Written-off cars can be replaced by AA Insurance/Turners ‘personal shopper’ service
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A new service being offered by AA Insurance and Turners used-car network is being pitched as the automotive equivalent of having a personal shopper.
AA Insurance customers who have had their car written off can now opt for a replacement vehicle sourced and delivered by Turners, instead of taking the money.
“For a car enthusiast the idea of having cash to go and buy another car sounds great,” says Simon Hobbs, head of claims for AA Insurance.
“But for many it’s just a hassle and a stress… This service is a life saver for many AA Insurance customers”.
Hobbs says once a customer has made the decision to outsource a replacement vehicle and decided on their parameters, it takes four to five days for Turners to deliver a new vehicle.
Customers provide a checklist that allows Turners to look at a range of vehicle options through its nationwide used-car network, which is the largest in New Zealand: 23 branches carrying approximately 3000 vehicles.
Customers are free to choose a different type of vehicle to that written off, or contribute extra cash to upgrade. If there’s change from their budget and the price of the selected vehicle, the difference is refunded.
The service builds on a long relationship between the two companies; Turners has handled disposal of AA vehicles for over 15 years.
The new scheme has been trialed since late last year for about 50 customers, including 20 who had vehicles written off following the 2019 Timaru hail storm.
One customer had to replace two vehicles urgently, but finding them was a challenge because many cars on local used-car yards were also damaged.
AA Insurance says that within 24 hours of putting in the request, two vehicles of her choice were set aside and within “a few days” she had dropped off her damaged vehicles and driven away in the replacements.
Hobbs argues that customers often get a better car for their money than if they had negotiated themselves.
He emphasises that this is simply a service being offered by AA Insurance, nothing more: “There has been some disbelief, perhaps a suspicion that we’re clipping the ticket in some way. But that’s not the case. Those who have used the service have been very happy.”
AA Insurance writes off about 10,000 vehicles per year. The majority are below a value of $10,000.