mechanics – great idea the RAC – trying to get across to a French speaking mechanic that your battery has died could be a tad difficult if you don’t speak the language.
  • If you are on a single trip breakdown cover policy, you will receive assistance in making it back the UK – again conditions to apply here so ensure that you check them out.
  • If you take out the comprehensive breakdown cover you will receive everything as mentioned above and….
  • Emergency repairs up to the value of £150.
  • If you become ill and cannot drive and do not have a passenger that can take over for you the RAC will provide a driver for you.
  • Help with costs should you need to stay overnight somewhere or need to get back to the UK.

Remember; don’t forget about that spring deal, its well worth taking advantage of!

 

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Breakdown Insurance

When we take out car insurance policies many of us do not take into account that we may need help if we breakdown when we’re out on the road. One of the most annoying things that can happen is that you get up on a frosty morning, already a tad late for work only to find that your car won’t start! This is where breakdown insurance comes in and many companies offer this as part of a fully comprehensive car insurance policy.

Why you should Have Breakdown Insurance

For you ladies out there, bear in mind that if you happen to be driving alone that breakdown insurance is of the utmost importance. It doesn’t matter which way you look at, if you have to abandon your car on the motorway slip road, you are much more at risk than your male counterparts of being a victim of crime. Sorry to say this, but it’s a fact. Many breakdown insurance policies have clauses that are specific to the needs of women drivers and pledge to be with you in less than 40 minutes when you break down. For those of you that are male, breakdown insurance is especially useful because when you breakdown this is more likely to happen when you are on the way to an important business meeting or God forbid your wife or partner has just gone into labour and you need to be at the hospital pronto

Who is the Best When it comes to Breakdown Insurance?

This question is a hard one to answer, there are a multitude of companies out there that offer great breakdown insurance, some of the companies that come out top are listed below:

RAC – This Company is the 2nd largest in the UK when it comes to breakdown insurance, they are not the cheapest but you will not find a bad word to be said about them. One of the great things you get with their breakdown insurance is a mobile locator; this means that if you don’t know where you are then the mechanic can locate you using your mobile phone signal. There are not many other companies that specialise in breakdown insurance that can boast this type of system. You will also get roadside assistance and they pledge to be with you within 40 minutes of you making the call. All of their staff wear company issued uniforms and have ID, so there is no need to worry that some undesirable individual has decided to stop and offer bogus help.

AA – This is one of the oldest breakdown insurance companies in the UK today. There breakdown insurance is pretty much the same as RAC however; you will find cheaper prices and more discounts to be had with them. One thing that this breakdown insurance company can boast is that they fix more vehicles roadside than any other company in the UK. The other statistic worth noting here is that almost 95% of members of the AA say they would recommend their service to a friend. This is possibly why you do not often see televised advertising campaigns for the AA, they simply don’t need to.

Green Flag – Although much younger than the RAC or the AA, Green Flag are still a great choice when you are looking for breakdown insurance for your car. They are doing their best to break into the breakdown insurance market to the point where they say that they will beat any quote that you receive from either the AA or RAC when it comes to the time for you to renew your policy. Not only that, they also offer a callout service which is available 365 days a year 24 hours a day, this means that even on Christmas Day you will be able to get your vehicle going again within the hour and make that all important turkey dinner.

Does Breakdown Insurance come as a Car Insurance Package?

Many breakdown insurance companies offer these types of policies as a stand alone product. The reason behind this is that there are many different levels of breakdown insurance cover. You can take out the most basic packages that include roadside assistance and this will cover you nationally, or there are more complicated policies that will cover you for the following:

  • Some of the larger companies will offer to put you up in a hotel if they cannot repair your car by the roadside. This of course is one of the highest premium types of breakdown insurance and will cost you more but if you are someone that is on the road a lot of the time it would be well worth you taking a look at including this type of cover with your breakdown insurance.
  • If your car, motorbike or caravan requires parts this can also be part of your breakdown insurance policy.
  • No callout charges are also an option with breakdown insurance.
  • Of course no claims discount is a must and this is offered as standard with most, if not all breakdown insurance policies.
  • If you use the preferred garages for repairs with the company you have decided to take your breakdown insurance out with, they will cover the repairs under your policy.
  • If you happen to be someone that drives regularly from the UK to Europe, you will find a breakdown insurance policy to suit you.

These are just a few of the options that are open to you when looking for breakdown insurance, some companies will even tailor the policy to suit your own needs. This is especially useful if you are someone that is “outside of the box” when it comes to standard breakdown insurance.

This said there are companies that only offer breakdown insurance as part of the fully comprehensive car insurance package; More Than is one particular company that works in this way. If you want my opinion, only go for this if you need the most basic breakdown insurance. If you need a policy that is more complicated it would be cheaper for you to take out a separate policy and it will also make it clearer to you exactly what you are covered for.

In Conclusion

I cannot stress enough here how important it is that you have some form of breakdown insurance cover. We rely more heavily on our vehicles than we think. You only realise this when your car does actually break down. Standing in the pouring rain with the wind whipping about your legs, whilst you wait for a friend or family member to come and pick you up is no fun, believe me, I know! The other thing that can be real nuisance if you find yourself in this situation is that you will more than likely have to leave you vehicle behind. This means that you may be without your car for some days.

If you have breakdown insurance, you can be back on the road within the hour, imagine how annoying it would be to have to leave your car behind only to discover that it was a flat battery that was causing the problem. If you have breakdown insurance it would take any mechanic minutes to sort this problem out for you. You may think that you could do without the added expense but think about it….someone has to come and pick you up, you can’t get to work because your car is stranded on the motorway or down some country lane. You then have to pay a towing company so that you can get your car to a garage and after all of that you find that you are charged premium labour rates just for someone to charge the battery on your car.

How many hundreds of pounds are you out of pocket so far? No, breakdown insurance is definitely worth having and it’s possible for you to find reputable firms that offer breakdown insurance policies at very reasonable rates. Don’t forget that you can also use price comparison websites to help you find the best quotes out there. If you decide to go down this route, make sure that you also take the best price you find to any companies that do not subscribe to price comparison websites, you never know, you might find an even cheaper price!

All in all, this article has been written to give you an idea of the sort of breakdown insurance that is available in the UK market place at the moment and also to give you an idea of why it is so important to have breakdown insurance. When you are out on the road it can be a potentially dangerous place to be and if you have the proper cover, there will be no need for you to worry about it if you do breakdown. Of course, you may be one of the lucky few that don’t have to make a claim against your breakdown insurance in which case, enjoy the no claims discounts!

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