A problem shared is a problem halved.
We all have those moments when you scratch your head over how to fix something or need a bit of advice.
Joining a drivers’ or car owners’ club can make things a little bit easier. In most cases, the benefits can take you way beyond fixing something under the bonnet.
Some clubs are affiliated to vehicle manufacturers, while others are run by passionate car enthusiasts.
Some are free to join and you can sign up online in seconds. Others, especially those with a full calendar of member events, may charge an annual membership fee.
So, what are the benefits of becoming a member of a drivers’ club?
1. Free motoring advice
Lots of clubs have online chat forums where you can post questions, swap tips and share advice.
If there’s a major problem with your car, unless you’re a mechanic, you’ll usually take it to a garage. But for smaller jobs, or for something you can’t find in the handbook, this could prove expensive and time consuming.
Jumping on the forum to ask fellow enthusiasts, who may have had their cars for years, can often help you solve the problem in no time.
The Audi Owners Club, for example, is an independent club for owners. It has forums covering everything from technical advice to alarms, car care and road trips.
2. Half-price MOT and discounted repairs
Joining an owners’ club can open the door to discounts and deals on all those car essentials such as insurance, MOT, servicing and repairs.
Vauxhall owners, for example, can save up to 25% on servicing and get a half-price MOT by joining its free Service Club.
Those that charge you a small annual membership fee may still prove a good investment, as you can save money in the long run.
3. Save on insurance and valuations
If you’ve had your vehicle modified or changed in any way, you may find insurers have different rules on what’s acceptable or what puts up your premium.
This is where specialist owners’ clubs like the British Mini Club come in. Its valuation service costs £5 and can be done by post. You’ll have to send in good-quality photos and details of any work done.
Most clubs also offer discounted rates on insurance as they use specialist companies which can save drivers around 25% on premiums.
4. Boost your social life
In some cases, you don’t have to be an owner to join a specific car club. If you’re passionate and have enthusiasm for a particular manufacturer or car – you’re in!
Club members can often get discounted tickets for events like the Classic Motor Show, which is held at the NEC in Birmingham every year.
Many clubs also organise regular meet-ups. More established ones, like the Volkswagen Owners Club, have a full calendar of events across the country. They also publish magazines, maintain active chat forums, and sell merchandise.
Others, like the BMW Car Club, charge an annual membership fee, which costs from £40 a year. It includes access to over 100 annual events including factory visits, track days and meet-ups.
The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club is another long-established club that runs both local and national events. They organise talks, film shows, social evenings, as well as a monthly magazine, online forums, and insurance deals.
5. Group holidays
Some clubs even organise group holidays through specialist companies like Travel Destinations.
Drivers can visit places like Iceland, Norway, Croatia and Majorca. Clubs which do this include the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club and MG Owners’ Club.