Our Road Trip to York with Smart Breakdown

*This is an advert. All photos in the car were taken when the vehicle was safely parked and the engine was turned off. 

We Love Road Trips 

As a family, we love a road trip and as you know, we take many throughout the year and with Smart Breakdown from the AA, we love the extra reassurance and peace of mind it provides and that if anything was to go wrong, we are covered. Our safety is super important to us and something I would not compromise on.

As a family who loves road trips, we are well placed to test out the new Smart Breakdown product from the AA. We have been testing this service out for the past few weeks with our regular journeys and a longer road trip to York.

Warning Lights Scare Me

Despite driving since the age of 17 and being a car owner since I was 18 (a full 18 years ago!!), I will be the first to admit that I don't have a clue when it comes to warning lights/car problems and they scare me. I am not car savvy (I have never changed a car tyre) and have always relied on family members and breakdown cover to get me through any car trouble.

I know I am not the only one who feels this way when it comes to cars and anything that can help me, increase my knowledge and confidence or put my mind at ease gets the thumbs up from me.

After putting Smart Breakdown through its paces for the past few weeks, I have been impressed with the reassurance it provides and definitely feel more confident and would have much more information readily available if anything was to go wrong during a road trip.

The Benefits of Smart Breakdown 

Smart Breakdown includes a clever little device that plugs into your car. It works with most cars under 15 years old and full instructions are provided which are personalised to your car when you sign up. You need to input your vehicle registration when you sign up and you will be alerted immediately if your car is compatible.

If there are any problems with installation, there is a helpline but I didn't need to use this and could follow the setup instructions just fine. In our car, the device connects via a port in our glovebox (which I had no idea was even there).

You can register for Smart Breakdown online or via telephone and the device will be sent out to you in the post. Prices start at around £5 per month.

AA Smart Breakdown Box

Image - AA Smart Breakdown Device

The device stays in the car - you just plug it in and let it do its thing. The device links up with the AA app (you scan the QR code once) and I love that it provides lots of helpful information straight to your phone including any faults detected with your vehicle (thankfully ours has been ok) and updates on your car health.

I enabled push notifications which means if there is a fault detected, I will be notified via the AA phone app straight away.

For someone who does not know much about cars, having information like this with me has been invaluable. We have not encountered any problems and our car health has always been at an optimum level so far but if there is a problem, I now feel empowered that I will be able to handle it with a little help from the information provided in the app.

I am pleased that so far, our battery has remained fully charged and no faults have been detected.

Our Road Trip to York 

Smart Breakdown is continuous, as long as your membership is active and your device is still plugged into your car, it will continuously monitor your car health in real-time. I really wanted to test Smart Breakdown out on a longer road trip and we decided to head to York which is around a 90 minute - two hour drive from our house.

I like knowing that if a warning light was to flash up during a journey, I can easily access more details via my app along with information on what the light means and what to do next and contact the AA if necessary.  In plain speak too - there is no jargon.

Back to our road trip and first thing's first, I checked my AA app and we had a full car battery and no faults detected. A quick stop off at the service station to stock up on fuel and snacks and we were good to go.

Image - Setting off on a road trip

We always use York Park & Ride  (postcode YO30 5XZ)  which is just off the A19. It is free to park and buses run regularly.

Image -  Parked up in York Park & Ride Car Park

The main reason we visited York was to visit the York Dungeon. We have Merlin Annual Passes but as mentioned above, you can receive a decent discount if you book tickets through the AA app.

Image - the York Dungeon entrance

We also enjoyed a walk around the Shambles which is one of the best Medieval streets in the world. It is like walking down a real life Diagon Alley and a must for any Harry Potter fans.

Image  - Little Shambles York

Image - Park your broomstick in York

I could not resist picking up this badge..... #TeamSlytherin 

Image - Slytherin pin badge in York

Image - The Shambles York

Then it was onto York Minster. It is £11.50 per adult and free for children to visit. I had wanted to visit for years and whilst it was beautiful.

Image - inside York Minster

A quick stop for pizza......

Image - The Block Pizza York

.....and brownies before heading home.

Image - choosing brownies

We had a brilliant day in York. It was an inexpensive day out for us and the fact that we were covered by Smart Breakdown provided us with extra reassurance that if anything did go wrong, we would have the tools and knowledge to not let it spoil our day. 

Image - car selfie

We have not needed to call out the AA or use the fault finder on our Smart Breakdown yet but I know it is always there, running in the background and accessible at the touch of a button should I need it. I like knowing that it is there and that I will be notified if a fault is detected.

Smart Breakdown has given me the confidence to plan longer road trips and adventures with just myself and the kids this year and I love the fact that problems can be detected before they even happen or before they have the chance to get even worse which will hopefully save us a bit of cash too.

Find out more about Smart Breakdown here. 

Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer. 

Pin Me For Later 

Our Road Trip to York with Smart Breakdown


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