Sales enquiries: 0330 159 1111

About Us

Introduction to RAC

  • We've been around since 1897
  • We have more than 8 million members
  • We're one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations
  • We assist both private and business motorists
  • We boast what we believe to be the world's most advanced computer systems to deal with roadside assistance calls

RAC timeline:

  • 1897: RAC founded
  • 1901: Introduced uniformed patrols
  • 1907: Given royal approval by Edward VII
  • 1912: Introduced roadside emergency telephone boxes
  • 1987: Advanced Computer Aided Rescue System introduced
  • 1998: RAC de-mutualisation
  • 1999: Acquired by Lex Group
  • 2002: Lex Group changes name to RAC Ltd
  • 2005: Acquired by Aviva plc
  • 2011: Acquired by Carlyle Group
  • 2013: Launched new and used car buying website
  • 2014: Introduced mobile tyre fitting service and provided all patrols with universal spare wheels
  • 2014: GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, becomes a co-shareholder with Carlyle Group
  • 2015: Carlyle Group exits and CVC Capital Partners becomes co-shareholder with GIC

Our History

Developing motoring services

Ever since its foundation in 1897, the RAC has been consistently at the forefront of developing motoring services - from introducing uniformed patrols in 1901 and roadside emergency telephone boxes in 1912 right through to the present day when we boast what we believe to be the world's most advanced computer systems to deal with calls for roadside assistance.

In 2001 the RAC designed, developed and launched a retractable rapid deployment trailer which is stored in the back of all its patrol vans. Keeping pace with modern vehicles, which are becoming increasingly complex, all RAC patrols are equipped with the latest mobile diagnostic equipment – RAC Scan+ –  which enables them to quickly identify faults that would otherwise have to be dealt with by a garage. A fleet of fuel patrols was launched in 2010 to help people who mistakenly put the wrong fuel in their vehicles.

In 2014 the RAC rolled out a pioneering universal spare wheel designed to speed up the fix time and minimise inconvenience for members who experience a puncture without having a spare. In addition, a fleet of tyre vans was also introduced to complement the RAC’s experienced patrols who have an excellent record of fixing the majority of punctures at the roadside or temporarily fitting the universal wheel.

And, as standard, every RAC van carries more than 500 parts and tools which patrols use to get members’ vehicles going again as quickly as possible. The RAC is very proud of its record of repairing four out of five vehicles at the roadside.

Our Services

The RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists.

Headquartered in Birmingham with approximately 4,000 dedicated staff, the RAC operates from three bases offering vehicle and breakdown services through a nationwide, branded patrol force, focusing primarily on vehicle repair and recovery. In 2016, the RAC's patrol force of approximately 1,500 patrols attended to 2.3 million rescue breakdowns.

Whether it is breakdown cover with roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs.

The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

RAC Report on Motoring

First published in 1988, the RAC Report on Motoring has become widely regarded as the voice of Britain's motorists.

With more than 1,500 motorists contributing their views on the state of the motoring nation, the annual RAC Report on Motoring analyses key issues such as road safety, motoring taxation, cost of motoring and other key concerns for drivers.

Find out more

RAC in the Media

No one knows more about motoring than the RAC. Throughout our history, and right up to the present day we've both championed the rights of drivers, and done everything we can to make lives easy for them.

As the motorist’s champion the RAC stands up for drivers on the issues that concern them most. The organisation lobbies the Government on issues including state of the roads, fuel duty and law enforcement.

Other Organisations

The RAC Foundation

The RAC Foundation is an independent body, established in 1999 to carry out research into motoring issues and to take on the role of protecting the interests of the motorist.

The Royal Automobile Club

Since RAC Motoring Services was bought by Lex Service PLC in 1999, it ceased to have any formal connection with our previous owners, the members of the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London. Should you wish to contact them, their address is 89-91 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HS.


The SURVIVE Group is a partnership between Highways England, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the RAC and other breakdown/recovery companies. The SURVIVE Group has been established to improve the safety of those who work on the road network and the travelling public and is also dedicated to the promotion of driving safety.

1 10% of all customers buying Car Insurance Plus with us from 1st July 2017 to 31st December 2017 paid less than £170. Based on comprehensive Car Insurance Plus, purchased direct, excluding any additional products and upgrades, with payment on an annual basis. Your premium will depend on your circumstances and the level of cover you choose.

RAC Insurance is a trading name of RAC Financial Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 5171817. Registered office: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall, WS5 4AW. RAC Car Insurance and RAC Home Insurance are arranged and administered by BISL Limited, which is an independent intermediary. Registered in England no. 3231094. Registered office: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Car Insurance Plus
Cover for less than £1701 (that's what 10% of our customers paid)
Car Insurance Plus_img Get a quote
Breakdown Cover
Choose a level of cover from just £5.50 a month
Breakdown Cover_img Join here
Motoring advice
Check out our motoring advice and driving tips plus members' personal stories and more.
Find Out more