| 20.9°C Dublin

AA rescue cover three times dearer

BREAKDOWN cover costs three times as much with the AA as it does with some other providers.

A survey by the Irish Independent has found motorists could make substantial savings on car rescue cover if they shopped around -- with breakdown cover varying wildly in price.

The AA was the most expensive in our survey of the annual cost for motorists.

The price of a yearly policy with the AA was €108, compared with just €30 with online providers breakdowncover.ie and carprotect.ie.

That's for a basic roadside assistance and local recovery package for a five-year-old car. And while online providers raise their rates if you drive an older car which is probably more likely to break down, they are still cheaper than AA.

Both breakdowncover.ie and carprotect.ie charge €53 a year for a basic rescue package for a 10-year-old car, while AA's premium is unchanged at €108.

AA does offer a bit more for your money -- they cover the UK as well while they're currently throwing in free Rescue Plus cover at the same price.

That gives motorists a free replacement car for up to 48 hours, and overnight accommodation or homeward travel costs should they need it -- but this bonus cover is only a limited offer on policies taken out by next Monday.

With breakdowncover.ie, meanwhile, you'd pay €57 for breakdown cover for a five-year-old car for a policy which also includes free replacement car hire, home start and overnight accommodation.

This rises to €87 for a 10-year-old car.

Rescue

An annual policy including European cover with the website rises to €84 for a five-year-old car, but this is not available for a 10-year-old vehicle.

Elsewhere, carprotect.ie charges between €57 and €87 for enhanced home start, replacement car and accommodation cover to include Northern Ireland. This rises to between €84 and €107 if you include European cover.

Insurance giant AXA is also offering reasonably priced breakdown cover, starting at €45, which drivers can purchase even if they don't have their car insurance policy with the company.

AA spokesman Conor Faughnan said he accepted AA prices were higher but claimed its cover was "incomparably better".

He added that the AA had it own fleet of rescue vehicles, an extremely high roadside repair rate, and special diagnostic laptops; while spouses could avail of hugely reduced rates which brought the price of family cover down.

Irish Independent