Banbury Road, Oxford

Perfect day for it

It was a perfect day – clear blue sky – autumn tints without autumn chill – ideal for a trip up to Compton Verney in Warwickshire for this season’s “must see” exhibition of British Folk Art.

Then, just as I was turning into Banbury Road, the clutch snapped beneath my foot and it became clear that I wasn’t going anywhere. Not today.

After phoning the friend I was due to collect, I turned my attention to the task of getting rescued. This was an unknown quantity as, earlier this year, I had abandoned Green Flag in favour of a company called AutoAid that I’d found on the internet.

One of the benefits of being retired is that you have acres of time to spend getting the cheapest deals on things like utilities and insurance. This particular deal was via Money Saving Expert. A fully comprehensive breakdown service, including home start, recovery and overnight hotel accommodation for just under £40 sounds too good to be true, but it came highly recommended by people who’d tried it (even more remarkable is that £40 covers one person or a married couple).

AutoAid works like any other breakdown company, except that you pay for the service up front and then reclaim the money from AutoAid . It sounded ideal for someone like me who drives mainly locally and needs a breakdown service once in a blue moon, so I signed up. But would it work?

Recovery vehicle arriving

Bill to the rescue

Well, I phoned AutoAid at 10:20 and spoke to a very nice Welsh lady, who took my details and explained the process. At 10:40, James from Isis phoned to say that Bill would be with me in about half an hour – in fact, Bill turned up just after 11:00 and transported me and my car back home. Because my usual garage wasn’t open today, the recovery includes taking the car from my house to the garage early next week.

So, I haven’t seen the process through to the end – especially the bit where I reclaim my money – but so far, I’m pretty impressed.

Recovered vehicle