AA vs RAC, Which is better?… a handy tip to save some cash!

The car breakdown cover that I have for myself, my wife and our two cars is about to run out. A week or two ago I received the obligatory renewal letter so decided to pitch the AA vs RAC…

“Here is your renewal letter (the new price is hidden somewhere on page 6 at the bottom)” from the RAC.

“Last year’s price £114”
“This year’s price £118!”

Now I’ve never been a fan of the auto-renewal system of if you buy something on a yearly basis, you automatically have to agree to let us take your money from your card next year or you can’t buy it this year, so I generally do my very best to beat this system:

1] Because I like getting things cheaper and…
2] I don’t like bottom-dwelling leeches taking advantage of….

a] People like my parents – “The Grey Pound”, because they can’t work a computer, a comparison site, or even know that there are other service providers other than the AA or the RAC and…
b] People who are not on top of their family admin or don’t have the time or the inclination to trawl about looking for a better deal when surely the company that you have already bought from should offer you the best deal that they can anyhow?

Firstly let me point out that I don’t really aim the bottom-dwelling leeches comment at either the RAC or the AA, just large corporations in general who don’t reward loyal customers or are rather misleading in how they price their services.

I actually think that both the AA and the RAC are rather good. Not that I have had much interaction with either, but when my Fiat Stilo popped a spark plug attachment type thing on a Bolton retail park whilst Christmas shopping in 2010 at 9 pm I must say that the very nice AA man (or was it the RAC man?) couldn’t fix it, but did call for a long low loader truck thing, dragged it on the back and did get me home for 2 am. So all’s well that ends well.

When the (largely underrated) Stilo which served me well for about 8 years eventually did pop it’s clogs after timing belt neglect and ultimate failure, the very nice RAC man (or was it the AA man?) got him to the nearest graveyard and me to home.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand… I had a look at “money-saving-expert-waste-of-time-not-really-anything-to-see-here.com” and they seemed to favour a company called “Auto-aid breakdown”. Martin Lewis and crew seemed to rave on about great customer reviews yet trust pilot reviewers seemed to somewhat disagree with comments entitled:

“Appalling customer service agent” and “Awful” and “Don’t cheap out” so I decided that I wasn’t going to. I remembered the old adage… “buy cheap, buy twice”. Or in this case it would probably be “buy cheap, wait twice as long on the hard shoulder”. So I decided that I was going to stick with the creme de la creme of roadside assistance, the good old British institution – the AA, or the new kid on the old boys block, the RAC. (“Simply not cricket Marjory, I say… would you mind giving the old AA badge on the Rover a quick polish?)

I had remembered that I had insured one of our cars with the AA in March, and that I had received an email offer of discounted breakdown cover. I dug it out from the depths of Yahoo Mail and clicked on it, filled out the online form; two cars, two people, roadside assistance, nationwide recovery, home-start, yes, click for quote…..  £60! – bargain I thought compared to my RAC offer of £118.

Armed with my newfound saving opportunity I rang the RAC to cancel my renewal.

RAC Lady “can I ask why you are cancelling?”
Me “I’ve got a cheaper quote”

RAC Lady “I see, who’s that with?”
Me “The AA”

RAC Lady “How much is it?”
Me “Sixty pounds”

RAC Lady “That is a good deal, was that part of an offer?”
Me “Yes, I’m insured with them”

RAC Lady “You are getting actually a great deal with us at the moment, as it’s already discounted, so you are already receiving a discount of £80”
Me “That’s great but it’s still £118 which is twice as much as the AA”

RAC Lady “Let me speak to my manager and see what I can do….. ba ba da da ba ba bada da da dadada ba ba da da the girl from iponema blah ba”
RAC Lady “I’ve spoken to my manager and the best we can do is £90 for 15 months of cover, so that’s a really great deal”
Me “But it”s still not cheaper than the AA, I think I’ll go ahead and cancel”

RAC Lady “Let me speak to my manager and see what we can do…ba ba da da ba ba bada da da dadada ba ba da da the girl from iponema blah ba”
RAC Lady “I’ve spoken to my manager and the very best we can do is £81 for 15 months cover”

Me “Ok let’s do it”

So I managed to save about £60 of my renewal price. Moral of the story? basically these two will bend over backwards to grab you off the other in my humble opinion, so go renew your car insurance with whichever one and fill your boots. Can’t guarantee you’ll get the same email offer, but they never even asked me for proof… none at all. Stand your ground, grow Kahunas and lady Kahunas and fight for your rights. Tell your mum and dad and help the grey pound to sustain our economy. Make Britain great again.

What’s this got to do with video production? absolutely nothing, it’s just another of Woody’s great money saving expert tips, and with the £60 saved you could by a cheap camera battery? maybe.

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