The AA is the best breakdown assistance provider according to a new poll of motorists who have had to make a call out in the last 12 months.
Britain’s biggest car recovery and emergency breakdown firm was found to reach stranded motorists quicker than all rivals in a survey of more than 2,300 drivers.
Discovering which assistance providers are best may help motorists choose who they should sign up with at a time when breakdowns are on the rise.
Official figures showing there were 224,225 cases on England’s roads last year, up from 195,292 in 2017.
Road to recovery: The AA has been named by a WhatCar? motoring survey as the best breakdown assistance provider in Britain
The moniker of Britain’s best breakdown recovery provider was given to the AA by WhatCar?.
It quizzed motorists about the service they received when their vehicle broke down at the roadside as part of the magazine and website’s 2019 Reliability Survey.
Of the 118,000 drivers who completed the survey – mainly focused on the dependability of the car they drive – some 2,320 said their vehicle had suffered a fault that required emergency assistance in the previous 12 months.
That works out at 13 per cent of WhatCar?’s readers who completed the poll breaking down while en route in the last year alone.
These 2,320 incidents were just a fraction of the total breakdowns in the last year.
Highways England, the government agency responsible for motorways and major A-roads said there was an average of 614 breakdowns on these routes ever day in 2018.
Add on top of this the volume of breakdowns suffered on smaller local and rural roads and the importance of choosing a performing assistance provider becomes more important.
To work out which companies were giving the best service, motorists who had called on their help had to detail how long it took to for patrols to reach them as well as whether the problem was fixed.
WhatCar? ranked each of the seven major breakdown cover providers, which offer coverage from as little as £19 a year.
|Performance||AA||Green Flag||Autoaid||RAC||LV= Britannia Rescue||Emergency Assist||Allianz Partners UK|
|How long did it take for assistance to arrive?|
|Less than 30 minutes||23%||22%||22%||17%||17%||14%||17%|
|30 minutes – 1 hour||49%||51%||54%||42%||55%||39%||36%|
|1 – 2 hours||18%||19%||11%||22%||26%||18%||31%|
|More than 2 hours||10%||8%||14%||19%||2%||30%||16%|
|Average||0.9 hours||0.9 hours||1.0 hours||1.2 hours||0.9 hours||1.3 hours||1.2 hours|
|How well was the problem resolved?|
|The car wasn’t fixed and wasn’t towed anywhere for me||7%||3%||3%||7%||2%||7%||7%|
|The car wasn’t fixed, but it was towed to a garage of my choice||19%||25%||22%||19%||31%||39%||47%|
|The car wasn’t fixed, but it was towed to a location of my choice||8%||14%||27%||9%||22%||14%||9%|
|The problem was temporarily fixed and I could continue my journey||27%||22%||16%||24%||21%||18%||21%|
|The problem was fixed permanently at the roadside and I could continue my journey||38%||37%||32%||40%||24%||23%||16%|
|Cheapest national coverage price available|
|Source: WhatCar? Reliability Survey 2019 – feedback from 2,320 drivers who suffered a vehicle breakdown in the previous 12 months|
The AA was found to reach stranded motorists the quickest, arriving on the scene in less than 30 minutes 23 per cent of the time, with nearly three-quarters of all customers reached within an hour.
It also performed well for fixing vehicles at the roadside and managed an overall winning score of 69 per cent.
Edmund King, AA president, said: ‘AA patrols go above and beyond for our members and this survey shows that their care, compassion and expertise has placed us top of the league once more.
‘They deliver an outstanding service for around 10,000 drivers a day; fix eight out of 10 cars at the roadside and get to more breakdowns than any other provider within half an hour.
‘We continue to invest in innovation which will enhance our service; including unique equipment, leading App that tracks patrols, specialised patrol training, as well as, new technological advances for our members.’
AA totally a performance score overall of 69% to top Green Flag (66%), AutoAid (62%) and the RAC (62%)
The RAC proved to be the best at roadside repairs, with an impressive two in five cars and vans fixed permanently, with a quarter given a temporary fix that would allow drivers to continue their journey home or to a nearby garage.
The AA and Green Flag were able to provide a permanent fix to 38 per cent and 37 per cent of all vehicles.
Across all providers on average, just over half of all vehicles were either fixed permanently or temporarily, with drivers able to continue their journey.
Nearly a third of cars were towed to a garage for repairs, with just 5 per cent of all breakdown operators unable to either fix the vehicle or tow it to a garage for further repairs.
LV= Britannia Rescue provided some form of assistance to most of its members – just 2 per cent of respondents said their car wasn’t fixed or towed anywhere for them.
Steve Huntingford, editor of WhatCar?, said: ‘Most motorists will experience a breakdown at one point or another.
‘Standing by the roadside is never fun, so it’s worth knowing who to call to ensure you are reached quickly by a competent mechanic who will help you get back on the road as soon as possible.
‘The 2019 Reliability Survey shows most motorists are reached in less than an hour, and our research found breakdown cover can cost as little as £19 for a whole year, so it’s an investment worth making.’
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