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A1 car insurance

Not sure about something?

  • About our car insurance
  • Buying your cover
  • About your payment
  • My policy documents
  • Using the car
  • The policy excess
  • No-claims discount
  • Security devices
  • Making a claim
  • Changing your cover

About our car insurance

Who underwrites AA Car Insurance?

We find the best car insurance deal for you by comparing quotes from our hand-picked group of insurers. The insurer who gives you the best value for money on your car insurance will be your underwriter.

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Buying your cover

Can I get motor insurance that starts right now?

Yes. When you buy online or over the phone your car insurance can start immediately.

You'll need a credit or debit card to pay either the full premium or an initial deposit if paying by monthly instalments.

If I don't buy straight away, how long is my quote valid for?

You can future date your quote by up to 60 days. The quoted price remains valid as long as your details remain unchanged.

Do AA Members get a discount on car insurance?

When you get a quote online, confirm that you are an AA Member. You could get a discount when you insure your car with us for the first time, and on subsequent renewals if you remain an AA Member.

My car has modifications – will they affect my insurance quote?

If your car has been modified we can give you an online quote for a maximum of two modifications from the following list:

  • Alloy Wheels.
  • Front Spoiler or Air Dam.
  • Locking Wheel Nuts.
  • Rear Roof Spoiler.
  • Rear Spoiler or Aerofoil.
  • Bull Bars.
  • Dual Control.
  • Hand Controls.

Modifications will affect the quote price, as they present a higher risk than original components.

If your car has more than two modifications, or the modification isn't listed, please call us on 0800 197 7178 – we may still be able to give you a quote.

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About your payment

Can I spread my payments and pay by monthly instalments?

Yes, you can pay by monthly instalments. We'll ask for an initial payment by debit or credit card and the rest of your payment will be made in 11 monthly instalments. Credit will be provided by Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited, and you must be over 18.

How secure is my online payment?

We keep your personal details and your credit or debit card information private and secure when you buy online. We do this by using secure server software that encrypts any information you give us. It takes the characters you enter and converts them into a secret code, which is then securely sent to us.

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My policy documents

How can I access my policy documents online?

Your policy documents are in your My AA account. See the My AA help page for advice on how to access them.

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Using the car

Can I drive abroad with my car insurance?

AA Car Insurance provides the same cover you get in the UK in any EU country for up to 90 days in a year. So as a comprehensive policyholder, you have comprehensive cover when you drive within the EU.

Depending on your insurer, and for an additional premium, you may be able to extend the 90-day period, and be insured in countries outside the EU.

Am I covered for towing caravans or trailers?

When towing a caravan or trailer, you are covered for the costs you are liable to pay if you cause damage to property, or injury or death to someone.

Your car insurance also covers a single-axle trailer, worth up to £500 and kept in a safe and roadworthy condition, while attached to your car. For example, if you have comprehensive insurance, your trailer will also be covered on a comprehensive basis, which includes accidental damage, fire and theft.

When do I need to select business use?

Select business use when you use your car to travel to various places in connection with your work, such as offices or factories. Business use is not required when you travel to a single permanent place of work.

If I do voluntary work, do I need to select business use?

When you only commute to and from one permanent place of voluntary work, then select 'Social, Domestic, Pleasure & Commuting' for the use of your car.

If you travel to more than one place of voluntary work, our panel of insurers has agreed that 'Social, Domestic, Pleasure & Commuting' is also sufficient cover and should be selected.

But if you transport goods or people as part of your voluntary work, then please call 0800 197 7178 for a quote.

Please note, we do not charge an administration fee if you call us to update your policy to show you now do voluntary work.

Our panel of insurers operates under the statement below, issued on the Association of British Insurers website.

"The insurer will insure their policyholders to carry out voluntary driving, that is, the use of a vehicle they own in connection with, or for the benefit of, charities, voluntary organisations, clubs or societies, where payment does not exceed the HMRC mileage rates in force at that time. This does not cover use for hire or reward or vehicles owned by, hired to or lent to the voluntary organisation."

Can I drive other cars?

Yes, our comprehensive policy allows you to drive other vehicles with third-party cover, unless it's specifically excluded by your insurer. If this is excluded, we'll state this when you get a quote. If you've already bought car insurance from us, check your certificate of motor insurance. There are conditions that apply to this benefit, so please view our Car Insurance Policy Booklet for more details.

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The policy excess

What is a policy excess?

An excess is the part of the costs of a claim for loss or damage to your car that you have to pay out of your own pocket. Your insurance will be cheaper if you agree to pay more of these costs yourself. There are two types of policy excess:

Compulsory excess – the insurer will decide how much you'll be asked to pay for each claim before you buy the motor insurance policy. Check that you are comfortable with how much you'll have to pay for each claim before you buy a car insurance policy.

Voluntary excess – the amount you'd be prepared to pay on top of the compulsory amount. The higher you go, the lower your premium.

Can I pay a voluntary excess?

Yes, you can pay a higher voluntary excess for when you make a claim, usually up to £500. Typically, you pay less for your car insurance if you select a higher voluntary excess.

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No-claims discount

What is a no-claims discount?

A no-claims discount is a reward for not making a claim on your motor insurance policy. If you do make a claim, your discount will normally be less at the next renewal if your insurance company cannot get their money back from the person responsible.

Where can I find proof of my no-claims discount?

The renewal or cancellation notice from your previous insurer will contain proof of your no-claims discount.

Can I protect my no-claims discount?

Yes, you can pay an additional premium to protect your no claims discount. Depending on your insurer, you can usually make two 'fault' claims in a 3- or 5-year period without affecting your no claims discount.

What is the AA Uninsured Driver Promise?

If you make a claim following an accident that is not your fault, and the driver of the other vehicle is not insured, you will not lose your no-claims discount or have to pay any excess.

We just ask you to tell us the other vehicle's make, model and valid registration number, so that we can identify the driver of the other vehicle.

Can a named driver earn no claims discount on my policy?

Yes, named drivers over 25 years can earn their own no claims discount to use on an AA policy in the future. See our page about named drivers.

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Security devices

What is a Thatcham security device?

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre tests car security products for insurers. It's better known as 'Thatcham' after the Berkshire town where it's based. Most insurers like these products and give you discounts if you get them for your car.

What is a tracking device?

The police can track a stolen car with an electronic signal sent by this bit of kit hidden in the car. Most cars that have this are found after they are stolen. You can pay up to 10% less for your motor insurance if your car has a tracking device.

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Making a claim

How do I make a car insurance claim?

Call our 24-hour claim line 0800 269 622.

Before you call, please see how to make a motor insurance claim.

Is a courtesy car included on my policy?

Yes, a courtesy car is available with comprehensive cover. Following an accident, you will be provided with another car while yours is undergoing repair.

When you buy comprehensive cover direct from us, you also get a courtesy car for a total loss claim, where the vehicle is written off or stolen and unrecovered, or for accidents occurring outside the UK.

Is windscreen cover included on my policy?

If you have comprehensive cover, then windscreen cover is included. We cover the windscreen, sunroof and the remaining windows. And your no claims discount is not affected by a windscreen claim.

A windscreen replacement is subject to the applicable excess, but there is no excess to pay on a windscreen repair.

You can check your windscreen replacement excess when you get a quote online. On the quote page a summary of your details includes a link to 'Excess details / policy terms'.

How can I get my windscreen repaired?

Call our 24-hour claim line 0800 269 622 and select option 2.

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Changing your cover

What information is needed to advise a change of vehicle?

Please call 0800 316 1193 and select option 1 to make any change to your policy.

If you have changed your vehicle, we'll need the same type of details as you provided for the previous model, such as registration number, market value and any modifications.

Can vehicles be added temporarily?

Usually yes – call us on 0800 316 1193 and ask to add a temporary additional vehicle (TAV). We'll need to know all the details of the model.

Allowing a TAV is subject to the current insurer accepting the risk. Test drives are not covered.

You can add a TAV from 1 day to 4 weeks, and a cover note will be issued.

We cannot offer insurance where a policy is already in place for the vehicle.

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Source


The best of the A1’s engines is the 1.0 TFSI petrol unit with 94bhp. It’s not exactly a powerhouse – 0-62mph takes 11.0 seconds – but it sounds good and loves to rev, so it’s fun to drive. And as this A1 weighs only 1,060kg, it doesn’t have to struggle.

The 1.6 TDI diesel claims some remarkable fuel economy figures, but it’s at least £1,000 more expensive to buy than the 1.0-litre petrol, so you need to do the sums to ensure you’ll cover the mileage to justify this. Audi also offers a more powerful 1.4 TFSI petrol engine, with 123bhp or 148bhp, but for most buyers, the little 1.0-litre will do the job nicely.

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Unless you’ve tried the S1 quattro, that is. It features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo delivering 228bhp, which is a lot of power in a car the size and weight of this. Add four-wheel-drive traction, and you have a recipe for bags of grip to go with the thrilling performance.

Performance and drive

As it shares mechanicals with the Volkswagen Polo, the Audi A1 unsurprisingly errs on the side of sensible rather than exciting with its driving experience. Sport and S line models get lowered and stiffened suspension (although buyers can revert to the standard set-up before they take delivery at no extra cost), plus the steering is precise and well weighted, and there’s a decent amount of grip. But the A1 can’t match the engaging MINI or DS 3 for ultimate driving fun.

The ride is quite firm in any form, so if you decide to go for an S line model then it becomes quite uncomfortable. Unless you live somewhere with exceptionally smooth roads, we'd stick to the softer-riding SE versions – or select the standard suspension on range-topping models. Visibility is good in the Audi A1, and it's pretty easy to park, so it ticks the urban runabout boxes well.

Thanks to the low weight of its engine, the 1.0 TFSI petrol model has the best steering in the line-up, and ultimately delivers the best handling of any A1.

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Having said that, both 1.4 TFSI models offer decent economy and a lower price than the diesel cars. The 148bhp version won't upset the MINI Cooper S – it's quite quick, yet lacks involvement. The S1 is faster, but comes at quite a price premium.

All engines are smooth and refined, and most are hooked up to the slick six-speed manual gearbox. However, as of the 2015 facelift, all engines – including the 1.6-litre TDI – are available with the seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic auto.

Just like the petrol engines, the 1.6-litre diesel is quiet and smooth on the move, but it works best with the manual gearbox rather than the seven-speed auto, as the manual adds a dose of much-needed fun.

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Welcome to A1 Car Hire

Car Hire and Vehicle Rental in Kirkwall, Orkney

We are a well-established family business having been in the motortrade since 1993, then in March 2006 added car hire to complete the circle. Our fleet of vehicles rotate on a 3 year basis making 2015 the time when we took delivery of a batch of Volkswagens all having five doors.

We can also supply 4 x 4s (subject to availability). All our cars come equipped with first aid kits and local maps. Tom-tom satellite navigation and child boosters are available on request. Free collection from airport and ferries is available by arrangement if the vehicle hire is for 4 days or more. If the hire is less than 4 days a delivery charge of £10 will be added.

Whether you are visiting Orkney on a business trip or for pleasure, you can be guaranteed a warm welcome from A1 Car Hire, making it a perfect start to your stay in Orkney.

Our vehicle rental and car hire business is based in Kirkwall, which is the largest town of the Orkney Islands. Our town is the administrative centre with a long and interesting past. For example, our premises, the Hatston Industrial Estate, is near a prehistoric ancient monument, Grain Earth House, a short low stone-walled passage deep underground leading to a small pillared chamber.

Throughout the UK, we are probably one of the most northerly vehicle rental businesses around.

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