Breakdown Cover

Hi all,

        I have breakdown / recovery insurance via Britannia Rescue, originally as a stand alone policy, now via my bank account. An article in Today’s Observer started me thinking.

In essence it highlighted the very poor performance, since privatisation of the AA and RAC.It highlighted cases where members had endured delays of between 8 and 30+hrs!!

Worryingly in at least one case a member was refused assistance after getting a puncture, changing the tyre and then realising that the debris had punctured a second tyre. The firm, employed by the RAC refused to help on the grounds that the member did not have a serviceable spare wheel !!!


How do cars WITHOUT a spare supplied as standard fare if the wheel / tyre cannot be repaired using the supplied 'Gloop" ? 

What are members experiences -good or bad.

Regards, JohnD

I was left stranded at the side of the road by the AA because off an issue with one of the tyres on my car which wasn’t actually what I called them out about. Won’t ever go back, I have breakdown cover via insurance and it’s great, call outs are so much faster because they use local garages, will never use AA/RAC/Green Flag etc ever again.

I was with the AA for around 10 years. I used them twice. My membership was costing me £170 a year latterly.
First time I used them, they employed a local breakdown truck driver who had been ‘trained’ to do certain tasks. He took an hour to find me. I saw him passing the side road I was stranded in, a couple of times. His torch was useless, but I lent him mine. If I’d had just phoned my dad, I could have been towed the 6 miles home in about 20 minutes.
The second time, a real AA man, provided an excellent service. Quickly diagnosed the problem, which couldn’t be fixed there and then, and quickly took my car and me home on one of those A frame things behind his Transit.
In the end, for an extra £30 on my insurance, I have ‘RAC’ breakdown recovery. It was a no brainer. I’m happy to have the car taken to my home or garage of my choice.

Check out Autoaid. Check their reviews too. Been with them a number of years and on the one occasion we have had to use their services they were spot on.

They use local agents rather than having their own operators but from our experience they use the good ones. Freephone helpline for call outs but you don’t have to go through them. If you have a breakdown you can call your own trusted local VAT registered operator and they will pay your claim.

Cover for policyholder and spouse for under 50 quid a year.

With regard to not having a spare wheel here’s their take on the matter.

You must carry a roadworthy spare tyre with your vehicle at all times, except where one is not fitted as standard manufacturer’s equipment. If your vehicle is fitted with locking wheel nuts you must also carry the key/tool to remove them.


Our AutoAid cover inc 2 adults and 3 cars for that price.
Tis greatly reassuring for both of us and our 3 cars - sadly, only 1 is an MX5 ;-(

Yup. Covers policyholder and spouse in any car. If you have a garage full each they cover the lot. Only up to two and a half litre though. Good for any MX5 unless you have done a Rover V8 install. 

Green flag aren’t too bad. They used to be the preferred cover (out of hours or if the in-house crew were too busy) for JLR and latterly I think BMW as well.

When I took it as a stand-alone for my Daihatsu, they were very competitive year 1, then bumped the price up a chunk for year 2 despite no claims but subsequently backed down when I phoned to cancel. You can lower premiums further by paying a small excess. I think it was around £80 or £90 with full recovery and at home service.

One thing I have noticed with Autoaid is that the renewal quote is actually cheaper than their headline price.

Whilst I have Mazdas cover on my ND, I also have Mayday personal cover from The Caravan Club (Green Flag ) covers myself and Spouse for any vehicle- we have 3 between us - but most importantly will pick up a caravan/trailer by itself and move it anywhere in the UK with no size or weight restrictions. Cost £103.00 per year. Oh and they will pay me a tenner if they don’t turn up within the hour!

I have Autoaid, which I haven’t had to use but the cover looks excellent for the price.


Like Millstone my brother-in-law is a member of the Camping and Caravan Club for the very reasons he’s given, I don’t believe you can get similar elsewhere, so a good bet for those with camper vans/caravans.

The Caravan Club ( or The Caravan and Motorhome Club as it’s now called) costs just £51 a year. But you don’t need a caravan etc to join, in fact a lot of people join just because of their overseas holiday insurance, no age limits - though it gets more expensive over 80, minimal medical restrictions ( no loading ) breakdown only or with medical as well,and older cars are taken.It has an enormous reputation for the way it treats/sorts customers problems. And they beat my car renewal quote by £25.


Whilst being a caravan owner we were with the Caravan club breakdown operated via Greenflag. After over 15 years of no call outs I had the unfortunate occurance of a no start one morning on my 6 cyl diesel estate, it turned out a couple of the glow plugs were kaput. I was in the wilds of Derbyshire on site with the van and wanted to go out for the day. I made the call to the CC  breakdown service and eventually an enormous truck arrived, it could hardly get on the site, I told them I didn’t want the van recovering just car trouble.
Anyways they got me started and told me if I wanted to start the car cold (the next morning) I would need to be either recovered or as they did that day get me started. The car was ok for the rest of the day as the glow plugs were warm and started the car ok.

The next day came and fortunately it was the day to pack up and head off home, unfortunately and as expected the car wouldn’t start from cold. I rang the CC breakdown service again and explained I needed to get home or at least needed a start to get home. What followed from the operator who answered the call was a very stern enquiry on why I needed to call a second time in as many days to recover my car, I’d already explained the situation and also the predicament I was in. The garage who operated the breakdown service had already told me best they could do to replace the glow plugs would be at least 48 hours to order and fit them.
I explained to the operator that in all the 15 yrs of membership I call you twice and you are getting uptight about it, they did actually send the breakdown out to me and they got me started for a second time or as they told me we can take your car and caravan home with the truck, I should have taken the more expensive option but didn’t.

I eventually joined Brittania rescue via the civil service option/discount and now without a caravan I use Autoaid which is good value covering two cars and touching any piece of wood I can find have never had cause to use a breakdown service apart from the above saga with the caravan.


BTW I sold the van and bought the MX-5, it was the best swap I’ve ever done. Easier too for those weekends away, one bag in the boot and B&B/hotel versus tugging an 18ft caravan with a whopping big estate car.