Breakdown CoverAA Breakdown Cover » Breakdown Cover Breakdown Cover Blog Sat, 23 Jul 2011 11:25:37 +0000 en hourly 1 AA MOT, Service & Repair Review Thu, 03 Mar 2011 13:48:04 +0000 admin

AA Service and Repair is one of the latest in a long line of innovations that the AA has brought to the motor industry over the last 106 years. It is a service borne out of all the AA traditions of trust, integrity, quality and value.

The AA believe that the service will offer a convenient solution for customers when their vehicles need service/repair work, tyres replaced or even an MOT.

The AA has previously been involved with activities that have gone beyond the emergency breakdown with AA Service Centres and AA Tyrefit, and have now decided to re-enter this sector as research shows that their members believe that their breakdown doesn’t finish when they get home – it finishes when their car is fixed and back on the road.

MOT/Servicing and Repairs Explained

With AA Service and Repair, car maintenance no longer needs to be a hassle. Regular servicing intervals makes for trouble free motoring and the AA can service and repair most makes and models of cars.

Utilising either AA Mobile Technicians or AA Approved independent garages, the AA offer annual MOT inspections and full or interim menu-based servicing. When a car breaks down, this too can cause major issues, lost appointments and inconvenience.

The AA offer their members

A full set of competitive service, maintenance and repair products and pricing which include:

  • MOT
  • Vehicle Servicing
  • General vehicle repairs and maintenance
  • Post breakdown repairs
  • Tyres
  • 12,000 miles or 12 month national guarantee on parts and workmanship
  • UK coverage for most makes and models of cars
  • 15% discount for AA Members
  • Simple internet or dedicated telephone booking service

A high quality service delivered by:

  • Mobile AA option where available geographically, provided by AA employed Technicians.
  • AA inspected independent garage network working to a AA standards.

AA Service & Repair Member Benefits

  • Collection and re-delivery
  • Wash and vacuum
  • End-to-end members’ management processes
  • Continuous contact by a variety of channels, for example, text and phone
  • No additional repairs are carried out without prior authorisation with the member
  • Dedicated complaint resolution process

Examples of repair work routinely carried out by AA Service and Repair:

  • Clutch replacement
  • Shock absorbers
  • Alternators
  • Ignition leads
  • Radiators
  • Coil spring replacements
  • Timing belt replacements
  • Steering rack replacements
  • Brake wheel cylinders
  • Thermostats
  • Starter motors
  • Water pumps
  • Brake pad/disc replacements
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AA Breakdown Service Member Reviews Wed, 10 Nov 2010 17:10:16 +0000 admin

The AA is one of the largest breakdown organisations in the UK, with over 4,000 expert mechanics on patrol across the United Kingdom.

With an average response time of just 40 minutes, the AA fix more cars and vans by the roadside than any other breakdown company.

But what do its members think about the breakdown service?

If you’re currently a member of the AA’s breakdown service or perhaps have been in the past, then please feel free to let us know about your experience with the breakdown organisation – good or bad.

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AA Motorcycle Insurance Guide Thu, 30 Sep 2010 19:24:46 +0000 admin

The AA is without question one of the largest and most well known vehicle breakdown companies in the UK, and is widely marketed as being one of the most efficient breakdown organisations.

Although the AA is most commonly recognised as a provider of breakdown services, the AA also offer a wide range of financial services  in the UK including motorbike, car insurance, home insurance and much more.

The AA’s motorbike insurance services help bike owners to find the best deal possible on their insurance policy. The AA achieve this by comparing a wide range of bike insurers online, which makes it easier to find the cheapest and most suitable insurer.

In their role as an insurance broker, AA bike insurance can cost as little as £140 a year, with online savings of up to 8% for consumers who choose to buy their policy over the internet as opposed to over the phone.

AA motorbike insurance offers protection for your motorbike, superbike or scooter with a selection of Comprehensive, third party fire and theft, or third party only cover policies.

AA motorcycle insurance enables consumers to customise their policy in a way that suits their specific needs and requirements. Including such options as protecting their no claims bonus, the inclusion of uninsured loss recovery, along with personal accident and helmet and leather cover.

AA policy holders will also receive atleast 60 days motorcycle insurance cover across EU countries, and cover is available on a huge selection bikes, scooters, mopeds and superbikes.

AA Motorbike Insurance Features & Benefits

If you’re looking for motorcycle, scooter, moped or superbike insurance the AA compares a  wide range of motorbike insurers to get you an instant motorbike quote online.

  • Save up to 8% on motorcycle insurance online
  • Search of a panel of leading insurance to get the best deal available
  • No-claims bonus protection available
  • At least 60 days’ motorcycle insurance cover across EU countries
  • Instant cover and monthly payment option when only the policyholder is named on the policy
  • Optional extras – including uninsured loss recovery, personal accident, helmet & leather cover

The AA has a strong reputation in the UK for being one of the most trustworthy breakdown companies, so as you would expect, many customers are naturally drawn to their increasing range of financial services and insurance options.

When shopping around for a competitive bike insurance quote, the AA offer customers a valuable, and time saving service that makes finding the best deal for your motorcycle insurance simple and straight-forward.

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AA House Insurance Claims & Quotes Guide Wed, 29 Sep 2010 11:20:24 +0000 admin

Let’s face it, having to sort out and organise your home insurance can be a real headache, but that need not be the case with home insurance from the AA.

Backed by one of the UK’s leading insurance and motoring organisations, AA home insurance has the expertise and backing to deliver a first class service and excellent competitive rates.

In the United Kingdom, the AA is a well respected provider of breakdown assistance services, known by many as the ‘fourth emergency service’.

Over the years, the AA have developed and expanded their brand and customer services to include a wide range of insurance options to UK consumers, more recently including home insurance services (also known as house insurance or household insurance).

Acting as an insurance broker, the AA’s home insurance division search through a panel of more than 10 leading UK insurers in order to find the best home insurance quotes currently available.

The AA also offer both building insurance and contents insurance, which according to a recent survey of new business quotes revealed that 10% of new customers could save a discount of 30% when they buy house insurance online.

AA Contents Insurance Features

  • Automatic new-for-old cover
  • less an allowance for wear and tear for household linen, clothing and pedal cycles
  • Accidental damage cover for non-portable home entertainment and electrical and gas equipment
  • Home contents cover of up to £40,000 (higher levels available on request)
  • Up to £500 cover against fraudulent use of stolen credit cards, and cover of up to £500 for money stolen from your home

AA Buildings Insurance Features

  • Accidental damage cover as standard with your buildings insurance
  • Unlimited rebuilding costs for homes with a market value of up to £1 million
  • Alternative accommodation costs of up to £20,000 for you and your pets, if your home can’t be lived in after a covered event
  • Up to £5,000 towards tracing and accessing a leak, and repairing any damage caused to walls, flooring or ceilings during the search

As standard AA contents insurance includes cover up to £40,000 (with higher levels of cover available on request), along with automatic new-for-old cover on most household items, legal expenses cover up to the value of £25,000, and accidental damage cover for home electrical and gas equipment and non-portable home entertainment.

Alongside their standard home insurance policies, the AA also offer a number of buildings insurance options including unlimited rebuilding costs (for homes with a market value of up to £1,000,000), along with accidental damage covered as standard, and a 24 hour emergency helpline for customers.

Extra Home Insurance Cover Available

For complete peace of mind, you can add the following extra protection when you get a home insurance quote from the AA.

  • Accidental damage or loss cover for household goods, including furniture and furnishings
  • Accidental damage and away from home cover for your valuables and personal belongings
  • Legal expenses cover – up to £50,000 cover for legal expenses, giving you protection against the costs of being sued or having to make a claim against someone else
  • Home emergency cover – we’ll pay up to £250 (including VAT) for call out, labour, parts and materials to cover an emergency service following an insured event

As an additional bonus to customers, AA house insurance also cover up to £20,000 of accommodation costs for you and your pets should your home not be fit to live in following any event covered by your existing policy.

Arranging your home insurance cover with the AA is simple and easy, either using their secure online form or by using the telephone helpline.

With AA Home Insurance you get rest assured that your most valuable possession and its contents are covered in the even of a claim. The acid test of any insurance policy is the part when you have to make a claim and AA Home Insurance boasts one of the highest claims payout ratios in the UK and even better, there is a 30% discount available for those who insure with AA Home Insurance by using the AA web site.

Other popular searches related to this brand include, Aa Home Insurance Move House, House Insurance+aa, House Insurance Aa, Aa House Insurnce, Aa House Ins, Aa – House Insurance,

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AA Home Assist & Home Emergency Services Tue, 28 Sep 2010 13:56:55 +0000 admin

Known to many UK motorists as the ‘fourth emergency service’, the AA have proven to be a vital lifeline for many drivers stranded with vehicle problems.

Now the AA have vowed to come to the rescue of householders by launching a fleet of handymen in a multi-million pound expansion of its business.

The AA Home Emergency Response (also known as AA Home Assist) is available to all with a discounted rate available to current members of the breakdown service, with customers able to request help with anything from burst pipes and broken boilers to smashed windows or hanging a picture.

Get a free online quote today!

The AA are currently offering their roadside rescue members a special discounted rate of £9.95 per month (£11.95 for non-members) with the addition of central heating cover available for an extra £3 per month.

The home emergency insurance is excess free and allows for up to 4 claims per year with a maximum of £750 per incident (£1,000 for water supply pipes).

AA Home Emergency Response also provide customers with a 24 hour claim line that gives them access to a network of approved tradesmen.

AA Home Assist

In the South East of the UK, the AA are piloting their home assist service, which covers just plumbing and electrical services, with the intention of a nationwide roll-out once the group have built up a large enough network of plumbers and electricians.

AA home assist offers a network of AA uniformed plumbers and electricians who will turn up in AA vans able to install boilers, showers and bathrooms or replace radiators.

Cover on burst pipes and leaks includes fault finding and repairs plus appliance installation/removal.

As with Home Emergency Response, there is no call out charge.

AA Handy Squad

Currently being trialled in areas of London, the AA handy squad will tackle smaller jobs such as picture-hanging, lock-fitting, putting up curtain rails or mending garden fences.

Services provided by Home Assist and Handy Squad will be charged at an hourly rate plus the materials used in the job.

AA Home Emergency Advert With John Cleese

“The AA?… For faulty showers?”
John Cleese stars in the new TV advert

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AA European Breakdown Cover Guide Tue, 27 Jul 2010 22:10:55 +0000 admin

AA European Breakdown CoverThe AA is one of the largest and most well known breakdown organisations in the United Kingdom. Alongside their domestic breakdown service, the AA also provide European breakdown cover to give you that added peace of mind when driving abroad.

Breaking down whilst abroad or on holiday is never fun, and with recovery back to the UK costing around £1,000 it isn’t cheap either.

But by planning ahead and taking out European breakdown cover with The AA you can enjoy your trip in the knowledge that you’ll be covered for any breakdown eventuality.

The AA currently offer overseas breakdown cover for two different zone, UK/Ireland, and Mainland Europe. Their European breakdown cover is also available as a one-off policy (standalone), or as part of an annual policy providing year round coverage.

The annual policies come in two forms: annual multi-trip covering unlimited European trips of up to 90 days duration, or the more expensive annual long-stay for year long cover covering trips of over 90 days in length.

AA European cover includes roadside breakdown assistance with on the spot repairs or recovery to the nearest garage. As the AA don’t have patrols overseas they arrange immediate help either through local garages, or with the help of the national motoring clubs and affiliate associations overseas.

With an English speaking helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the AA will provide you with car hire or transport costs for onward journey or to return home if repair is not possible; emergency overnight accommodation if you have to wait for repairs; vehicle repatriation and legal protection for accident claims or motoring offences.

Main benefits of European Breakdown Cover from The AA

24-hour English-speaking helpline can arrange and help towards the cost of:

  • Emergency roadside repairs or towing to the nearest garage in over 40 European countries
  • Up to £2,000 cover per trip excluding unaccompanied vehicle recovery and legal expenses
  • Alternative transport (inc. public transport) costs to allow you to continue your journey or get home
  • Emergency accommodation if you have to wait for repair work to be completed
  • Vehicle recovery to the UK if it can’t be repaired abroad, up to the current market value of the vehicle
  • Location of right-hand drive parts (excludes cost of parts)
  • Legal protection – up to £75,000 for representation on vehicle accident claims or motoring offences (excludes fines)

There are also no excess charges for AA European Breakdown Cover.

Types of European Breakdown Cover Available

Single trip cover

Single trip cover offers breakdown cover for your vehicle for the duration of your trip to Europe, up to a maximum of 365 days.

  • Roadside assistance (fix at roadside or tow to nearest garage)
  • Find and despatch spare parts free of charge (price of parts is not included)
  • Up to £1,200 for emergency car hire or alternative travel arrangements. (max £120 for car hire per day)
  • Emergency accommodation if your car cannot be fixed at the roadside (up to £500 max £40 per person per day).
  • Recovery of your vehicle back to the UK if it can’t be fixed (only up to the current market value of the vehicle)
  • Collection of vehicle from overseas if you have to leave it while it’s being repaired (limited to one person’s costs)
  • Legal protection insurance up to the value of £75,000 for help and advice after a traffic accident.
  • Insurance for vehicles of 11 years and under.

Annual Multi-Trip Cover

Annual multi-trip cover offers breakdown cover for a person in any eligible vehicle. The cover provides 12 months’ multi-trip cover for an unlimited number of motoring trips abroad, although each individual trip within the year cannot exceed more than 90 days.

Includes all the benefits of Single Trip Cover along with:

  • Up to 3 claims per year.
  • Unlimited trips to Europe (each trip should not exceed 90 days)
  • Free cover for a caravan or a trailer. (within the size and weight limited set out in the policy)

European Countries The AA Cover

AA European Breakdown Cover

United Kingdom Isle of Man Channel Islands Republic of Ireland, all islands of the Mediterranean and the following countries of mainland Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (excluding the islands of Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey in Europe plus Uskudar, Ukraine.

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AA Car Insurance Cover Guide Mon, 19 Jul 2010 15:58:33 +0000 admin

The AA (Automobile Association) is without question one of the leading motoring organizations currently operating in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1905, the AA has grown into a popular financial services provider in the UK, offering a wide range of products including travel insurance, home insurance, van, motorcycle and car insurance.

The AA motor insurance arm of the company helps customers to find the cheapest car insurance quotes available on the market, and has helped to establish the AA as a major force in the car insurance industry.

With specialist insurance quotes available for classic cars and motorcycles, the AA search a group of leading insurers to discover the best available car insurance quote.

A survey taken in 2008 found that 88% of customers found that the AA car insurance premiums were cheaper than those of their previous provider.

With online savings of up to 12.5% when taking out a policy via their website it’s easy to see why the AA has become a leading provider of cheap car insurance quotes.

AA Car Insurance Includes:

  • 35% off AA Breakdown Cover (when added to car insurance online)
  • 24 hour UK claims line
  • Courtesy car as standard
  • Medical expenses up to £300 per person

The AA also offer their insurance customers a dedicated 24 hour claim line, along with up to £50,000 in motor legal protection, your own courtesy car while you wait for yours to be repaired, and up to £300 in medical expenses per person. New car insurance customers will also receive a 35% discount on AA breakdown cover too.

The AA currently offer four types of car insurance cover. These include:

  • Short Term
  • Women’s Car Insurance
  • Young Driver’s Car Insurance
  • Classic Car Insurance

AA Short Term Car Insurance

Short term car insurance can be a great idea if you need to borrow a vehicle or perhaps add another driver to your vehicle for a day or two. Other situations where short term car insurance can be useful include immediate drive away insurance if you’ve just bought a car, unaccompanied vehicle demonstrations, or for driving a courtesy car. AA short term car insurance is available for any insurance period lasting between 1 and 28 days, and is only valid for drivers over the age of 24 or 23 as a secondary driver.

Women’s AA Car Insurance

The AA also provide specialist insurance cover for female drivers. Because female drivers’ claims tend to be less costly than male drivers, the AA can offer women’s car insurance at a more competitive rate with a good range of benefits.

Young Driver’s AA Car Insurance

Young drivers who are looking to insure their first car often have to pay the highest premiums when compared with older drivers with more experience. This is mainly down to the fact that young drivers are seen as a higher risk to insurers, and are statistically more likely to have accidents when compared with older drivers. It is possible to greatly reduce young drivers insurance premiums by driving very carefully for the first year of cover and earning a no claims discount.

AA Classic Car Insurance

AA classic car insurance provides cover for car owners above the age of 25 who own a car that is more than 15 years old. The AA’s classic car insurance cover prides itself of delivering the very best deals at the lowest prices.

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AA Call Boxes – A Complete Guide Tue, 22 Jun 2010 21:36:07 +0000 admin

AA Call Boxes

These characteristic black and yellow buildings were once “the lighthouses of the road.” (1) In times past, motoring enthusiasts relied upon them for directions, breakdown help, and support throughout their travels.

Individually numbered, each AA call box had its own sentry and well-documented location.

At first, these buildings were intended as shelters for road patrols. Over time, they came to be used by AA members. A stranded motorist had nothing more to do than call and give the number of the kiosk, and help was on the way. The easily recognized logo meant that a traveller could find a light, maps, fire extinguisher, and many other items whenever they were needed.

As technology progressed, telephones and other communication devices were added. Ironically, however, it was the further development of technology that eventually caused the AA sentry box to become obsolete. Shortly after the turn of the century, the number of AA call boxes had shrunk from over 1,000 to a mere 21. By 2010, there were even fewer.

Not even one of them had been in use for years. Many were in dire need of repair or relocation.

AA Call Boxes Offered Assistance for Early Motorists

  • 1911 First call box installed: Ashtead, Surrey (RAC).
  • 1912 First AA call box manufactured.
  • 1912-1919 AA call boxes used by sentries. Well-connected network and communication.
  • 1920 AA members receive keys to call boxes for independent use.
  • 1921 Design Standard: Cross-gable roof.

In the early 1900s, AA sentry boxes were an innovative way to make motoring about the countryside safer for everyone.

Up through the year 1919, AA watchmen (who were called sentries) manned the booths. They stood at the ready to serve any travelling member of the Automobile Association. They provided roadside assistance, communication, directions, and even sometimes medical help or transport.

Their uniforms and bright yellow vehicles were welcome sights for virtually everyone on the road. By the 1920s, AA members were given their own personal keys to open the buildings (3). The term “call box” began to replace “sentry box” in common parlance.

Their unique cross-gable roof design made AA’s boxes easily identifiable. Boxes were fitted with oil lamps to provide light for travellers who might be taking shelter within.

AA Phone Boxes

The Prime of AA Call Boxes

  • 1930 Design standard: AA plaques, box numbers, ridge louvres, gables.
  • 1930-40 individual numbering of AA call boxes complete.
  • 1942-49 Box 472 built. Includes oil lamp and pulley.
  • 1956 Manufacturer contracted: Enham Industries, Alamein, Hampshire. Enham Mk IV model introduced. Designer unknown.
  • 1956-67 Design standard: Black and yellow, winged livery logo, door with glass window. Interiors include 1- button telephones, chipboard flooring, and cupboards. Box 472 modified to suit new design.

In their prime, AA call boxes were rectangular black kiosks with bright yellow detailing. Each was numbered individually for easy location and identification. A stranded motorist had only to use the key, open the box, and pick up the one-button telephone inside.

A simple “I am at box 472” would be all that was needed to dispatch help immediately. All kiosks were equipped with fire extinguishers, pulley lamps, maps, and sometimes other supplies. They were large enough for adequate shelter from the weather.

There were over 1000 call boxes throughout the UK. All were used frequently. Around the middle 50s, Enham industries was contracted to design and manufacture the boxes. The company employed many ex-servicemen. One of them may well have designed the popular Mk IV style that soon became standard (4).

Up to 1967, AA call boxes were all fitted with identical yellow”winged livery” logos, number plaques, and telephones (5).

Popularity of AA Call Boxes Began To Fade

  • 1967 AA call boxes re-badged with new square logo
  • Post 1967 AA sentry boxes no longer produced
  • 1970 AA call boxes phased out in favour of more economical designs
  • 1970-80 Small cabinets and free-standing phones replace manned booths
  • 1980-1989 Final phones installed on posts. Box 472 obsolete
  • 1990-99 All remaining call boxes re-branded: Square logos returned to original winged logo

No new call boxes were produced after 1967. However, in that same year, all the boxes were re-fitted with the company’s new square logo. This began the decline of the AA call boxes. There was a gradual phasing out of the boxes during the 1970s.

Newer, smaller, and cheaper cabinets took the place of the full sized constructions. Later, these were reduced further to simple free-standing pedestal phones. By the mid 1980s, the final phones on posts were installed.

The remaining call boxes, few of which were ever even visited, did receive a bit more attention in the 1990s. The square logo badges were re-branded- back to the original winged design. (5) Nothing was done to the box numbers. The AA call box was slowly becoming a piece of the past.

Soon, new technology would make them even less important.

AA Box 44

New Technology Made AA Call Boxes Obsolete

  • 2001-02 Many AA call boxes become government property. Boxes relabelled. Connected to local telephone services.
  • 2002 AA shuts down network, plans for disposal and transport of buildings. Only 21 AA call boxes remain standing.
  • Sept 2002 Box 472 restoration project idea begins.
  • 2003 AA call boxes listed as historic landmarks.
  • Aug 2009 Restoration of AA Box 472 completed.
  • 2009 Public appeal for restoration or re-siting of other AA call boxes.
  • April 2010 Box 472 survives first winter. Becomes mini-museum with regular visitors.

By 2001, over half of the AA call boxes had been taken over by government agencies. Those that were taken were relabelled and connected to local telephone networks (2). A phone call would now summon not the AA patrolman, but a uniformed official.

Fewer and fewer people eve needed these phones. Mobile technology and cellular devices made them unnecessary. By 2002, the Automobile Association shut down its network, and began to provide for disposal and transport of the buildings.

They were soon listed as historic landmarks, rather than functioning roadway items. A small group of gentlemen took interest in one particular sentry box, carefully restoring it to its former condition (1). Box 472, as it was called, survived its first winter, and became a mini-museum of AA call box history.

Public appeals were made for others to join the respiration effort in other communities (4). At present, some boxes have been re-sited, others transported to museums, and some remain in need of attention.

AA Box Locations

Here are the locations of the last remaining AA call boxes, if you happen to know of any we’ve missed or would like to share some photos or clearer directions for the boxes, then please contact us.

Box 753 – B974, the Cairn o’ Mount road south of Banchory, Glen Dye.

Box 746 – Looking south towards Grantown-on-Spey. At the junction of the A939 and A940 at Dava.

Box 723 – A708 Cappercleuch St Marys Loch.

Box 714 – A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road at Threapland near Lhanbryde.

Box 573 – Garrowby Hill.

Box 530 – A149 near Brancaster.

Box 504 – Sutherland on the old A9 between Tain and Ardgay.

Box 487 – A591 North of Grasmere, Lakes, Cumbria LA22 9RS.

Box 472 – Cambus O’May, A93, Aberdeenshire AB35 5SE.

Box 456 – A3052 towards the junction with the B3180 road. Its postcode is EX5 2JP.

Box 442 – A684 south, just over a mile east of the turn to Aysgarth Falls.

Box 372 – A556/A50, Mere.

Box 189 – Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Box 175 – Glasgow’s Museum of Transport.

Box 161 – Junction of A479 with A40.

Box 44  – Amberley Working Museum.

Box 45 – National Phone Museum, Avoncroft.

Box 162 – NPM, Avoncroft.

Box 645 – Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

AA Call Boxes Have Become a Part of History

The AA call box is a uniquely UK phenomenon, a long-standing piece of history. It calls to mind the days when a young woman out motoring could count on assistance for a sprained ankle. She fell while driving, and so summoned a passing AA patrolman. He relayed the message to every single AA sentry box on the road to Southampton. The girl’s parent were flagged down and informed of their child’s injury (2). This kind of personal connection with strangers seems nearly impossible today.

Perhaps it is not only the AA call box that has become a part of history. Perhaps something that is less tangible has also faded into the past.

AA Phone Call Boxes


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AA Car Badges – A Complete Guide Sun, 20 Jun 2010 20:33:38 +0000 admin

AA Badges

In June 1905, the British Automobile Association (AA) was created in London’s “Trocadero” restaurant. According to well-respected sources, one of the initial reasons for the creation of this club was to protect members from “speed traps,” along with education about driving laws, provision of maps and a meeting place where auto enthusiasts could talk about cars.

The AA has provided many services to its members over the years – including driving instruction, breakdown assistance, and publications, like maps and the “AA Member’s Special Handbook”. For many years, the official headquarters for the AA was Basingstoke, United Kingdom.The AA continually grew over the years, adding more services as the automobile industry expanded. By 1914, there were more than 80,000 members in the AA. By 1939, nearly 35% of all UK drivers were members of the AA. As of 2008, there were an estimated 12 million members of the club.

Every member of the Automobile Association received a car badge that could be attached to their vehicles radiator grill using screws. There are rumours that at the time Police officers often gave preferential treatment to motorists with AA badges displayed prominently on their cars. Over time, these AA car badges have become collector’s items: Automobilia.

The AA Car Badges Numbering System

The first 100 badges were issued in April 1906; these early badges can be easily traced, but later badges are more difficult to track. Initially, badges were made of brass, and over time this metal was replaced with nickel, and then white-metal chrome.

The first secretary of the AA was Stenson Cooke. Early versions of the AA badge had the word, “secretary” written on the front, with the reverse including a phone number. The round AA badge, was referred to as the Stenson Cooke badge or Frying Pan design after it was issued in 1906.

There are a variety of different badge styles – the most common being the square, oval and two-piece intertwined “AA” letters on a metal front plate with a separate yellow background plate (shaped like the outline of a light bulb).

The AA numbering system is based on an assigned “issuing number.” Early versions of this issuing number that have fewer than five digits were listed on the leg of the badge. When numbers grew larger to six digits, the number was moved to the top of the circle. Some have been confused about the serial number listed on the badges, believing that these were membership numbers; but, they are actually specially-assigned issuing numbers.

Common AA Badge Styles

The 1906 to 1911 badge style was the first series with a simplified “AA” pattern. It had a shorter leg than later versions. From 1907 to 1967, there were square badges with a yellow background made; in 1967 this square was replaced with a round design.

AA badges dates

The most common AA badge was derived from the combination of the original “AA” for the Automobile Association lettering with the “M” from the Motor Union after the two organisations merged in 1911. They combined the letters creating an intertwined “AA” lettering that resembled an “M” from a distance. This pattern ran from 1911 to 1945.

The “AA” design, size, type and metal changed after 1925 when only nickel or chrome was used instead of brass. There were only 10,000 copies of the winged long shank version, which was started in 1930. After 1945, the style changed with a more oval shape and the addition of a convex bulge replacing the flat surface. Different styles have different locations for the holes for screwing the badges onto the cars: one on either side, two at the bottom or in all four places.

There are a couple of supplementary types of badges that include the 1914 to 1920, pentagon-shaped, light-car badge for two or three seaters with only 11.9 horsepower. The other rare variety is a Commercial Vehicle Section brass badge that was manufactured from 1911 to 1930 with a red background in a basket-weave design; after 1930 it was chrome. There are also smaller badges made for motorcycle enthusiasts that had a heart-shaped token on them during World War I.

Badges from the British Empire (South Africa, New Zealand, and Zambia) are very rare.

A pennant on top of the badge’s circle signified that the owner was a member of the Automobile Association Committee. Since these AA badges officially belonged to the membership club, they were supposed to be returned when membership ended. An “R” stamp below the serial number means that the badge was returned and reissued.

The text on later AA car badges includes the following:

“Property of the {local club location} This badge must be returned when membership ceases”.

Here is a list of the most common AA badges in collections:

  • The original brass “AA” lettering
  • The chrome-plated metal “AA” lettering crossed, two pieces with metal front piece and yellow back
  • piece can be inserted behind lettering, winged insignia on top,
  • AA Car Essentials, magnetic GB plate badge for rear of vehicle, black lettering with white background,
  • Square piece with “AA” in black lettering has yellow background
  • Oval-shaped “GB” car badge in black lettering, gray background
  • White silver “AA” letters crossed, winged insignia on top, grayish background
  • Hexagon-shaped insignia, “AA” is enclosed in what looks like a necklace with an open clasp in front,
  • basket weave background, two holes on either side and at bottom (rare)
  • AA Relay with arrows, black lettering and yellow background
  • British Empire pieces (rare)

Decoding The AA Badge  Serial Number

AA Car Badge Numbering System:

  • 1 to 999,999 = issuing date between 1906 and 1930
  • A – P suffix = issuing date between 1930 and 1945
  • RST suffix = issuing date between 1946 and 1956 [flat motorcycle badges]
  • WXYZA suffix = issuing date between 1956 and 1967 [domed motorcycle badges]
  • 0A to 0Z prefix = issuing date between 1945 and 1957
  • 1A to 9A prefix = issuing date between 1957 and 1959
  • 1B to 9B prefix = issuing date between 1960 and 1961
  • 1C to 9C prefix = issuing date between 1962 and 1963
  • 1D to 9D prefix = issuing date between 1964 and 1965
  • 1E to 9E prefix = issuing date between 1966 and 1967

Pricing AA Badges

AA car badges can be purchased at markets selling automobile collections. Web sites also sell these AA car badges. Try to verify the authenticity of the piece by comparing its issuing number to style for that period.

Finding car badges in the original packaging adds value to a piece. Some of the most attractive AA car badges are the chrome-plated metal badges in pristine shape that shimmer in the light. Accessories include fixing bolts and crossed box keys.

The prices for AA car badges range from a couple UK pounds to hundreds of UK pounds.

Issues that affect an AA car badge price include the following:

  • Condition (Unopened, new and unused are more valuable)
  • Age
  • Rarity
  • Style

The rich history of the Automobile Association makes AA car badges an interesting collection item. These badges have a number of styles. Use the AA car badge numbering system to verify the authenticity of an item you are considering by matching the issuing date to the style of that period.

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M5 Tyre Change Highlights The Importance Of Breakdown Cover Sat, 19 Jun 2010 11:20:32 +0000 admin

AA Breakdown CoverEarlier this month, the emergency services were contacted when concerned motorists noticed a couple who were changing a tyre in the fast lane of the M5.

This absurd and extremely dangerous situation further highlights the benefits of having a breakdown assistance policy.

Commenting on the matter, a spokesperson for the AA said, “The most important thing at a breakdown is to get the car to the hard shoulder whenever possible and call the emergency services for help,” said Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the breakdown cover firm.

“A breakdown may prove costly but it’s a lot cheaper than a life.”

The highway code clearly states that drivers that experience a vehicle breakdown whilst travelling along the motorway should pull on to the hard shoulder – or switch their hazard lights on if they are unable to move.

Warning triangles should not be used on motorways and drivers should never attempt their own repairs.

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