Most people assume that the AA and RAC offer a free fuel draining service to their members, unfortunately this is not the case.
Both the AA and RAC charge for fuel drains, the price varies but is about £220, the AA will tow you home for free with a fuel drain if you have the home recovery service.
Standard AA patrol vans do not carry fuel draining equipment, the fuel drains are done by a specialist AA division called, AA Fuel Assist, this is managed autonomously within the AA network.
AA fuel assist carry out mobile fuel drains on location and being part of the AA they are very good at it, The RAC are fairly new to the fuel draining business and are just dipping their toes into it.
Neither the AA or RAC offer a full blown national coveridge, the work is often passed on to independent fuel draining companies, or local garages, in remote areas they offer very little in the way of service.
I have heard from a number of other fuel draining companies and they all are noticing less work coming from both the AA and RAC which would suggest that their own vans are starting to cover more work.
The good news for the motorists is the more people are doing it, the cheaper it gets and the response times will be faster, hopefully the main dealers will start also recommending fuel drains instead of un-needed major engine rebuilds.
If you do decide to use the AA or RAC here’s a little tip that should save you some money, if you refuse the first price they quote they will offer a discount to get the work, this however doesn’t work for us smaller independent fuel draining companies becuase we done have millions in the bank set aside in the “wipe out the competition account”.
The AA will often tow you home from the petrol station, and then have another van come and do the fuel drain at your house at a scheduled time and day.