Review: Green Flag breakdown cover

Digby Bodenham By Digby Bodenham

Green Flag offers five levels of breakdown cover, all of which include 24/7 roadside assistance, unlimited callouts (although there may be a charge for callouts relating to the same problem) and no extra charge for equipment used to recover a vehicle from mud, snow or a flood.

Policies start from £25 to £100 and it says its most popular policy is Recovery Plus, which starts at £60. Although the level of cover differs between providers, its lowest advertised rates are cheaper than the AA and RAC’s basic policies.

You can get a quote from the Green Flag site.

Its policy is underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

Background

Green Flag launched in 1971 as the National Breakdown Recovery Club to take on the dominance of the AA and RAC. They are still its biggest rivals and at the time of writing it was offering a 50% discount to AA and RAC customers on their renewal quotes if they switch to Green Flag.

The deal is for vehicles 10 years and under on Green Flag's closest equivalent UK cover.

The company was rebranded Green Flag in 1994 and was acquired by the Direct Line insurance group in 1999.

Green Flag says it rescues someone every 41 seconds.

What do Green Flag policies offer?

There are five Green Flag breakdown policies: Rescue, Rescue Plus, Recovery, Recovery Plus and Euro Plus.

Whatever level you choose you can then add multi-vehicle, personal and family cover. Its policies cover cars, vans, motorhomes and motorbikes.

As well as general breakdowns you can also call them out for flat tyres, if you run out of fuel, a flat battery, or losing or breaking your car keys.

The personal option covers you and one other person in your household. It means you’ll both have Green Flag cover, whichever vehicle you’re in, whether you’re driving or a passenger. Family cover extends that to three other people in your household.

Green Flag’s most popular policy, Recovery Plus, is its most comprehensive UK cover and includes:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Unlimited callouts
  • No specialist equipment charges
  • Cover if your vehicle won’t start at home, which is good for up to a quarter of a mile from your home
  • Misfuelling cover – Green Flag will drain your tank for free if you put the wrong fuel in your vehicle
  • National recovery – They will take you and your car home or to anywhere else in the UK
  • Onward travel – If your car can’t be fixed Green Flag will provide a hire car for 48 hours up to the value of £100, pay up to £100 for the cost of alternative transport or arrange a hotel. The hotel is limited to £150 per person or £500 per breakdown, but you can add the cost of breakfast so don’t worry about filling up at the buffet.

The basic Rescue policy offers only the first three of those features and Green Flag’s most expensive policy includes all of the above and 90 days of European cover if your vehicle is less than 16 years old. The other two policies offer a combination of some of the above features.

You can see what is included in each policy here.

Green Flag says its unlimited callout feature sets it apart from other breakdown services. The AA’s basic policy costs £29 and gives you two callouts a year while the RAC’s cheapest policy at £27.99 has a five callout limit.

Green Flag also has a 60-minute promise – if they’re not with you within an hour they’ll give you £10.

Another noteworthy feature is the Green Flag app, which allows customers who have broken down to send Green Flag their exact location using GPS on their smartphone.

And if you subscribe to the Green Flag Alert Me service, which fits a small device to your vehicle, the app will tell you when your battery is about to fail and whether it’s safe to keep driving if a warning light comes on.

How much does Green Flag breakdown cover cost?

Green Flag advertises its policies as from £25 for Rescue, £35 for Rescue Plus, £55 for Recover, £60 for Recover Plus and £100 for Euro Plus. However, it also says that only 10% of its customers will receive those prices online.

They can be used as a guide but the cost of your cover will depend on a range of factors such as the model and age of your car and where you live.

Green Flag has a simple quote form online and at the time of writing it was offering 40% off prices quoted over the phone when bought online.

Find out how much your quote is on the Green Flag site.

There are also a couple of other discounts you can receive if you become a member.

It has a no callout discount if you don’t use Green Flag for a year, which will be applied if you renew. With the multi-vehicle discount you can register up to four cars, vans, motorhomes or motorbikes and the more you add, the more you save.

What do Green Flag’s customer reviews say?

Green Flag says that 86% of its customers gave its breakdown technicians at least an eight out 10 for service levels between March and December last year.

It has an average score of 3.7 out of 10 from 76 reviews on the Trustpilot website. However, the AA scores 2.9 from 26 reviews and the RAC has 1.5 stars out of 10 from 159 reviews on Trustpilot.

On the Reviewcentre.com website a third of people who reviewed Green Flag would recommend it and a quarter of AA or RAC reviewers would recommend their policies.

What do the experts say?

Green Flag’s Recover Plus and Euro Plus policies have been awarded five out of five stars by industry body Defaqto. Its Recovery policy has a four-star Defaqto rating, and Rescue and Rescue Plus have been awarded three stars.

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