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For years and years I have been with the RAC for my car breakdown cover. We were paying £65+ each year just to cover us for breaking down away from home. All this cover entitled us to was for somebody to come out and attempt to fix our car by the side of the roadside. If they failed to do this, the car would be towed off to the nearest garage. There was no provision for us getting to our destination or back home again from the breakdown scene.
In spite of the cost and the minimal amount of cover included, I do not have any complaints against the RAC. On the few occasions I have needed to call them out, they have arrived promptly and completed their job professionally. It was because of their track record that my husband has always been reluctant to change breakdown organisations. His motto in life generally is 'you pay for what you get'. I do agree with him to a certain extent, but I also believe that some companies create such a monopoly and get such a reputation for themselves in their own market that people stay with them and put up with high prices.
I am very pleased to say that after much persuasion, by both myself and my father-in-law, my husband has relented and agreed to let me take out cover with an alternative company this year. The company concerned is Auto National.
I first heard of Auto National when I received their leaflet through the door last year. They were offering quite a good deal, but I seem to remember that it was an introductory offer only and that the price I would pay the following year was not far short of the amount I was already paying to the RAC. So I dismissed it and took out cover with the RAC again.
A few weeks ago, however, I received another leaflet from them. I took a more detailed look at it and it really did look good. The alternative to RAC Roadside would cost me £35 rather than the £65 I was currently paying. Added to this, if I had not called upon my current breakdown insurance for the last year, I would receive a further 25% discount, bring the cost to just £26. Obviously other levels of cover are available and you can have a fully comprehensive cover for just £54 (inc 25% discount).
This cover includes:
- Roadside repairs or recovery of your vehicle to a garage - Recovery of up to 5 passengers to anywhere in mainland Britain - Home service in case your car breaks down at home - Emergency travel or accommodation if you are more than 25 miles from home - Caravan superservice (not relevant for me!) - Message service - they will phone your family for you
Added to this, if you do not call them out within a year the 25% discount continues for the following year. In fact, having read the small print, you can call them out once within a two year period and still keep the discount. Another way of keeping your discount is if you call them out and they fail to turn up within an hour. Sounds like a speedy response to me as the RAC have always taken longer than that to reach me.
My father-in-law also received this leaflet and was extremely enthusiastic about this new found service. He had rung a number of other breakdown companies to compare his RAC quote and although he had found cheaper quotes (Direct Line for one), nothing compared to the price Auto National were quoting. Unfortunately, the day before his RAC cover ran out, his car broke down (typical!) and so he has decided to stay with them for a further year.
I was convinced by the leaflet and after having read a few ops on this site about Auto National (the one by Moose convinced me), I decided to ring up and arrange cover.
As usual, I left it until the last minute to get my cover, but I rang up and after a very short while an assistant answered. She was very friendly and even started chatting to me about her kids when she heard my daughter crying in the background (never make a phone call like this with young kids around!). She asked me a few questions about the level of cover I required and details of my vehicle. I gave her the usual name and address details and my credit card number and the deal was done. Because I had left it so late, she gave me an emergency number to ring in case we breakdown before our policy documents and cards arrive. The price was actually £57 and not £54, but still very cheap as far as I am concerned.
Just to add to my elation, the assistant also offered me the choice of:
- an extra 3 months cover - a £10 M&S gift voucher for the person who recommended me
I was armed and ready for the second offer, as, after having read Moose's opinion on the same subject I had promised to use her as my recommender. I would like to say that I choose that option, but sadly I decided to be selfish and opt for the free cover. Moose says she will forgive me and would have done the same thing, so I don?t feel too guilty.
So 15 months comprehensive cover for just £57. A bargain if ever there was one. I suppose I cannot really judge this service though until I have actually called them out, but for now, I am satisfied with what I have seen so far. If I ever do call them out I will update this op. I must say, I am quietly confident that this service will deliver what it promises.