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  • RAC v AA – age old question?
  • Caher
    Full Member

    My car warranty has run out and with it the roaside assistance, so may get a new warranty either from Allianz or VW but the latter has no roadside cover.

    Probably, will keep the hatchback for one more year before upgrading to an estate (first bikes).

    Free Member

    TBH they’re both equally good.

    Greenflag is pretty good too, they base it on the car so if it’s reasonably new it can be buttons from them.

    Also worth looking at getting it for ‘free’ – a lot of Bank Accounts come with roadside and I get it from SEAT for free as long as I get my car serviced there, however, it’s only ‘Billy Basic’ cover, they’ll turn up, have a look at it, and take it to a garage, but given there’s not much you can do to fix a modern car without parts these days (unless a sensor have come unplugged or something) it’s perhaps not a bad thing.

    Full Member

    Never had an issue with the RAC when I’ve needed them, and you can renew using Tesco vouchers.

    Full Member

    Over the years I’ve left both indignant with crap service. Last one was the RAC who failed rather spectacularly when my wife was stranded and I was bed-bound post hip operation unable to help her. But in reality every organisation is going to mess up from time to time and I guess you have to acknowledge that.

    Currently with Greenflag and no doubt they will mess up at some point too and I’ll flounce off and be back with one of the others.

    Full Member

    Currently with RAC as they cover motorbikes quite well

    Prices and service are pretty comparable though I’d say

    Free Member

    Package bank account is usually the best answer for us.

    eg from Nationwide Flexplus joint account, for £10/m, we get:

    Europe wide roadside breakdown inc home start, for 2 account holders

    Worldwide travel insurance for family

    Phone insurance for family

    Free Member

    Neither – both organisations are massively pro-car (surprisingly) and very politically active. We went with green flag because I wanted to pay for vehicle recovery etc and not political lobbying that went against our environmental and pro-bike ideals.

    Full Member

    Good point, wonder if they cover bikes too. Been out in the wilderness of Berkshire in the past with unrepairable bike.

    Free Member

    Was with Green Flag, they were great.  Bank offered AA as part of a deal so switched.  Used a couple of times, no complaints.  Left bank, kept AA just because.  Recently, tried adding European cover to AA – after being on the phone for around 40 minutes, I asked if they could just give me price and not keep trying to sell me things I didn’t want.  GOT pretty wound up about it.  Finally got price, but so hacked off by this time, I contacted Green Flag and asked them to quote.  For a similar level of cover GF charged less than AA to just add Euro cover to an existing policy.  GF it is and AA binned but because of customer service and cost, nothing to do with roadside service

    Full Member

    In about 10 years with the RAC I only needed to call them once, took about 3 hours and was just a local guy with a towing truck that turned up, my premiums rose most years and I got tired of the having to call them to ‘negotiate’ their automatic renewal price. Switched to Start Rescue in the end, haven’t had to call them since so can’t say what the recovery service is like but they’re easy to deal with and a lot cheaper.

    Full Member

    Another happy Green Flag user. Having said that was with the AA, and they were fine.

    Free Member

    Autoaid are better than both, and only £45 for a married couple for any car under a certain age. When I’ve used them (turbo blew up on my old diesel) they were excellent.

    Free Member

    ETA? It includes bicycle cover.

    Free Member

    IMHO the problem with both the AA and RAC is that they have a finite fleet. They will contract out but it costs them

    Green Flag use a network of operators and don’t charge extra for specialist recovery, which also means that you initially get the most appropriate recovery vehicle

    I’m with Auto Aid, which uses a different business model altogether and is cheap

    Both the AA and RAC will haggle on price if you want to use them

    Full Member

    Don’t waste your money on either of them. Members of RAC for 8 years and had to call them out coming back from Wales at the start of June. It took them 11 hours to come out. 5.30pm we first called and finally at 4.30am the next morning they sent a taxi out to take us to a hotel after they finally conceded, following multiple failed promises, that they didn’t have a recovery vehicle. 2 young kids in the car too. The following day they sent a vehicle to collect us and the car and we were on our way. An hour later they transferred us to another vehicle in Swansea as the drivers are required to stay within their area. Next changeover was due in Chippenham on the M4 but that had to be cancelled as the recovery truck had broken down, so they had to take us to Bristol airport to hire a car for the remainder of the journey. In short we got home 22 hours later than planned.

    The drivers of the trucks were brilliant but basically told us that the RAC were cutting back on costs so that they can maintain margins in the face of more nimble competition. This means that whereas in the past they might have 4 drivers in a region with one of them as a reserve, they now have 3 working longer shift patterns and no margin for error – exactly what happened to us. We were told the AA are no better as many RAC drivers are ex-AA and vice versa.

    Heard good things about Green Flag, we’ll be switching to them as soon as the RAC sends out what I know will be an exorbitant renewal quote.

    Full Member

    Has anyone used the Nationwide service in anger? It’s cheaper than most UK only RAC packages, and they aren’t budging on price so much these days. I’m fairly sure it coves any age vehicle too which is a big plus for my T4.

    Full Member

    AA, gets you a Toby carvery discount. yes, I am that greedy and fickle 😉

    Full Member

    Included as part of my (NFU) car insurance.

    Full Member

    I’ve been happier with the AA. Not because of the road warriors, they’ve been great from both, but because of the control room- actually getting the right response to the right place was always a bollocks.

    Full Member

    Autoaid +1 , been using them for 5/6 years .

    Free Member

    AA here through Lloyds Platinum account.

    Neither – both organisations are massively pro-car (surprisingly) and very politically active.

    I like the AA president Edmund King, although it seems the last chairman was a bit of a dick.

    Full Member

    I’ve used both autoaid and aa for call outs, autoaid wins hands down, they have the freedom to use whichever independent can get to you quickly plus the claim process was painless, why pay more?

    Full Member

    Green Flag here. Loads cheaper and had to call them out for the first time ever on Sunday at 4pm on a bank holiday weekend due to a tyre blowing. This was on the edge of the peak District, although not exactly in the middle of nowhere.

    Sent a low loader, was back home by 5pm. Had the option of being dropped off at Kwik Fit but the recoveer guy was really upfront and said they’d basically charge you full whack for a tyre so we agreed to take it home instead.

    Free Member

    Been with auto aid for about 14 years now

    covers myself and wife in any car we’re travelling in for 40 odd quid a year.

    have had to call them out 3 or 4 times and arrived quickly with no hassles each time.

    even changed a tyre for the wife on my T5

    one occasion she put petrol in the diesel they offered to drain tank etc but there was an extra charge, my mates garage much cheaper but they towed her there for free

    theres a suggestion you had to claim back the cost but anytime we used them the garage just said it was ok and they would sort it

    Full Member

    We switch between breakdown companies depending on who’s cheapest at renewal time. Can’t say I’ve noticed a difference…

    Free Member

    Even though my old man has been a RAC patrol for 42’ish years I’m with the AA… only because they came with my bank account….

    Last time I had to use the RAC (2009) they were faultless for my wife, she pulled the tyre off a Honda that didn’t have a spare and they were with her within an hour.

    Both are pretty similar, they are nothing like the companies they used to be, Kights of the Road and 4th Emergency Service is all out of the window, it’s all stats and targets, My old man is glad he retires soon.

    Free Member

    Gave up on the AA, left as I was not getting any benefit from being a long term member & there renewal increase ever year, yet new member get cheap sign up offers.

    Been with Auto aid for the last few years, they dealt with a number of call outs but not increased there renewal price at all, totally recommended.

    Free Member

    Neither and currently nothing.

    Only used long ago when cars were shit and broke down more often. Once with head gasket gone on a very hot day on A303 in a queue, and was RAC waiting hours while a steady stream of AA vans turned up for the other 4 cars broken down on the same hill. RAC sent a local, who couldn’t do anything so they had to order a truck to carry me and the car home. I forget now but might have been 8 hours waiting. Other than that, just call out for getting car started.

    Decades of never using them and paying ever increasing renewal prices. Then bank was providing RAC, but then the stopped and charge extra for that now (Barclays), so I’ve given up.

    My local garage does a home start thing.

    If shit happens I believe you can just call up one of them and sign up as new member, or maybe they don’t do that any more.

    Free Member

    AutoAid are cheaper and faster than both RAC or AA. Use them whenever I’m not covered by main stealer warranty.

    Free Member

    Autoaid here, but I’ve never had to claim…

    Free Member

    TBH they’re both equally good bad


    10 days ago I had a rear end shunt on the Winslow road out of Aylesbury. Got the car to Winslow then on advice of police officer attending, called RAC for recovery to Bradford.

    Recovery truck #1 took five hours to arrive & then would only take me to Leicester Forest East services.

    Recovery truck #2 took another 2 hours and would only take me to Tibshelf

    Recovery truck #3 was finally scheduled to arrive at 06:30 the following morning, so I told them to cancel it & i’d take my chances through Sheffield, Barnsley etc.

    06:45 recovery truck #3 rings me from Tibshelf, couldn’t find my car. That was because I was by this time 5 minutes from home. So much for cancelling the recovery truck

    each time, RAC quoted ‘90minutes or less’

    oh, and then there was the time in January when all I wanted was a recovery  to nearest tyre place, due to can of goo + compressor not being able to fix a nail in tyre, RAC quoted 4 hours. This is less than 10 miles from Leeds. BMW recovery got there inside half an hour

    Full Member

    AA for nearly 30 years. Only had a handful of call outs over that time – flat battery away from home, twice with a failing fuel pump (local) and once for a failed plastic clip on windscreen wipers – not much fun on the outside lane when they stop.  AA driver rain-x’ed the windscreen and followed me 50 miles to my destination. A tiny plastic part ‘ball socket’ failed.

    Oh and ‘once’ to rescue the MIL’s car, someone had tried to steal the car, and ended up snapping the steering wheel off !  I’d had a couple of beers, so cycled down to where the car was and then phoned the AA – had to pretend it was ‘me’ that was stranded – the driver wasn’t bothered as I cycled back home.

    One thing to note, at renewal time phone them up and see if they can ‘match’ the other’s current deal. I’ve let mine auto renew too many times, so this year phoned up, and they knocked £60 off the renewal to match RAC’s new member deals. They won’t match green flag, or any Tesco type deals though.

    Free Member

    I just go with whatever car insurance is offering recovery as part of the deal.

    My mate, who buys the sort of car that needs call-outs says AA is best as they have a better fleet.

    I do have good experience with the RAC, because years back, when I changed banks and forgot to renew the DD with the new account, I had to call the RAC and they still came out despite me no longer being a member. I did shout a lot though, cos I had no idea my membership had ended 😆

    Free Member

    Autoaid here, but I’ve never had to claim…

    You don’t “claim” anymore, they just send a man out and pay for it themselves.

    Free Member

    autoaid autoaid autoaid

    Stop giving money hand over fist to AA or RAC for a second rate service. Any business that ramps up renewals and gives such massive discounts to newcomers is dubious to me. They largely have the market wrapped up for no obvious reason apart from brand strength.

    What used to be “trusted” brands in the UK are now just cash cows for investors playing on that trust. Boots is another prime example, used to be an ethical trusted place to shop and work, now its being milked dry offshore.

    Full Member

    Startrescue anyone? <£25pa for nationwide recovery (1 car). They just use local operators wherever. My only experience was when they got me and the family back from Wales last year, providing a courtesy car with the car following later on a flatbed, all because the recovery vehicle didn’t have isofix for the child seat 🙄

    The courtesy car was rubbish, but I was quite impressed by how they dealt with the call out, given my admittedly low expectations!

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