Breakdown cover for older cars

Associate
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Our second car is 17 years old, and at renewal AutoAid want to add an extra £15 to their premium for a car this old.

Is there any breakdown cover that doesn't do this? I'm sure they didn't use to. The price isn't bad but has been going up every year.
 

Jez

Jez

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Ask yourself if you ever actually use this? I paid for breakdown cover for years and years, and we never once used it. A few years ago i simply decided not to bother any more and sure enough we still have not needed it.

I realise that the default often is to maintain this, but have a good think about whether it is actually worthwhile as i certainly don't think that it is. Cars so so rarely ever break down to the point that you are immobile...

For context at our house, 2-3 cars in household (we on and off have a third), approx. 35k/year mileage between us, cars which are way out of warranty and by no means new.
 
Soldato
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One of the reasons I insure with Direct Line. I get Green Flag with home start and return to home for about £70 on a 20 year old car.
 
Soldato
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Ask yourself if you ever actually use this? I paid for breakdown cover for years and years, and we never once used it. A few years ago i simply decided not to bother any more and sure enough we still have not needed it.

I realise that the default often is to maintain this, but have a good think about whether it is actually worthwhile as i certainly don't think that it is. Cars so so rarely ever break down to the point that you are immobile...

For context at our house, 2-3 cars in household (we on and off have a third), approx. 35k/year mileage between us, cars which are way out of warranty and by no means new.

I don't disagree with what you're saying in principle, but out of interest what would you do if one of your cars crapped itself 50 miles from home at 10pm on a dark winter's evening? At least with breakdown cover, which is quite a trivial yearly cost in most cases, you can get a lift home with your car and worry about it in the morning.
 
Soldato
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You can pay for it there and then and they will still come out. It costs more but it's still a big saving.
 
Soldato
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I don't disagree with what you're saying in principle, but out of interest what would you do if one of your cars crapped itself 50 miles from home at 10pm on a dark winter's evening? At least with breakdown cover, which is quite a trivial yearly cost in most cases, you can get a lift home with your car and worry about it in the morning.

Yeah it provides peace of mind, I've considered putting the same amount we pay into savings and taking an immediate join up fee on the chin if one of us breaks down, but we've just kept the breakdown cover going.

As mentioned green flag is cheap for older cars.
 
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RAC never queried anything on the cars age when I had the MX5 which was a similar age and rather modified too. Didn't bat an eye lid either when I called them after turning most of the inside of the gearbox into dust
 

Jez

Jez

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I don't disagree with what you're saying in principle, but out of interest what would you do if one of your cars crapped itself 50 miles from home at 10pm on a dark winter's evening? At least with breakdown cover, which is quite a trivial yearly cost in most cases, you can get a lift home with your car and worry about it in the morning.
You dont need to be a member of the AA or RAC to call them out, you just pay on the spot. I have both the AA and RAC non member recovery numbers saved into our phones (actually i dont literally do this, but i have saved them into my wifes phone as i know she would panic) and have told my wife that if this ever happens 1) Call me, or 2) Just call the AA/RAC and use my credit card to pay them whatever they ask you to pay to get recovered. Personally i don't think the unlikely event that this ever happens is worth paying a yearly subscription to mitigate against?

https://www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/instant-cover
https://www.rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/broken-down
 

Jez

Jez

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You can pay for it there and then and they will still come out. It costs more but it's still a big saving.
Apologies Nasher, i didn't realise that you'd already answered this. Yep exactly that. Plus if anything this is more flexible as you can call any number of companies and get the people who will attend the quickest :p

Another point which people may not be aware of, and therefore double pay, is that if you service at a main agent, a lot of brands will recover you for free anyway. Mercedes give 12 months roadside with a service for example. (I dont do this, but many people do, yet probably also pay for the AA or similar).
Cover is also available for customers with cars registered from 24 October 1998* and is automatically activated/renewed on completion of a service by a Mercedes-Benz Retailer.
If you break down, we will send a qualified technician to try and fix the problem at the roadside. If this can’t be done, they will recover your car to your home, or a Mercedes-Benz Retailer.
 
Soldato
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I've always wondered what's going to be most cost effective, because with AA/RACs instant call out, you're not really losing out on anything by not being a member already?

Anyone know how much is their on-the-spot joining cost/membership fee is? I've just had a look and if you sign up online it's £59/£69 for vehicle/personal cover (I thought it was about double this price). If it's the same price for instant join, then it'll make no sense to have an ongoing membership surely?

I think I'll cancel my AutoAid membership after this year, have never needed to use it after many years! It'll be my luck that I'll need it next year :p
 

Jez

Jez

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There is a PH thread about it, it isn't expensive as far as i can tell, although i have never actually checked. People are banding around figures such as about £100+the usual membership fee. To be honest a call out from us has proven (and seems to me to be) so unlikely, that the price seems academic.
 
Soldato
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So you're talking about 3 years break even. I think it's most probable that you won't need a call out every 3 years. Evidenced by my accounts as well.

I guess I'll hang my membership up at the end of this year!
 
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Soldato
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Yeah think I'll stop mine this year though with cashback offers its only usually about £15 for the year.
 
Soldato
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You dont need to be a member of the AA or RAC to call them out, you just pay on the spot. I have both the AA and RAC non member recovery numbers saved into our phones (actually i dont literally do this, but i have saved them into my wifes phone as i know she would panic) and have told my wife that if this ever happens 1) Call me, or 2) Just call the AA/RAC and use my credit card to pay them whatever they ask you to pay to get recovered. Personally i don't think the unlikely event that this ever happens is worth paying a yearly subscription to mitigate against?

https://www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/instant-cover
https://www.rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/broken-down
That is a very good shout actually. I have an AutoAid cover "just in case" but I've had some kind of breakdown cover pretty much continually for the last 15 years without using it. I'd guestimate between getting great deals and forgetting to cancel full price auto-renewals it must have averaged out at about £60 a year, £900 in total which isn't small change by any means.

OP If you do still want to continue with AutoAid it would probably be better to swap to personal cover. It works out basically the same price as vehicle based on an old car, covers you in any vehicle and also gives spouse cover, if that is applicable to you.
 
Soldato
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There's a voice that keeps on calling me.
Last time i broke down and needed recovery, AA took forever. 1st bloke came, checked the car and couldnt sort it. He had to get a low loader out to recover me. Took a good 2.5 hours to get me onto a recovery truck from start to finish.

That said recovery isnt cheap nowadays, £1.60 ish a mile.
 
Soldato
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I don't think thats bad really. Odds are higher as the car gets older, I guess get a few different quotes if you think its excessive.

Personally I've got family AA cover which covers all of us. Had a couple of breakdowns with kids cars and it was a nightmare getting them recovered and almost cost as much as the cover for all of us to get one car collected late at night and over to a garage. Plus the discounts on meals that the AA were offering before lockdowns put a fair chunk of the yearly cost to bed, we were using it for meals out monthly and saving 20% a time :)

Over the last two years we have called them out 4 times and its always been within the hour and they did a coil on the side of the road for one of them. Can't fault the service when we have needed it.
 
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