XJS ( X27 ) 1975 - 1996 3.6 4.0 5.3 6.0

Breakdown Insurance-Worthwhile or Not?

 
  #1  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:11 PM
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Default Breakdown Insurance-Worthwhile or Not?

Hi Guys

Recently '50 Shades' had an Alternator Belt Break which then knocked out the Crank Position Sensor underneath, which in turn then killed the Engine dead as if I'd turned the Key and Switched it off

Had I been overtaking a Truck or even a Car at the time, then I dread to think of the outcome but thanks to 'The Jaguar Gods' I just got lucky

Having said that I was stranded, where to make matters worse if they could get worse, I didn't have any Tools with me, as I was only planning to be away for just a couple of hours

As such I didn't bother to let the GF know where I was going and my 'Cell Phone' only had only enough Charge to send out just one message and I didn't have my 'In Car Phone Charger' with me

Talk about 'Dog Gay Afternoon' as this was quite possibly one of the worst situations I've ever been in, at least as far as my motoring life is concerned

Thankfully the GF got my message and came to the rescue, although all of this took time

Which certainly had me thinking about signing up for a Breakdown/Tow Truck Service, although this has to be something that up to now I have never considered before

But because there are a number of things that cannot be fixed at the Roadside 'unless you have the parts with you' like for instance the Fuel Pump going down, I'm now starting to have second thoughts

After doing some research with various organizations, there seems to be different levels of Cover available, where the one most appealing to me, Covers me for all my Cars and will take the Car and Passengers to a destination of my choice

Which in my Case would be Home where I can hopefully fix her for just the Cost of the Parts, rather than have her taken to a Garage, where you could be at the mercy of whatever they happen to charge

One of the prices that I have been Quoted is: £14.50 per month

But I would like to know what you Guys think and any experiences good or bad, regarding these Breakdown Services or any alternative ideas you may have

My recent breakdown experience really spooked me but maybe I am being Paranoid
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:32 PM
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Hi OB,

I never used to have any breakdown cover as: 1. I couldn't afford it and 2. I always assumed that I could probably fix the problem at the roadside.

That all changed when my (ex)wife was pregnant and I felt it important that she shouldn't have to worry when driving one of my old wrecks. So I joined the AA with a policy that covered me (and her) for any car in which we were drivers or passengers.

22 years later, I'm still a member of the AA. I've only ever called them out once which was last year when my GF had an accident in her Audi and it needed to be trailered home.

I have Breakdown and Relay cover which means they will take me , passengers and the car to wherever I need. I don't have the "Home Start" option as I reckon, if the car won't start, I'd rather fix it myself at home, particularly if it's my XJS. I also get other benefits (key cover, European cover etc) incl, discount on many things.

Each year, I get a renewal quote which I then phone them up and argue the cost down significantly.

I've just renewed it this year and negotiated it down to £10 per month (£125pa). I have thought many times about not renewing it but the peace of mind it gives me if my GF or daughter have a problem, means I think it's worth it. The crash that my GF had last year just reinforced my decision to keep the cover going. When I picked up my new purchase today (a 1980 pre-HE XJS!), my AA card was the first thing I packed for the 120 mile journey home!

It's worth looking at all the major UK ones, AA, RAC, Green Flag etc and working out what would be best for you.

Cheers

Paul
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:48 PM
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I have roadside assistance thru Geico (car insurance) and highly recommend it. Means I donít ever have to worry about carrying tools or crap in my trunks or changing tires. I have used it for my X type twice in the last month for a flat and a battery. Covers towing too.
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:26 PM
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Hi Paul

That sounds exactly like the Cover that I have been offered by another motoring organization for £14-50 per month or £145 per year

(Thinking of going monthly as I don't use the Cars in the Winter) and I've only seen a couple of days of Sunshine up to now!

(1) Roadside (which is standard apparently)

(2) Recovery To Anywhere (take me back to 'Orange Blossom Towers')

(3) Onward Travel (Free)

(4) Any Vehicle (which could be useful to me)

(5) At Home £2 extra! (I didn't really want this but if you take this option you also get FREE Key Replacement)

To get an XJS Key Cut, could be worth the price of admission all on its own!

A couple of Questions Paul:

Did they turn up with a Low Trailer or a Spectacle Lift?

Did you have to or would you have to give them any Special Instructions for Towing/Recovering an XJS?

The On-Line price is supposed to be cheaper although considering what you said, I'll have to try and Wheel and Deal the Price down (Lol)

Please also tell us more about your New Purchase which sounds very interesting

Cheers! for your help

Alex
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:29 PM
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Not sure what the UK version of BCAA is (British Columbia Automobile Association) which is all part of the north american CAA/AAA thing but its worth it, especially in a big countrty like Canada I get several hundred kms worth of free towing, discounted rate after that, battery or emergency fuel help, the card adds discounts at hundreds of retailers etc. I've had to get a few tows some for the Jag mostly for my truck its worth the 10 or 15 dollars a month.
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:35 PM
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Hi Spike

Not available in the UK from what I can see but all the same that Info, should be useful to others on your side of 'The Pond'

Thanks for your help
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:38 PM
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Hi Vancouver

Thank You for your reply, sounds a bit like our RAC/AA set up that we have in the UK

Thanks again for your help
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:36 PM
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OB,

You might check with the provider of your car insurance and see if they offer it as an add-on option. Sometimes that can be much cheaper.

Cheers
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:35 PM
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I don't know about Europe, but I do have AAA. About 20 years ago, I was headed from Fort Worth to Las Vegas for a Toyota Supra owners event. Car was heavily modified including a brand new high capacity fuel pump installed the weekend before. I was making good time so I thought I'd take a little side trip to the Grand Canyon. On the way up to the South Rim from Flagstaff, the pump began to sing to me. Rather than take a chance on breaking down after dark, I checked into the hotel at the park and stayed the night (luckily they had a room). Next morning I set off with the fuel pump singing and by the time I reached Kingman, it was singing loudly and way off key. It finally gave up the ghost in the desert. I had a cell phone (they were still the size of a small brick back then) but no cell coverage in the middle of nowhere. I managed to walk halfway back to Kingman and stopped in at a roadside bar, the kind of dusty dive you see in the movies, and called what was apparently the only flatbed tow truck in Kingman. Figuring that I could get plenty of help once I arrived at the Supras event hotel in Vegas, I told the man to tow me there, over 60 miles away. He would only accept cash and there were no ATM machines so we stopped at a casino where I bought chips with my debit card and then cashed them in. He stuck me for $400 but I guess he did have to drive back over 60 miles too.

It was rather embarrassing to arrive on a flatbed, but everyone was incredibly helpful. The pump manufacturer arranged a free replacement to be picked up at a parts warehouse in Vegas and one of the other attendees drove me to go get it. Others pitched in offering tools, jackstands, rags and a third hand while I changed the pump out in the parking garage of the Luxor Hotel. It was a messy job, and I feared for my life while walking back to my hotel room. I was drenched in gasoline and the place is designed so you have to walk across the casino floor to get to the hotel elevators. It was dark, crowded, everyone was smoking cigarettes and I just knew I was going to go up in flames. Somehow I survived and enjoyed the remaining two days events.

From Vegas I had planned to drive to Tucson to visit relatives before heading back to Fort Worth. Only sadly, halfway to Tucson, the replacement fuel pump began singing to me just like the first. Turns out there was a bad batch of fuel pumps that had cracks in the plastic part of the housing. I had to order a different brand of pump and spent four extra unplanned days in Tucson waiting for delivery before doing all that work over again. Manufacturer was good enough to refund my money but they wouldn't cover my extra hotel bills and towing charges of course. On the way back to Fort Worth, by pure chance I came across and helped a fellow Supra owner who had broken down between El Paso and Midland. He wound up spending a few days in Van Horn waiting on parts. A few years later drove to Ontario, Canada for another Supra owners event. Wound up blowing my clutch slave cylinder during an outing with the Toronto area club. Replaced the slave cylinder in the hotel parking lot before heading back to Fort Worth.

So with those experiences, I decided that it was probably worth a membership in AAA. While I've spent more in dues over the years than I've used in benefits (I have used it a couple of times but just locally), it is nice to know that there is a convenient number that I can call for help no matter where I am. I don't think you are being paranoid. When you drive old, classic cars and/or modified cars, there is a certain level of "risk" above and beyond the average motorist. I did spring for the "premium" membership because of the maximum towing distance. There's also supposed to be a bunch of discounts for members, but I always forget to ask at restaurants. I have taken advantage of the discounts for hotels and rental cars tho still those haven't anywhere near paid for it. It might if I traveled more though.
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:44 AM
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Hi Mac

My Car Insurance Company did offer breakdown cover as an optional extra which I felt was too expensive and still do, because although I am on their Multicar Policy

As far as the breakdown cover was concerned, I would have been required to take out individual breakdown cover for each vehicle, even though I can only drive (or breakdown in) just one vehicle at a time
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:48 AM
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If you care about your car - then yes - if not - then leave it on the side of the road.

Here - you really have to only use it once every now and then and it pays for itself


Years ago I had an old Holden that did the timing belt between no where and no where else.

Had to wait for a while for someone to come and pick me up and hitch hike home - the car became a part of the environment

Cheers
Steve
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:56 AM
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Hi Pdupler

Yeah! but what an adventure, very entertainingly told which could only have been bettered if you had to Spin the Wheel in Vegas to win enough money to pay for the Tow Truck!

As my own experience didn't end in total disaster I can laugh about it now, as those who drive modern reliable Cars just don't know what they are missing 'or maybe they do'
 

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Old 05-31-2019, 03:00 AM
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Hi Bez

Cheers! definitely food for thought on that one

Thanks for your help
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:50 AM
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OB
When in the UK I had green flag, solely for the towing aspect. There is zero chance of the guy diagnosing a V12 fault, but getting the car back to whichever garage or place (eg home) you wish can cost a fortune, if you can get someone out to help you at all.
I only used it twice; once when the injector loom packed up, in those days I knew nothing about such things or I would have changed it as a maintenance item. Once when a brand new starter motor packed up in a multi storey car park. These being the only two times the car let me down.
Greg
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:13 AM
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Hi OB,

I think all companies will have access to both spectacles and flatbed. But bear in mind, most of their first-line response comprises of spectacles trucks. So, be VERY clear on the phone that it will need a flatbed if you want your XJS taken home in comfort. A spectacles should be fine, but I'd feel more comfortable on a flatbed. Recognise that you'll probably wait longer for a flatbed to arrive.

Also some companies use a "relay" service where they change over recovery vehicles after a certain distance. That means it can take 1/2 a day to get home if you break down in Scotland! So check carefully before you commit. You pays your money and you take your choice.

I'll write in a separate thread on the "new arrival"! See below! I'm just going outside to see what I've bought!

Cheers

Paul
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:28 AM
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Hi Paul

She looks a bit of a 'Cream Puff' so very much looking forward to your Write up but as for using a Spectacle Lift, I seem to remember reading somewhere that She has to be Towed 'Backwards' with the rear wheels on the Spectacle Lift?

Do you know if the AA has breakdown insurance for multiple cars that you own?

From what I can gather that other well known provider does, so I'm thinking of going with them, as price wise there doesn't seem to be much in it

Good luck with your new Car She looks a beaut!

And Thanks again for your help
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:35 AM
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Bear in mind that a lot of the breakdown schemes won't come out to a car over 15 years old - check the small print. I have personal cover with the AA, which covers me for whatever car I'm driving, regardless of age.
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:45 AM
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Hi Greg

As I need cover for multiple Cars, I think it may be better for me to go with one of the other most well known providers who can cover any Car at the same address

Although I do agree with what you say about fixing the Car, as the very last thing I want to do is be Towed to a Garage, where you are at the mercy of whatever they may want to charge
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:01 AM
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Hi Bladerunner

So glad that you 'chipped in' as what you have suggested sounds like the perfect Cover for my Cars and even better as I can pay monthly as I won't be using the XJS in the Winter or going far afield in my daily driver

Thanks again for your brilliant suggestion! and also to PTJS

Alex
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:46 AM
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OB
About towing, I seem to remember reading that if on a spec lift and the rear wheels are on the road, you have to keep the speed under 20mph or you have to unbolt the propshaft at the diff flange and tie it up out of the way, otherwise you knacker the gearbox or torque converter somehow. No idea if true or not. Towing front wheels on the road on a spec seems pretty dangerous unless the wheels can be locked in some way, though I cannot see how!
Greg
 
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