AA Breakdown cover review

8 min Read Published: 09 Feb 2022

Who is the AA?

AA car breakdown reviewThe AA was founded in 1905 by a group of motoring enthusiasts to support each other in the early days of motoring. Since those early days the AA has grown into what is now the UK's largest motoring organisation offering breakdown cover, insurance leisure and lifestyle services.

What types of breakdown cover does the AA offer?

AA Breakdown offers 4 levels of breakdown cover:

Roadside Breakdown

  • Unlimited call-outs - Unlimited call-outs provided there is not a recurring problem with your vehicle
  • Roadside Assistance - Assistance in the event of a breakdown more than ¼ mile away from the home address and recovery to a local repairer.

At Home

  • Unlimited call-outs - Unlimited call-outs provided there is not a recurring problem with your vehicle.
  • Roadside Assistance - Assistance in the event of a breakdown more than ¼ mile away from the home address and recovery to a local repairer.
  • At Home - Assistance if you breakdown at your home address and recovery to a local repairer if required.

National Recovery

  • Unlimited call-outs - Unlimited call-outs provided there is not a recurring problem with your vehicle.
  • Roadside Assistance - Assistance in the event of a breakdown more than ¼ mile away from the home address and recovery to a local repairer if required.
  • At Home - Assistance if you breakdown at your home address and recovery to a local repairer if required.
  • National Recovery - If your vehicle cannot be fixed transport will be provided for you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers to any single UK destination.

Onward Recovery

  • Unlimited call-outs - Unlimited call-outs provided there is not a recurring problem with your vehicle.
  • Roadside Assistance - Assistance in the event of a breakdown more than ¼ mile away from the home address and recovery to a local repairer if required.
  • At Home - Assistance if you breakdown at your home address and recovery to a local repairer if required.
  • National Recovery - Transport for you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers to any single UK destination if your vehicle cannot be fixed.
  • Onward Travel - If your vehicle cannot be fixed then car hire, overnight accommodation or public transport costs will be covered within certain limits.

AA breakdown cover policy type comparison

Roadside Breakdown At Home National Recovery Onward Recovery
Unlimited call-outs

Unlimited call-outs provided not a recurring problem with the vehicle

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Roadside Assistance

Assistance with a breakdown more than ¼ mile away from home address and recovery to a local repairer

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At Home

Assistance with a  breakdown at your home address and recovery to a local repairer if required

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National Recovery

Transport you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers to any single UK destination if the vehicle cannot be fixed

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Onward Travel

If the vehicle cannot be fixed then car hire, overnight accommodation or public transport costs will be covered within certain limits

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Current Monthly cost (Jan '22)

£ 6 £10 £15 £18

What additional benefits does the AA offer?

European Breakdown Cover

  • Breakdown cover for driving in over 40 countries across Europe
  • Covers vehicles of any age including cars, vans, motorcycles, campervans and caravans.
  • Covers alternative accommodation and travel arrangements, recovery of your vehicle back to the UK, and up to £50,000 in legal costs.
  • Must be purchased prior to travelling abroad.

AA smartphone app

  • Report a breakdown quickly through the app and track the arrival of assistance
  • Plan your journey
  • Find the nearest charging point for electric vehicles filtered by connection type
  • Set reminders for MOT and services
  • See your cover and membership details
  • 20% off at over 1,000 pubs and restaurants

Electric car breakdown

AA breakdown cover includes electric and hybrid vehicles at no extra cost. If your electric car battery has run out you will be towed to the nearest charging or destination whichever is nearer.

Smart Breakdown

A pocket-sized device is plugged into a port in your car alerting you about potential faults helping to prevent breakdowns. When a fault is detected you will receive a notification on your smartphone with a summary of the problem. AA can provide advice to help you understand the problem and use the 'Find a garage' option to see where you can take your vehicle for repair.

Smart Breakdown is available whether you are an AA member or not and costs £49 a year or £5 per month (Jan '22).

Commercial Breakdown cover

Commercial breakdown cover includes the following:

  • Business cars and vans - Get breakdown cover for cars and non-delivery vans under 3.5 tonnes.
  • Taxis, delivery vans and motorbikes - Get breakdown cover for taxis, courier vans, motorbikes, rental vehicles, ambulances, delivery vans and even ice cream vans.
  • Minibus - Get breakdown cover for a minibus with 9 or more seats and make sure your passengers reach their destination safely. A replacement vehicle and driver will be provided so that you can finish your journey. Breakdown cover is available for minibuses with 9 seats or more, which are under 3.5 tonnes, under 2.9m long and under 2.3m wide.

AA breakdown customer reviews

AA breakdown performed well in the recent survey carried out by the consumer website Which? AA breakdown was ranked 3rd out of 12 third party breakdown providers with customers citing the knowledge and courtesy of the mechanics and helpfulness of call centre staff as positives with the cost of cover seen as a negative. AA breakdown cover is rated as 'Great' by independent review website Trustpilot scoring 4.2 out of 5.0 from just under 25,000 reviews.

Summary

AA provides a high level of service by using their own patrols rather than using a local repairer. According to the consumer website Which? the AA performs well, fixing 78% of cars at the roadside with 85% of customers stating that the AA arrived in less than an hour. This high level of service comes at a price with the AA being at the higher end of the breakdown providers with regards to cost.

The AA smartphone app is a useful feature allowing customers to report a breakdown and track the patrol as it comes to your assistance. The AA app also includes a route planner, traffic updates and the location of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Another useful service is Smart Breakdown a pocket-sized device that plugs into a port in your car alerting you to potential faults.