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Ologhai Jones

Any Experience Of Gem Motoring Assist?

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It's fast approaching breakdown cover renewal time for us. The AA has sent out their 'Welcome to another year' letter about a month in advance of our current cover ending, and the cost is £199.50 (joint membership with home-start and relay), which... seems like an awful lot of money to me!

Shopping around, I found Gem Motoring Assist, and their site gives me some confidence that they're okay (recent winners of awards etc. and similar average call out time to other firms including the AA) and they offer equivalent joint breakdown cover (home assistance, onward travel) for £84.50 (with I think another £5 off if I choose to arrange a yearly direct debit to pay it, which I would be happy to do).

I was wondering if anyone has any experience of Gem Motoring assist, good or bad? £120 is a large difference, and in a way it's hard to imagine it's all down to AA's name -- are Gem really as good?

Thanks in advance for any views.

(I've posted this on MSE too, and, just in case it's of any interest to anyone around here, if I get any response there, I may repost it here.)

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Something worth considering is the level of cover. It has certainly diminished with the AA and RAC.

If you have an accident the AA will not these days recover you - breakdown only. This means finding and paying a local recovery firm and possibly trying to claim back off your insurers.

The most comprehensive cover is Green Flag who I'm pretty sure will get you and your caravan/trailer home in pretty much any circumstance you manage to get in on the roads,

Since the private equity spivs got hold of the AA it's gone downhill badly.

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Something worth considering is the level of cover. It has certainly diminished with the AA and RAC.

If you have an accident the AA will not these days recover you - breakdown only. This means finding and paying a local recovery firm and possibly trying to claim back off your insurers.

The most comprehensive cover is Green Flag who I'm pretty sure will get you and your caravan/trailer home in pretty much any circumstance you manage to get in on the roads,

Since the private equity spivs got hold of the AA it's gone downhill badly.

It looks as if Gem cover for helping you out if you have an accident, too: link:

"Covers any vehicle you may be driving – car, motorbike and small vans, as well as caravans and trailers."

And:

"Covers not only mechanical breakdowns, but accidents, vandalism and theft, and even driver illness."

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Just for info:

I decided to give GEM a try, and got a further £15 off by using TopCashBack.co.uk (bringing the total down to: £69.80).

The AA tried harder than I expected to keep our business: they offered a 40% discount on their original quote, bringing the price down from just under £200 to just under £120, 'to reward your loyalty as you've been with us for so long'...

What a shame they didn't value my loyalty so highly in their first renewal letter...

Anyway, the die is cast -- we'll just have to see if I go back to the AA with my tail between my legs in a year's time! ;)

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Just seen this thread..used to be with Gem a few years ago.Currently with http://www.autoaidbreakdown.co.uk/ at £37! Only called them out once;they send round a local firm,you pay them,and then send off to get your money refunded. The MSE site sometimes has special offers on breakdown services too.

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Just seen this thread..used to be with Gem a few years ago.Currently with http://www.autoaidbreakdown.co.uk/ at £37! Only called them out once;they send round a local firm,you pay them,and then send off to get your money refunded. The MSE site sometimes has special offers on breakdown services too.

GEM have a 'reclaim' policies too, but I decided to pay extra (£84.80 rather than £65.45[1]) not to go through the reclaim procedure. I'm pretty reliable[2] about remembering to do things, so the reclaim approach would probably have worked fine for me, but I suppose it may have just been a case of only trying out one new thing at a time. Maybe when we've been with GEM for a year and if they've been okay, I may shave another few quid off by going down the reclaim route.

Thanks for the link to AutoAid Breakdown... another possibility to add to the list when we're shopping around next year! :)

I don't know about the economy at large, but deflation is definitely happening around here! :D

[1] Although I got £15 discount through using TopCashBack.co.uk as I said, whereas I would've only got a £12.50 discount if I'd've gone for the equivalent reclaim policy.

[2] Actually, 'a n a l' is probably nearer the mark!

Edited: to make 'a n a l' appear!

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I was talking to a local garage that does breakdown call outs for most of the big companies, he told me that apart from the AA & RAC who have their own fleet, the others all subcontract to local garages who have a trailer.

So whichever number you rang you would probably get the same chap turning up.

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I was talking to a local garage that does breakdown call outs for most of the big companies, he told me that apart from the AA & RAC who have their own fleet, the others all subcontract to local garages who have a trailer.

So whichever number you rang you would probably get the same chap turning up.

I think that even extends to the AA and RAC in many cases anyway. I could be talking out of my **** but when you call they make a judgement call about the likelyhood of actually getting you started.

With regard to crash recovery, when I had a bike crash I called the RAC the guy who came (who was one of these local garage types) and he said he was only supposed take breakdowns, I told him if he could start it I'd ride it home, which of course he couldn't.

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A lot of insurers are including breakdown cover as part of an "extras" package...I have an all inclusive (home start, relay, etc...) deal with mine...I can't remember the precise amount (as I renewed roughly 6 months ago), but I think it was around 40 quid...

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A lot of insurers are including breakdown cover as part of an "extras" package...I have an all inclusive (home start, relay, etc...) deal with mine...I can't remember the precise amount (as I renewed roughly 6 months ago), but I think it was around 40 quid...

I haven't looked into it particularly, but I assume the freebie breakdown cover that's thrown in with some bank accounts and such is just basic breakdown, whereas I specifically want home-start and relay (as AA would call them), so we may not be comparing like with like here.

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I haven't looked into it particularly, but I assume the freebie breakdown cover that's thrown in with some bank accounts and such is just basic breakdown, whereas I specifically want home-start and relay (as AA would call them), so we may not be comparing like with like here.

Just being nosey, who's your insurance with?

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Sorry, none of this "special offer" breakdown deals with insurance cuts the mustard!

They are total wonk in my experience!

Stick with the AA, or if you are Protestant, the RAC! They have Royal in the title, and the vans are Orange! :huh:

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Sorry, none of this "special offer" breakdown deals with insurance cuts the mustard!

They are total wonk in my experience!

Stick with the AA, or if you are Protestant, the RAC! They have Royal in the title, and the vans are Orange! :huh:

The decision wasn't between minimal 'given away with cornflakes' breakdown cover and more comprehensive cover from the AA -- it was between pretty comprehensive cover provided by GEM and similarly comprehensive (but actually slightly less so) cover offered by the AA at a much higher price.

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