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Predict, prevent and protect your car from breaking down with Car Genie

Our Members can exclusively get a nifty new device that checks the health of your car

Welcome to the new generation of driving with Car Genie. With a connected car, you can check on battery life, be warned of any faults that might cause a breakdown, and even find your car if you forget where you’ve parked. All at your fingertips.

Connected Car - Car Genie

We often take our car for granted, forgetting how much we depend on it – from doing the school run, to popping to the shops, visiting friends and family, and going to work. And for lots of us, it’s our little sanctuary, an escape from the hustle and bustle. So, when something goes wrong, it can really put the brakes on our day. 

That’s why we developed a smart little device that plugs into your car’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBDII) port. Out of sight (usually in the footwell), it’ll check the car and let you know through the app if there are any problems that could cause a breakdown.


What does Car Genie do?

Thanks to the internet, we can keep tabs on the things that matter – from our heating and TV box to takeaway deliveries – and control our lives from the palm of our hands. Now it’s available for the extension of your home – your car.

Set to revolutionise how we drive and look after our car, it:

Keeps an eye on your battery
Car breakdowns are often down to battery issues. Our connected car device will warn you if there’s a problem so you can take your car out for a spin to charge it, or even replace it before you start your journey – so you don't have that heart sinking 'flat battery' moment.

Reports some problems to us
f Car Genie spots a problem with your vehicle, it’ll let us know. We'll get in touch through the app with help and advice, or we may even call and arrange a time to come and fix it.

Alerts us about potential car crashes
Car Genie automatically lets us know about some crashes if it detects a serious accident has happened, so we can be on hand to help you through the situation.

Is a one-stop-shop for all your driving information
Check that your car is still where you parked it, keep an eye on your 'eco driving score', get driving tips and keep track of your journeys.


How does Car Genie work?

Modern cars are made up of a lot of complex computer systems that make them work. Car Genie plugs into your car's diagnostic port (OBDII) and reads all the information transmitted from these systems. When it spots a fault, it’ll send you a push notification from the app to let you know what’s wrong.

To set up and use Car Genie, all you need to do is:
1. Check the device is compatible with your car 
2. Buy the Car Genie device from our online shop (it’s exclusive to our Members and has an annual subscription fee)
3. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play
4. Activate your account to connect you to your car
5. Plug the device into the OBDII port in your car

Once you’ve installed Car Genie and activated it, you won’t even know it’s there.

All your data is completely secure. We only use it to look after your car and it’s not shared with any insurance companies or the authorities. 

We use this sort of telematics technology in our 2,500 patrol vans. And now it’s available to you, so you can keep your show on the road.

Good to know
Here’s a summary of the Ts&Cs for Car Genie
1. To get Car Genie, you must be older than 17 years old, hold a full UK driving licence and an AA membership. Our eligibility checker will make sure the device will work in your vehicle.
2. You must have an iOS or Android smartphone to run the Car Genie app and to use the device.
3. There’s a one-off fee for the device and an auto-renewing annual fee. We’ll let you know before we collect the fee.
4. Each device is fully tested, certified and configured by our experts for your car’s specific make and model.
5. We’ll securely store your personal data and any data generated by the device. We’ll only share this data with the third parties stated in the Ts&Cs.
6. We’ll get in touch through push notifications, email or phone if we spot any issues with your vehicle.

See our full Ts&Cs  

Everything you need to know about Car Genie

What’s Car Genie?

It’s the name of our new connected car device. We’ve developed a small device that plugs into your car’s on-board diagnostics system to check its health, and spot faults or battery problems that could cause a breakdown.

Would it work for me?

If you’re one of our Members, then yes. You’ll also need to have a car that’s compatible (most manufactured from 2005 onwards will be). You can check your car’s compatibility at http://shop.theaa.com/ 

Do I need a smartphone to use it?

Yes, as we send messages about your car through the app on your phone. It’s free to download through the App Store or Google Play™. 

Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

What does it do?

Car Genie helps keep you safe and on the road by:
Checking your car’s health and letting you know about any faults
Keeping a watch on the battery
Knowing your car’s location so you can find it or see if it’s been moved
Detecting a crash and triggering a call from us to help
Offering fuel efficiency tips, interactive maps and recording your trips
Letting you know of any issues through push notifications via the app

Where do I fit it?

There's an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD/OBDII) port, usually in your car’s footwell. On-Board Diagnostics are used to check and report on any issues with your car, and are often used by mechanics to check the engine and diagnose problems. This technology is now available to you with Car Genie, which plugs into the port.

What does it mean when the check engine light is on, but no faults are found on the app?

A car has a number of complex on-board computer systems; each comes with a set of fault codes for when things aren’t working as they should. 

When Car Genie is installed, it’ll automatically scan for any faults. If it picks anything up, it’ll let you know. However, sometimes cars have codes which are specific to a particular make and model that the manufacturer hasn’t shared with us, so Car Genie won’t be able to read these properly. 

Call us on 0800 316 4691 so we can let you know what to do next.

What do I do if the app reports a fault, but there isn’t a light on my dash?

Faults won’t always cause a light on your dash. If you don’t see one, get in touch with us on 0800 316 4691 (or use the ‘Call us’ button on the fault code screen in the app) so that we can let you know what to do next.

Will the device always know I’m going to breakdown before I do?

No, it’ll warn you about one third of breakdowns. There are lots of breakdowns that it can’t predict, like a blown tyre. If that happens, get in touch and we’ll come out to you to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

What’s an eco score?

It shows you how efficiently you drive by measuring acceleration, braking, speed and idling. For each trip you complete, you’ll get an eco score (and you can find your average score for 7, 30 and 90 day periods). 

How can I improve my score?

Driving sensibly and according to the road conditions, having good anticipation and sticking to the speed limit will all give you a better score. You can go to the eco score section of the app to get more tips on how to improve your efficiency in each area - and hopefully save money on maintenance and fuel.



Looking after your battery

What’s the battery health screen?

A flat battery is the cause of many of our call-outs. Car Genie is constantly checking your car’s battery voltage. If your battery voltage is at a good level, you’ll see a green circle. 

Why does the battery health screen show an orange circle with a ‘Needs charge’ message?

An orange circle shows that the voltage in the battery is low and may need charging. This could also be caused by the car being used for lots of short journeys.

The battery will normally be re-charged by the car during a drive of 20 minutes or longer. If the battery status doesn’t change after this or you need any help, call us on 0800 316 4691.

Why does the battery health screen show a red circle with a ‘Voltage critically low’ message?

A red circle indicates that the voltage in the battery is very low. You may soon have a problem starting the car. If this happens, call us on 0800 316 4691 for advice.

Why does the battery health screen still show ‘Needs charge’ after I’ve replaced or charged the battery?

Don’t worry, the engine will need to be started a couple of times before the app updates.  If the battery status hasn’t changed after this, call us on 0800 316 4691 so we can check your Car Genie is reporting correctly.

Where can I buy Car Genie?

At our online shop http://shop.theaa.com/

What if I don’t have a membership number?

This means you don’t have an eligible policy with us. Car Genie is available exclusively to Members, so if you don't have breakdown cover you'll need to join us to get Car Genie.

How much does it cost?

Car Genie has a subscription fee of £29 a year. We’ll remind you when it’s time to renew.

Why do you charge for Car Genie?

Like a mobile phone, Car Genie uses sophisticated hardware and requires a data connection to transmit data from the car. 

How do I set up Car Genie?

When you get the device, simply download the app and follow the step-by-step instructions to get it up and running. Once Car Genie is installed in your car, it works in the background and you can log in to the app to see your profile or check on your car.

Do I need to turn it on?

No, Car Genie automatically works once it’s installed.

Does Car Genie impact my car’s performance?

No, it only reads information from your car, so has no impact on performance.

What should I do if I can’t locate my car’s OBDII port?

As part of the activation process you’ll get a guide that tells you where to find your car’s OBDII port. If you need any help, call us on 0800 316 4691. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.

Can I install Car Genie while the car is running?

No, you should have the ignition off when you connect the device to your car’s OBDII port.

Why can’t I see any data when I log into the app?

Once you’ve activated Car Genie on the app, then it’s live. At first, it might take a little time to initialise before you’re able to see your journey information. If you’ve driven your car a few times and you’re still not seeing anything, the device may not be fully installed. Call us on 0800 316 4691 with your membership number and postcode to hand.

What happens if I breakdown?

There’s a button on the homepage in the Car Genie app that’ll redirect you to the breakdown app. Or call us on 0800 316 4691.

Why won’t the Car Genie pick up my current location?

It relies on GPS to find you car’s location, so depends on GPS accuracy. It could take a few minutes for you to see your position for the first time. Also, it may not work inside garages and multi-storey car parks or under bridges and tunnels.

What do I need to do after plugging Car Genie in?

We’ll call you or send a notification through the app if we spot any issues with your car. We recommend you log in to the app to monitor your eco score, get real time checks on your car and even see your car’s location (handy if you’ve forgotten where you parked) from time to time.

What if I forget my username?

Call us on 0800 316 4691. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.

What if I forget my password?

Go to the sign in screen in the app and click on ‘Forgot password?’. You’ll then be able to reset your password through a link sent in an email.

How do I take Car Genie out of my car?

If possible, support the housing around the OBDII port and gently wiggle the device as you pull it out.

It’s designed for a snug fit (so that it doesn’t come loose or fall out of the port while driving on bumpy roads or over speed bumps) and might need a little tug to take it out. 

Should I disconnect the device before putting my car in for a service?

We recommend you do. Garages may need to plug in their own diagnostics tools into the OBDII port to reset things like service lights.

What happens if I get a new car?

You can install Car Genie in your new car, but you’ll need to call us on 0800 316 4691 so we can check your car's compatible, update your details and check it’s configured properly. We can also tell you where the OBDII port is in your new car. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.

What happens if there’s a fault with Car Genie?

If there’s a problem with the device or the app, call us on 0800 316 4691. Make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.

We’ll organise a replacement if it’s something we can’t fix remotely.

Who do I send comments or suggestions to?

Email us at cargenie@theaa.com

Who should I send a complaint to?

Email us at cargenie@theaa.com or call us on 0800 316 4691.

If you want to talk about any personal information, make sure you have your membership number and postcode to hand.

What should I do if I want to return Car Genie?

Email us at cargenie@theaa.com or call us on 0800 316 4691. We’ll need your name and order details. We can then tell you how to send it back to us. 

Refunds are only available within the first 14 days of buying the device.

Is Car Genie secure?

Yes, it complies with global standards and we’ve put it through extensive testing. 

How secure is my driving data?

All driving data, transferred between all relevant parties, meets the highest level of security. And we make sure our partners have the same high standards for handling data. Read our Ts&Cs for more details.

What data are you going to collect?

Data will be sent to us from your car about your driving style and habits. This includes harsh braking, acceleration and cornering, keeping the engine running while stationary, location, speed, distance and route. We’ll use this to share with you the profile of how, where and when your car is driven. We’ll also collect information about any fault codes reported by your car and its battery health, and use this to help, support and advise you.

What will you do with the data you collect?

We’ll analyse it to build a picture of your car’s health, as well as your driving style so we can help prevent breakdowns. All personal data is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. See our Ts&Cs for more details.

Will I be able to see any of the information collected by Car Genie?

Yes, you’ll have access to the journey and driving style reports in the app.

What will happen to my data once I’m no longer a customer?

The data collected will be kept anonymously once you’ve unsubscribed. All of your personal details, such as your name and number plate, will be deleted from the system. See our Ts&Cs for more details.

How do I get a copy of the Ts&Cs?

You’ll need to read and accept the Ts&Cs when activating. You can also ask for a copy by emailing cargenie@theaa.com or calling 0800 316 4691.

How do I get a copy of the installation guide?

You can find it in the app. If you need any more help or a hard copy, get in touch by emailing cargenie@theaa.com or by calling 0800 316 4691.
Delivery information
How and when will my Car Genie be delivered?

It’s sent by standard delivery, free of charge to the UK, Northern and Republic of Ireland by Deutsche Post and normally takes 4-7 working days. And it doesn’t need to be signed for.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to deliver to PO Box or BFPO addresses.

Devices will be shipped from:
Ingram Micro B.V.
Gesworenhoekseweg 11
5047 TM Tilburg
The Netherlands

Returning Car Genie to us

If you want to return your Car Genie, get in touch by emailing us at cargenie@theAA.com or calling 0800 316 4691.

We need your name and order details. We’ll then give you a returns form to complete and instructions on how to return the device to us.

You’ll need to include a copy of your receipt confirmation when you send it back .

Returning a faulty unit or incorrectly supplied items

In addition to your right to cancel the contract described below, we’ll accept returns if:

(a) The device was damaged or faulty: we’ll arrange for a returns label to be sent to you. Refunds or exchanges will only be given once we’ve confirmed the device is faulty. We’ll then either replace the device or offer you a refund – let us know which you’d prefer. 
(b) The device was incorrectly supplied: if we made a mistake and sent you an incorrect item, we’ll arrange for a returns label to be sent to you or for collection at our discretion. Once we’ve got the returned item(s), we’ll give you a full refund or arrange to send you the correct item(s) – whichever you prefer.

If this happens, full refunds are made no later than 14 days after the day we get back the faulty device or wrong items. Or 14 days after the day stated on the proof of postage.

You must take reasonable care of the goods and packaging while they’re in your possession, so they’re returned to us as new, as delivered or suitable for resale.

Cancelling your order

As long you’re not a business, you’re entitled at your discretion to cancel the contract, as long as you let us know within 14 days from the day of delivery. We’ll refund the full price of the device as soon as possible and no later than 14 days. We might not refund until the device has been returned to us or you’ve sent us proof of postage, whichever is earliest.

Non-standard (next day) delivery charges added at the time of your order won’t be refunded. Unless we say otherwise, you’re responsible for the return delivery cost.

To cancel your contract, you need to contact us by email or phone (during normal working times on week days) giving us notice.