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Colin10

Car And Caravan Breakdown Recovery Services

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Whilst trying to find the best car and caravan breakdown service I have come up with the following fact.

My car insurance company, the Caravan Club Mayday service and the Camping and Caravan Club service (RAC) all state that they will only return the broken down car and caravan to ONE place.

Therefore, if like me and I am sure hundreds of other caravan owners who have to keep our caravans in private storage, possibly miles from our home or local car repair dealer, we only have the following options.

For the broken down car and caravan to be taken to

1. Our car repair garage who would not be happy to have to store a caravan on his premises whilst the car was being repaired.

2. To our home where most of us would not be able to keep the caravan and still have a broken down car or

3. To our caravan storage facility where we are still left with the broken down car possible many miles from home or repair garage.

The only suggestion made by the above three organisations is that we would have to try and agree financial terms with the delivery driver to take either the car or caravan to the second destination.

I have offered to pay an extra premium to cover TWO destinations but without success.

In the case of the Mayday Breakdown service, if you are travelling to a pre booked caravan site on holiday they will offer to take you to that site and try and get the car repaired whilst on holiday. If the breakdown occurs whilst travelling home this facility would obviously not apply.

What really surprises me is that the Caravan Club and Camping and Caravan Club have not thought this problem out and given any regard for the need of the car and caravan to be taken to two different destinations.

Don't believe what May Day says, I would never entertain them after what they did to my brother in law,

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Only forward travel is dependent on territory I think I read . If you had a site booked in France and broke down in the UK they will not forward then .

 

 

Dave

When I took out Red Pennant insurance for a tour of the Republic of Ireland some ten years ago I seem to recall that I was advised by Red Pennant that I was covered from the day I started to tow my caravan for the holiday, which in my case was two days before catching the ferry, until the day I landed back in UK where my Green Flag cover would apply if needed.

 

In the event Red Pennant services were not required. Red Pennant seems to be a caravan dedicated holiday insurance policy. It seems to me that if an incident with either the car or caravan occurred within UK, at the start of the holiday, which me prevented from catching the ferry and travelling to the pre-booked first site could I have expected that Red Pennant would enable me to continue with the holiday?

 

I have heard personal accounts from people whose spouse was taken ill and subsequently died when abroad. Red Pennant liaised with government officials in the foreign country and repatriated the deceased and the outfit to the UK. The widowed were flown back to the UK with in some cases escorts at some points of the journey.

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Ray, with all due respect, Mayday in themselves are not to blame for the shortcomings of their dealers who actually attend the call out.

If you have any cause for grievance you should get in touch with Mayday, explain your problem, and they will sort it out,even deleting the company used from their books.

Posters on here have only had good things to say so far and that goes for me too, I have had cause to call them on four separate occasions and they have turned up within the hour and recovered me with no trouble at all.

Your brother-in-law has had a bad experience and should sort it out with Mayday, if after investigation, they find that they were to blame, he will be rewarded for his trouble. ...Peter

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I've a lot of praise for Mayday but the firm who do Mayday locally leave a lot to be desired, however I wouldn't change from Mayday as on the whole they've been exceptionally good.

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I've been told by two seperate AA drivers that at some point the **** has been taken, hence they want the breakdown patrol to attend. (The particular method was to take the rotor arm out of a vintage car to get it recovered from Scotland to the South West. The cat was let out of the bag at some point, and the car ejected at the soonest convenient point).

 

I was also told that control was not always the brightest, and even if they are told by the truck driver that their truck is not suitable they sometimes get sent to give it a go. ...

Green Flag do "interrogate" the owner during the initial phone call to verify the need for a flatbed - and no-one would be allowed to "give it a go" on a 4wd vehicle of mine - apart from the Subaru that had a unique fuselink that could be fitted to allow a safe front axle lift.

 

My main gripe with the AA/RAC has been the initial time to attend a lone male without children - half a day is taking the ****.

Edited by Black Grouse

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Green Flag do "interrogate" the owner during the initial phone call to verify the need for a flatbed - and no-one would be allowed to "give it a go" on a 4wd vehicle of mine - apart from the Subaru that had a unique fuselink that could be fitted to allow a safe front axle lift.

 

My main gripe with the AA/RAC has been the initial time to attend a lone male without children - half a day is taking the ****.

I have never had to wait longer than 45 minutes for RAC Arrival.

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I have never had to wait longer than 45 minutes for RAC Arrival.

Maybe they prioritize Arrival customers over car makers' warranty recovery - whatever the cause, they've let me down big time, more than once, so now I just keep my Mayday/Green Flag cover going even when new car warranty provides AA/RAC.

 

I neither know nor care who provides the recovery service for VW warranty!

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Ray, with all due respect, Mayday in themselves are not to blame for the shortcomings of their dealers who actually attend the call out.

If you have any cause for grievance you should get in touch with Mayday, explain your problem, and they will sort it out,even deleting the company used from their books.

Posters on here have only had good things to say so far and that goes for me too, I have had cause to call them on four separate occasions and they have turned up within the hour and recovered me with no trouble at all.

Your brother-in-law has had a bad experience and should sort it out with Mayday, if after investigation, they find that they were to blame, he will be rewarded for his trouble. ...Peter

Peter, I will give credit where it's due, when the first green flag machanic arrived and looked at the problem, he took my brother in-law all over Birmingham to try and obtain the part needed to repair his car, but unfortunately failed to do so, the machanic then said we will have to arrange to take all of your rig to either one of your destinations,home or holiday site, they decided holiday site, the machanic arranged this on his phone then he left saying Green flag towing vehicle will be hear shortly, three hours later, no tow truck, my brother -law rang them, !! the reply !! Sorry we don't have a driver for our towing vehicle !! ,so my B/I/law rang me and asked if I could go back up to Birmingham and tow his van down to Newquay, I was mortified at what and how they had left him, just by off chance after discussing the situation he decided to phone the CC, they was disgusted the way he had been treated, cut a long story short, two Green flag vans came, and they had actually taken a part that was required off one of the staffs cars and repaired the car, it took my B,I,law fourteen hours to get to Newquay, so I hope you can understand why I thought that he had been ill treated, and he his not the type of person to complain, he doesn't want the asel,

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Fair enough Ray, but I feel it would be in the best interests of all if the situation were actually put on record so the same thing doesn't happen again.

You can understand that I personally have had things like this happen to me and I am sick to the back teeth of people not taking responsibility for incorrect actions, if you don't complain, nothing will be improved.

If it had been a fault on a plane say, would it have been reported? Yes it would, that way you avoid accidents. No way should your B in Law have been inconvenienced to that extent and Mayday will compensate, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't say he doesn't want the hassle, get him to do something. ....Peter

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Green Flag is a breakdown insurance policy.

 

The initial response is normally by a Green Flag livered franchisee who must attend within 30 minutes. If they fail to attend within that time the policy holder is entitled to £10, which is normally paid automatically.

 

After the initial response and diagnosis, assuming the initial responder has been unable to resolve the issue, the policy holder is normally given options of how they would like the proceed. Depending on which option the policy holder has chosen other Green Flag contractors are normally involved.

 

Three or four years ago as I was about leave a touring site for my home without my caravan at 08:00 the vehicle's OBC indicated an engine fault and I called out Green Flag. Before the Green Flag man arrived I had concluded that I had a faulty alternator which was confirmed by him. As replacing the alternator was outside the Green Flag operative's remit I had a choice of finding and being taken to an appropriate workshop within 10 miles of the breakdown or taken to my home address some 130 miles away from where I could make my own arrangements for a replacement alternator.

 

I chose to be taken home with the car and Green Flag control advised me through the Green Flag man that a suitable vehicle would be me within an hour or so. The contractors depot was about twenty miles away but it took four hours for a truck to arrive as the same contractor also had contracts with the old Highways Agency for motorway clearance.

 

The car was loaded onto the back of a breakdown truck and we left, ostensibly, for my home address. At half way into the journey during I had an "ear bashing" from the driver about the internal politics of the depot since the company had been taken over by another operator my car and myself were deposited at a services area to await the arrival of a vehicle which, I thought, would take me and my car to my home.

 

The second driver arrived an hour or so later having mistakenly thought that I was parked in the Southbound services. Whilst the driver had a suitable vehicle for my car he did not have the appropriate licence for the gross weight when my car was loaded.

 

After a further delay large van with a moving deck came and the car was loaded. We travelled twenty miles to the contractor's depot as the driver was in danger of exceeding his hours.

I then had to await a shift change for another driver was available to take me and the car to my home. It took more than 12 hours to get home.

 

I wrote to the MD/Owner of the contractor expressing my disappointment at the service provided and was pleased to receive an ex gratia payment for taking the trouble to contact him. I also wrote to Green Flag and received the statutory compensation payment.

 

What I have learned from this experience is that there is the possibility that the vehicle or outfit may be relayed to the final destination. It also seem that, except for the initial response, there appear to be no time limits for subsequent operations.

 

Travelling on my own, without the caravan and not starting a holiday is very different from breaking down during a holiday with family.

 

If I had opted to have the alternator replaced local to the breakdown it could easily taken all day for a slot be found and the alternator sourced. It would also have taken another three hours driving home. It would also have probably cost me twice as much than from my usual auto-electrician to whom I was able to drive in daylight the five miles to his workshop.

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I don't know about Green Flag Direct but CC Mayday's use of Green Flag differs. Whether they use a Green Flag liveried patrol or local workshop depends on the location, nature of the problem and availability of resources. They may recover part distance but do try to source single trip recoveries where possible and AFAIK the compensation is only paid over the hour.

 

Until relatively recently, recovery drivers weren't covered by driving hours legislation but have become subject to it recently - not before time - my car became undrivable after an accident near Stirling, Mayday Green Flag got the car back to the caravan site and then two days later (my choice of timing) sent a flatbed out from Glasgow, took car + caravan 400 miles home and then by all accounts drive straight back 300 miles to Glasgow - if safety legislation to stop those sort of long hours has impacted recovery times, then that's a price worth paying.

 

The level of service provided in big cities and the remote parts of the UK differs, as one might expect.

Edited by Black Grouse

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Black Grouse

 

I inadvertently referred to Green Flag in my post but the experience is based on a CC Green Flag/Mayday policy. On one occasion in the Scottish borders and another in Greater London my breakdown first attendance was by local un-liveried contractors.

 

The Greater London occasion was when, having loaded the car to return home, I discovered that the car's turbo had blown. When the contractor confirmed the diagnosis he placed the car on a dolly behind his van and we travelled to my home 230 miles away is less time than I normally take for the journey. There were times when he seemed oblivious of the law which forbids towing vehicles from the outside lane on motorway.

 

DeeTee

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I've heard several 'horror' from friends regarding the poor service received from the AA & RAC but have, myself, only been involved with green flag (for over 20 years). During that time I, or children, have used them 8 or 9 times. Myself using them 4 times in the last 7 years. On no occasion could I fault them except for 2/3 hours response times on bank holiday Sunday or resulting from rush hour traffic. The three times that this happened we automatically got the £10!
When my daughter had to be taken by flat bed, with her caravan on the hitch,  150m home it did involve a change  1/2 way but there was no waiting involved. The standard of service was 1st class.
I didn't realise just how the rescue organisations vary until I stupidly 1/2 filled my diesel with petrol. Green flag responded, on a Saturday (& would have done so on a Sunday!), within the hour, at no charge to myself except for fresh (diesel LOL) fuel. I've since learned from relatives with the AA that there is no such service at weekends & even then it cost them  over £300!
I'm not claiming they are the best but they've always been up to the job & have never let me down. Can't ask much more than that.

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