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To need this car towed?

(29 Posts)
WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 09:56:11

I am on holiday (remote Northumberland).
Sat eve car poured smoke and became very hot.
I pulled into layby and called breakdown.
Person I spoke to was both confused and rude.
I was not able to provide a postcode but said I could see a chain pub sign further along the A road from layby and it looked 'about a mile away'. She told me to walk and I explained that I am disabled and had two children in the car and felt distressed. They asked for my destination postcode and I gave the holiday one. Stupidly.
I realised I needed towed to my usual garage (as holiday hamlet prob doesnt even have a garage) and called straight back. Was told 'job allocated now, cannot change postcode'. I explained and was told 'driver cant go there, it's 300 miles and will be over his tacho'. I said it was actually around 85m. If needed I'd pay. They would call back with a quote. They never did.
After 1.5 hours I called to ask where tow was, to be told: 'it's been subcontracted twice, they'll be with you soon'. Eventually, after the tow truck had passed us twice (theyd been told we were in pub car park) we ere rescued (over 3 hours later). We got back to holiday hamlet (nearly 4 hours later). There was no garage available (tow guy said back to cottage OR go looking for garage, cant do both).
So, I put kids to bed and had a bit of a weep.
Tried to start car today. It starts but still smoke/heat but now ALSO banging and high whining noise. Not drivable to any garage.
Called recovery to ask for tow to m'y usual garage to be told NO: 'sam fault, and you chose not to go there on Sat'. But we'll take you for a fee (still unclarified).

Is this as shit as it seems?

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 10-Apr-17 10:00:20

Which recovery company? Name and shame, and put a complaint in.

Don't try the car again, you could be causing damage when you're trying to start it.

StarryIllusion Mon 10-Apr-17 10:02:14

If it's a manual car I would be inclined to just find out where the nearest garage is and either ask a friend/neighbour to tow me if it's close by or see if the garage will come out to it.

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 10:17:51

It's an Auto.
Dont know anyone here, supposed to check out today.
Nearest garage is around 15miles.
I'd prefer it to go to my usual garage which serviced and MOT'd last week (no luck there then!)

Are they being unreasonable?

Bizzysocks Mon 10-Apr-17 10:23:59

They have side they will take you for a fee. So ask what the fee is. They are not being unreasonable to not do it for free.

It was a bit rubbish for you to have to wait 3 hours for recovery and for the phone operator to be rude. But that's done now focus on getting home. Try another recovery service?

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 10:39:29

I have been asking for a fee quote since Sat evening.
when they would not take me to a garage for free anyway, even though my policy says 'anywhere in UK'??

QuestionableMouse Mon 10-Apr-17 10:42:51

My garage will collect the car if needed. If not I'd sigh up with another recovery company and start again. Pretend it happened at the holiday home and get it towed where you need it.

araiwa Mon 10-Apr-17 10:44:37

it depends on what package you have as to what they will/ wont do

if it happened mon-fri 9-5 they will take you home or to final destination or to a garage. only if its out of hours will they come again next day to then take you to a garage.

it sounds like you need taking home now so be prepared for big bill, though some companies may let you upgrade your package to include that service.

you have to ask- you seem to get flustered easily so before you call them write down what you want and all the questions you have so that you can deal with it all in one call

Secretariat Mon 10-Apr-17 10:49:06

I would be inclined to sign up with a new recovery company (RAC or AA?), you might have to pay for the call out as your using the breakdown service straight away. They might sub contract it out if your car has to go on a low loader (mine does big auto 4x4) or is over a certain mileage.

Alternatively there are a number of transport companies, that will be probably be doing a north to south route that could pick your car up?

PeaFaceMcgee Mon 10-Apr-17 11:05:41

A new recovery company may well not permit call outs for the first few days, to prevent people doing this. Call the nearest garage and they'll probably have a local company they use for about £30 for a local journey. Or more if you really really want to sort it at home.

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 11:06:13

It happened 8pm Sat evening. around 32 miles from holiday house.
around 80 miles from garage. I was dropped at holiday house just before midnight. no option of garage, paid or unpaid was offered.

Sisinisawa Mon 10-Apr-17 11:12:00

Phone the local garage. They will know someone who can tow it.

Lewwat Mon 10-Apr-17 11:14:06

I'm gonna guess your with a budget company.

Rescuemycar by any chance?
You may be better off just googleing a private recovery man and getting a quote

FanaticalFox Mon 10-Apr-17 11:38:06

You need to explain who your cover is with as this all makes no sense if its RAC/AA etc. Guessing maybe you have cover through your car insurance or bank account? Cheap cover? If you say who its with then we might be able to help you solve it
I.e I work for a big bank so can tell you who to complain to.

OhBeggerItsMorning Mon 10-Apr-17 12:16:41

We have a pretty comprehensive cover with the RAC and if we need recovered only get dropped in one place, never a second drop. One evening the car broke down on my husband on the way home from work so he had to get brought home as there were no garages open, had to pay to get the car to a garage the next day ourselves!

On another note. Used to live in Northumberland so know a few people there. An old friend of ours has a garage in Ashington, Northumberland. It is called Airbourne Motor Engineers and he has his own breakdown truck. He might be able to help you, if he can't or is too far away he may well know someone else who can help/is closer to you. His company is on Facebook so just need to search for it, I will pm you his details too. HTH

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 15:38:36

It IS through my insurer yes.
They now 'cant find all the phone calls' and have offered £265 quote to tow it 85 miles. Pah.
Am looking at local garage.
FanaticalFox I will pm you, thank you.

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 15:40:05

OhBeggar thank you - very kind.x

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 16:41:43

breakdown people called earlier and offered £100 towards the cost of towing. I asked if I had to use them or could arrange myself and they said could arrange self and invoice them. I was in that process when they called back and said that they had now listened to the 'previously lost' call - they thought their person had been 'very helpful and kind' and on that basis they were withdrawing the £100 offer. Also that we had not spelled the name of the town we broke down on the edge of; ALNWICK. Apparantly, they were booking it to the 'wrong annick' as we had pronounced it wrong etc etc etc.
When giving me the address to complian to, the Manager made two errors - both in the street address (she couldn't remember) and in the postcode. Tells you all you need to know, really...



WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 16:42:54

sorry, 'complain to'!

FanaticalFox Mon 10-Apr-17 17:14:19

You need proper breakdown cover from now on definitely. Sorry OP you've had a nightmare!

Gizlotsmum Mon 10-Apr-17 17:20:06

I think you can do an immediate sign up and call out with the AA. I did a couple of years back, the cost of the call out was the same as membership so signed up. ( I had a dead battery) always worth a call if you can't find another solution

FanaticalFox Mon 10-Apr-17 17:31:34

^ great idea

carefreeeee Mon 10-Apr-17 18:17:20

Local garage will possibly collect for £40 quid ish if you also get the repairs done there?

Recovery companies usually take you to one destination, that's fairly standard I think. I usually get them to take me to the garage nearest my home dropping me off en route, or walk/taxi home depending on time of day.

I recommend AutoAid. £42.50 per year, no exclusions. They use local companies so it's usually quickish. You are supposed to pay the recovery person and claim it back but they don't always enforce that.

WorshipTheGourd Mon 10-Apr-17 18:32:35

Local garage thinks it could be Head Gasket and is saying £1k?
Its a 20 yr old Bongo so prob not worth it.
Ds has ASD and is sobbing about camper van maybe being scrapped.
(Easter hols and he seems to have listened in to every convo despite my best efforts). Poo.

I can see that they only take to 1 destination.
BUt it was nearly midnight, and I could not walk from the garage to either holiday house or normal house. (double crutches so already in a lot of pain).
Rescue guy said can ONLY drop at garage.
In middle of nowhere so no taxi / public transport re holiday house.
Ed cant afford hotel (dog with us anyway).
Where could we have slept?
Had to go to holiday cottage to sleep. Exhausted after 4 hours waiting at midnight.
Told them all this and they didnt give a stuff.

Re AA / RAC - I realise they will have a 'no call outs' thing for a few days. but even so would they not know it had just broken down. Is there a national database or somthing?

Gizlotsmum Mon 10-Apr-17 18:49:24

I don't think they do have a no call out period. It makes sense for them to rescue you and get your business and probably future business.

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