Thanks for your prompt response. While your description is concise and clear it does seem to be at odds with the previous posts in this thread. Your description does not consider the cause of the 'mechanical or electrical failure' and as such would appear to apply to any mechanical or electrical failure how so ever caused which is not the case in the above posts.
Thanks in advance
It is difficult to be more precise on this forum, as the nature of each and every call for assistance is different, so its important that we talk to each customer to ascertain what service they require. If you require a service that is not covered on your breakdown policy we may be able to assist on a pay-on-use basis. In very basic terms, if you have hit an object and this has caused damage to your car, its an accident and your breakdown policy doesnt cover you for a recovery but we can provide one through our accident care dept. The previous posts here go back to 2011 and our service has been defined since then, so maybe its better that you speak with our Customer Service team (08705 722722) as they will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have and ensure you are clear on the benefits of your policy.
Thanks again for helping me with this. So a breakdown is any electrical or mechanical failure excluding any failure that was (directly?) caused by hitting an object.
Within this definition things that would prevent someone from legally continuing their journey like a broken windscreen or broken head lamp / indicator caused by debris on the road or say a flat tyre caused by a pot hole or through picking up a nail would be excluded?
I suppose by extension a flat battery caused by leaving your lights on or running out of fuel are also excluded because no actual failure has occurred?
I don't mean to appear pedantic but as I am looking for a form of comprehensive cover for my wife to provide her with peace of mind as she does a lot of long distance motorway driving, life being what it is many issues are typically related to the exclusions rather than a long list of inclusions.
Think you need to talk to one of our advisors so you can be clear on what we cover and what we dont. So I repeat my suggestion that you call our Customer Service team on 08705 722722. Its too complicated to cover everything on this forum, this is why we have a T&C's booklet, so you can read it at your leisure. If its not convenient for you to make a call, please visit our website (www.rac.co.uk) for a full copy of our T&C's.
For what its worth, faulty lamps, faulty indicators, faulty seat belts, faulty exhaust and a host of other faults on the car still allow you to drive to a place of repair. In the case of the windscreen it would depend on how much the forward vision was affected so common sense would come in to play.
Personally, I would not expect a breakdown company to attend a collision as my insurer has a precise Protocol to follow after a collision, including sorting out a courtesy car. Nor would I for any glass/screen issues as they are also insured, and there is a number for me to phone in that event.
It has to be remembered that the RAC is longer a motoring club as it was before it went commercial. It is now a profit-making company (by any other name) and will naturally do what it can to save any expense which could eat into those profits. This is not a detrimental comment, it is a fact of life.
I think that it's worth pointing out that what you say to the RAC operator can make a difference:
"I drove through a big pool of water and my engine stopped." They will not come out as this is not a breakdown.
"I was driving along in the pouring rain and my engine stopped." They will come out as this is a breakdown.
"I hit a kerb and punctured my tyre." No chance.
"I have a flat tyre." No problem.
Your suggestion that driving with the faults you list is somewhat unhelpful if not impractical, dangerous and illegal, I doubt the RAC would condone such advice.
Murphy's law states that the problems I listed will occur in the middle of the night when it is raining half way through a 100 mile plus journey and that the alternative suggestions you suggest are not readily available. Talking specifically about windscreens many are now glued in place and even if it could be replaced on the roadside the car cannot be driven for a number of hours while the glue hardens...
While I note your own personal expectations I think it is undermining the professionalism of the RAC to suggest that they would in some way compromise a claim against your car insurance by their actions, after all they also provide the 'Accident Care' service specifically for situations that fall outside of the 'Breakdown' service. Are you suggesting that the RAC 'Accident Care' service has no value and could potentially invalidate an insurance claim?
I appreciate the RAC is now a PLC but that doesn't mean that it can't be clear about what they will and will not do before you find yourself in the unfortunate position to need their assistance.
I can only suggest you spend more time investigating motoring law and the Terms and Conditions of membership. These are not difficult to find, in fact your local Police Traffic Division will help you, and explain when it is OK to drive with specific faults to your vehicle. Plus the RAC and AA, and, I think, Green Flag, all publish relevant T & Cs on their websites.
If you believe my unhelpful advice to be dangerous, impractical or illegal, I would just point out to you that that is an opinion to which you are welcome and if you wish to ignore any of my past, current or future posts, it is your choice, and I would never wish to deprive you of that option.
Perhaps you would like to clarify where I undermine the RAC, or make any suggestion that the RAC would compromise an insurance claim. That was never my intention, and I have re-read my above post to try to find it.
I am very well aware of Murphy's Law, I have referred to it often during my working life.
I have re-read your post, and I would point out that I spent most of my years as a Patrol with the AA working at night in the rain. (Usually on the hard shoulder of a motorway). I met many people in the scenario you describe under Murphy's Law, and found a resolution in at least 90% of all cases that was acceptable to the members concerned.
Last edited by Rolebama; 26-11-13 at 14:09.
It is specifically because of the ambiguity in definitions that I have asked the questions I have. My interpretation may differ from that of the service provider, or indeed the police, and I do not want to wait until after the event to find out that a particular incident is excluded. I gave a number of simple and likely scenarios which I beleive illustrate where these ambiguities exist and hoped that by receiving answers to these I would receive clarification. Unfortunately I have been advised 'Its too complicated to cover everything on this forum'. I refer you to a quote from Albert Einstein where he said 'If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'.
I continue to find your comments unhelpful (surely the forum is here to help?). I was hoping that I would be able to 'investigate' the underlying principles of the RAC's terms and conditions here but it would appear not. As for studying motoring law again it seems unnecessary if I am considering relying on the RAC, or some other service provider, to support me using their own expertise in all things motor related.
Having said that I am pretty sure, although I haven't checked with the Local Police Traffic Division, that if I asked the police if I could continue to travel for in excess of 100 miles on unlit A roads with no front o/s lighting they would advise me not to, and having received that advice if I continued to do so I would probably incur some penalty?
With respect to your comments undermining the RAC 'Accident Cover' service in your post you state 'I would not expect a breakdown company to attend a collision as my insurer has a precise Protocol to follow after a collision, including sorting out a courtesy car' implying that that 'protocol' could some how be compromised if a third party such as the RAC were to be involved. As I have already mentioned the RAC actively encourage its member to use their own 'Accident Care' service as an intermediary between the insured and the insurer and are also able to arrange vehicle recovery and delivery and a courtesy car. I felt your comment indicated you could not use this service because of the strict protocol imposed by your insurer and any deviation of that protocol may leave you outside of the terms of your contract with them and therefore liable for any costs that the RAC would ultimately impose.