Home start breakdown cover explained

What is home start breakdown cover?

Breakdown cover at home (also known as ‘home rescue’ or ‘home start’) means we’ll come to your rescue if you break down on your doorstep. For example, with a flat battery or a cold engine. The RAC will always try to fix your vehicle there and then. Or if we can’t, we’ll tow you to a garage for repair.

Our 'Complete' cover breakdown cover level includes breakdown cover at your home address. With our 'Basic' and ‘Extra’ cover, you're only covered if you break down ¼ mile from home.

How does home start breakdown cover work?

With our ‘Complete cover’, home start breakdown cover is included. Once you’ve bought your cover, you can call us 24/7 and we’ll send a patrol to your home address.

When we arrive, we’ll try to fix you on the spot to save you a trip to the garage. But if that’s not possible, we’ll offer you a 10 mile tow to a garage to get a repair.

Our ‘Complete’ cover level also includes national recovery, so we’ll tow you an unlimited distance if you break down at the roadside. This could be to any garage or any other destination in the UK.

If you choose 'Basic' or ‘Extra’ levels of cover, you're only covered if you break down over ¼ mile from home.

Need to add cover at home to your policy?

If you’re already a member, but breakdown cover at home isn’t included in your policy, it’s easy to add at home start cover. Just give us a call on 0330 159 8454 and we’ll be happy to help.

What to do if you break down at home 

If you’ve already broken down, here’s what you should do next depending on whether you're already a member or not.

I’m already a member: I’m not a member:
  • If you bought your cover directly from the RAC, the quickest and easiest way to get help today is online. Report your breakdown here.
  • If your cover came with your car, bank account or insurance, you’ll need to speak to a member of the team on 0333 2000 999. Lines open 24/7.
  • If at home cover is included in your policy, we’ll send a patrol to you 
  • They’ll try to get you moving again or arrange a tow to a garage
  • If you’ve already broken down at home with no cover, do not buy breakdown cover online 
  • Call us on 0330 159 8743 to arrange instant cover

How the RAC’s Home Start Breakdown Cover compares to AA and Green Flag

The RAC, AA and Green Flag all offer breakdown cover at home. But there are a few differences that you should be aware of before you buy. 

We have compared at home cover offered with both the AA's breakdown cover and Green Flag's breakdown cover. Below is a quick comparison to help you out.

RAC "At Home"AA "At Home"Green Flag "Cover at Home"
  • Available with 'Complete' cover levels (not available with 'Basic' or 'Extra')
  • 10-mile recovery (with 'Basic') or national recovery (with 'Extra' or 'Complete')
  • Available as an add-on
  • 10-mile recovery only (even if you have national recovery)
  • Available when you upgrade to Rescue Plus 
  • 10-mile recovery only (even if you have national recovery)

Home start breakdown cover – FAQs

Q. Can you use breakdown cover at home?

If your breakdown cover includes ‘At Home’ cover, yes you can. We’ll come out to you on your driveway and try to fix you there and then. If we can’t, we’ll tow you to a local garage for repair (within 10 miles of your home).

Q. Do I need home start breakdown cover?

Breakdowns at home are very common. For example, if you have a flat battery and can’t start the car. If you only have Roadside Assistance, we can only rescue you when you break down over a ¼ mile from home. But with At Home cover, you can relax knowing we’ll help you on your driveway too.

Q. Will my breakdown cover take me home?

That depends which cover level you have. Our 'Basic’ level of breakdown cover includes a tow up to 10 miles – so, if you’ve broken down less than 10 miles from home, we can tow you there. If you prefer, we can tow you to a garage within 10 miles instead.

With ‘Extra’ and ‘Complete’ cover, you have ‘national recovery’ – which means we can tow you an unlimited distance. So, if you break down far from home, we can tow you there or to any garage of your choice.

Following a breakdown, if you’re taken to a garage, we’ll reimburse you for a taxi home up to 20 miles. You’ll get this on all our cover levels. ‘Onward Travel’ is also available as an add-on. This covers you for a hire car for up to 3 days, or a taxi any distance, so you can get back home or wherever else you need to go.

Q. Will the RAC tow my car home?

It depends on where you break down, and what level of cover you have. Our ‘Basic’ level of breakdown cover includes a 10-mile tow, so we can tow you home if you break down within 10 miles of your house. But with ‘Extra’ and 'Complete', you’ll get national recovery – so if we can’t fix you on the spot, we can tow you home or to any destination in the UK.

Q. Is it worth getting at home breakdown cover?

1 in 3 breakdowns happen at home. It’s worth getting At Home cover so if something goes wrong with your car while you’re at home or within a ¼ of a mile from your address, we can come and get you moving again.

Find out more