I've read in various places, including this website, about the reciprocal arrangements between the Automobile Associations of the UK and those of Australia and New Zealand.
However I'm not a member of any organisation in the UK and am wondering if it is worth joining one before setting off on my trip downunder? Will I gain any real benefits? What assistance would I gain from the Australian or NZ organisations that I would not otherwise receive?
After all I don't expect a "Home Start" facility outside my tent!
[This message has been edited by paul_t (edited 22 June 2002).]
normally the benefits are the same as you get in the UK e.g. breakdown assistance , cheaper home insurance and so on ( windscreen insurance anyone ? ).
Personally I took out membership before my first jaunt abroad but I never used it . Having said that , people with very old cars and perhaps bikes too find membership a real bonus , what with breaking down more often .
You could always contact NZAA for their list of goodies .
I've been to the NZAA website to check out what they had to offer the smiling tourist. I think I'll probably join join the AA or RAC before I leave the UK now and hopefully I'll pick up a few freebies on my travels.
You may be better off joining one here. They have 'plus' packages for more money that offer remote breakdown services/benifit that can be good for adventure tourists.
The main advantage of mebership are the maps, free to members.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
I'd ask yourself where you intend to go first... if you're sticking to major routes and big cities then membership may be worth it, but if you're gonna hit the outback, a decent travel insurance policy and a good credit card limit (allied to a sat phone if needed) will be enough.
eg. I can't see RACV membership being much use in the sticks, only Melbourne & vicinity - similarly, if you break down, for example, 200km from Coober Pedy, there won't be a patrol along in a minute - you'll take what you can get and pay for it, then claim back of your insurance when you get home... that's assuming you can't flag down a decent roadside mechanic, which most outback Aussies appear to be anyway.
On the subject of phones, if you can bring a GSM phone to NZ, you can buy a pre-pay SIM card from Vodaphone here for NZ$20. That is a nice form of break-down insurance, and a good way for family and friends to have some peace of mind too. SMS text messages via free websites are another bonus. Coverage if fairly good, main roads are almost 100% and every town with more than a garage and cattle sale yards are covered now.
Nigel & Kitty
Just found out that the RAC in the UK are no longer members of FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) or AIT (Alliance Internationale de Tourisme) so that's the reciprocal deals (my freebies) out of the window (AFAIK) http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/frown.gif
PS What are these french acronyms all about then? A bit strange, n'est ce pas?
Those others are in English - weird either - isn't it??
(from Germany ;-) )
For the topic:
As people said before - they wouldn't pick you up further out in Australia anyway - and close to civilization you will be able to find a helpful hand and some trailer to pick you up - I'm sure!
Get the maps down there - they're not all that expensive!
I did with a membership (of the German ADAC which had contracts with the AAA) and never came accross so much as an advertisment of the assoziation - say at least a tow away car, a telephone number or anything.
Didn't need it either - when I came into Adelaide (I think) I asked where to find them and asked the main question - would they pick me up somewhere - let's say - North of Alice??
No - they wouldn't - to far out - and that's speaking MAIN ROADS!!!
Anyway - I would say go without, but take a good health travel insurance!!!
[This message has been edited by onlycookie (edited 15 July 2002).]
I think you will have to join an automobile organisation so you can get your Carnet De Passage (French again!) as you need a Carnet in Oz, that's how it was as of June this year.
I joined the RAC (Western Australia) as they are the only (that I know of) organisation that issues Carnet's in West Oz.
As to the benefits of an automibile organisation I think it's a subjective topic as every one will no doubt have good/bad experiences, I thinks its a case of rely on the good Samaritan (yeah right1), well there are some in West Oz anyway.
Macca & Lynda
Without adventure life is in full decay.
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