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AA Breakdown Repair Cover - NO NOT AA Breakdown Repair Cover - NO NOT BUY! STAY BUY! STAY AWAY! SAVE MONEY FOR YOURSELF!

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Highly likely that they won't pay a penny if your car requires repair.

They just give a false hope that they got your back and take your money.


I only had this experience 3 days ago when my car lost power and started making weird noises.

I used the AA App on my mobile to report the breakdown.

AA patrol arrived in 30-40 mins.

He couldn't figure out what was wrong because car was not giving any fault codes.

So he called a couple of people at the AA office, they said problem with the chain.

He couldn't take any chance so he towed me to the nearest garage.

Patrol told the garage that there seems to be an issue with the chain.


Garage did some diagnostic, they found 3 problems,


  • One of the coil packs was gone.
  • PCV Valve needed replacing as there was a leak.
  • Timing chain was going.


Garage fixed the first 2 and then gave a call to the AA to inform them that the chain needs replacing as well,

they asked him to take my authorisation before taking the engine apart and also said that stretched chain will not be covered because it's considered as WEAR AND TEAR!!!

He then gave me a call saying AA won't pay anything. The total bill was coming to £700 with chain and £200 without it.


I then contacted the AA asking what going on with my repair,

they said mechanic is saying chain is stretched which is not covered in your policy

and the other repairs will not be covered because your car is not fully repaired without replacing the chain,

hence they won't pay anything. I said WHAT!!!


So I had to pay for diagnostic, Ignition Coil and PCV Valve replacement.

I am not in a condition to pay for the chain replacement so I just drove the car back without the chain being replaced.

I am praying everyday that for the health of my car.


AA saying if chain was snapped, they would pay for the repair.

It will then cost in excess of 2k out of which they will happily pay 500,

but they won't pay 500 out of 700 which can stop the chain being snapped.



The money you save will come handy if anything happened to your car and it required to go to the garage. It will also save you some stress.

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In your post above, you contradict yourself

firstly by saying that the AA Patrol didn't know what was wrong with your car,

and secondly by saying that when you arrived at the garage, the Patrol told the mechanic that there was a fault with the timing chain.



I suspect that the Patrol knew immediately what was wrong with your car,

but spoke to some of his technical colleagues in the office to confirm his diagnosis.



The Patrol was right to tow the car, because if he allowed you to drive it and the chain snapped the AA would be liable for a new engine.

Some cars are notable for worn timing chains ( particularly Vauxhall, Seats / VW and some Ford models ).

Again, I suspect your initial breakdown was caused by the ignition coil as the engine would be misfiring and running rough.

This would make the worn timing chain to be even more evident.



Timing chains can break suddenly, but in your case it has become worn over a period if time

and the AA were quite right to refuse a claim for wear and tear.



The PCV valve ( positive crankcase ventilation ) would not cause a breakdown and is a relatively inexpensive component.

As any garage has a duty to repair a vehicle to the manufacturers standard,

your refusal to have the worn timing chain repaired meant that the vehicle could not be repaired to this standard,

hence the AA's refusal of your claim.



If the timing chain was o/k, then I'm sure that the AA would have paid for the cause of the breakdown

i.e : the faulty ignition coil. This could perhaps have been done by the Patrol at the roadside.

I'm not sure if they would have paid for the PCV valve though.



All engines or mechanical components are subject to wear and tear and yet you don't seem to be able to accept this.



You also state that if your timing chain snaps at a later date,

the AA will be ' happy ' to pay out for that claim.



I very much doubt that as it will now be logged in their records that you refused to have a worn timing chain replaced.



Your claim will be rejected.



You might think that I'm being a little harsh,

but I'm just giving you my practical advice as a motor mechanic for over 40 years,

and my experience of dealing with the AA for the Breakdown Repair Cover claims that come into my garage.

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Thanks mate!


Thanks for taking the time to reply and making my job easier to make people aware that AA don't pay for timing chain replacement

and neither for PCV Valve replacement.


When I bought the breakdown repair cover,

I asked the advisor if the chain was covered and he said yes,

but I wasn't made aware that stretched timing chains are not covered and it's considered as wear and tear.

I could have been stupid for not asking specifically if the stretching was covered or not.


Another point I wanted to make was that AA didn't pay for coil pack either because they say it didn't fix the fault completely,

and I was left with the 200 pounds invoice for coil pack, diagnosis and PCV valve,

when I should only be paying a few quid just for the coil pack which fixed the main problem and my car was running ok.

I took my car to a couple of garages including a dealer and they said there is no need for replacing the chain.


Now as you say they won't pay if chain were to snap in the future because I'm not replacing it, I don't see any point buying the breakdown repair cover ever!

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Wear and tear items are not covered by any warranty, not just the AA's Breakdown Repair Cover.



What made you ask about the timing chain when you took out your cover ?



Did you know that it was already worn ?.



I recently had to recover a car which was only 3 days old with 273 miles on the clock which had snapped the timing chain.

That is obviously covered by the warranty,



A car with many thousands of miles on the clock with a stretched timing chain wouldn't be.

You haven't said what type of car you have or the mileage.

The AA would have paid for your coil, which the Patrol could have fitted at the roadside if that was the only fault.



Depending in the type of car, these are around £50 for a quality item.

Don't forget that you have a £35 excess to pay, plus the AA does not pay for diagnostic fees.



Some dealers will charge you around £100 for that if the fault is not immediately obvious

I.e : something like a water pump failure or broken drive shaft.

You can't expect somebody else to foot the bill for wear and tear on your car.



The AA's repair cover is for the sudden failure of a part which stops the car, not for ongoing wear and tear.

You will get this response from any warranty company so I don't think the AA have done anything wrong on this occasion.



Cancel your policy and try another warranty company. Not everything is somebody else's fault.

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I think the above post says it all really. Wear and Tear is not covered and never has been.

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If todays mechanics can't repair a car without first doing diagnostics, then the diagnostics should come under warranty---this not paying for diagnostics is just a carry on---I had the same problem a main dealer.

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Scaniaman, you are right. I took a Ford Focus into a Ford main dealer as that's where our customer wanted to go. The fault was a failed alternator. The receptionist told the customer that there would be a £90 diagnostic fee. You can diagnose a failed alternator in a few minutes, but £90 is their standard diagnostic fee. Some garages will knock off the diagnostic fee if they repair the vehicle, but others won't.

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I can only support your view.


I m with the AA for over 10 years and taken out European Breakdown Cover including parts and repair for both of my cars.

I have broken down twice within the last 5 years and each time I had to threaten the AA with legal action to recover monies due under the terms and condition of the agreement.


I am fortunate that I work as a consultant in the legal profession, hence I was someone the AA could not easily fob off.

Currently, I am waiting again for over 7 weeks to be reimbursed for the second breakdown which happened 23rd October 2018 and the AA signed for the receipt of the invoices submitted on 27th Oct.


As good and helpful as the AA's partners in Continental Europe are that's not a reason to stay with the AA.

All the big EU Automobile Associations cover also for any other bigger UK Automobile Association such as RAC or Green Flag.


Do not fall for the AA's slogans that they have the best European Partners.

I will not renew any of my AA membership when due and can only advice motorists to check the best and most efficient Automobile Association before fallen into the hands of the AA.

Edited by dx100uk

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So you have been with the AA for ten years, broken down with them twice in the last 5 years, both times were difficult to get the money out of the AA but it's only NOW that you advise people (by dragging up a nigh on 4 year old thread) to stay away from the AA. I see.

Edited by dx100uk

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