Compare Breakdown Cover

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Compare Breakdown Cover

Choosing vehicle breakdown cover is an important decision. Not all breakdown providers offer exactly the same level of service so it's important to compare breakdown cover before purchasing. Motorists have plenty of choice and a lot to think about - so to help make your decision making process a little easier, this guide provides a breakdown cover comparison.

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RAC breakdown patrols fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside within an average of 30 minutes.

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Common breakdown cover factors

When you compare breakdown cover it's important to bear one overall point in mind - different car breakdown cover providers offer different levels of coverage. You should understand what kind of coverage you need before you start to compare breakdown cover and make sure yours is tailored to suit your motoring lifestyle and habits.

All breakdown cover providers offer standard cover but don't just go with the cheapest package if that cover doesn't meet all your needs - you may need to look at additional levels of cover depending on how you use your vehicle. If you regularly travel longer distances, you could need cover which ensures your vehicle is attended to at the roadside in the event of a breakdown, or towed a particular distance to a garage for further assistance.

If you drive locally on a regular basis, then you may need cover which provides protection in the case of a breakdown at or near home. Many motorists aren't aware that most car breakdowns are likely to occur near the home so if your regular travel is conducted within a close radius of where you live, think about the cover you need. For example, while RAC Roadside Rescue will come out to you and attend your vehicle a quarter of a mile or more away from your home address, our At Home cover will attend to your car if it breaks down at home or within a quarter of a mile of your home.

Comparing Breakdown Cover Reviews

The RAC are proud to be Britain's most experienced breakdown cover provider, but don't just take our word for it. When you compare breakdown cover it's advisable to take a neutral view and read as many reviews as possible. Our score on Trust Pilot compares favourably with other competitors, as this breakdown cover comparison shows:

RAC AA Green Flag
Trust Pilot score (out of 10)1 8 7 4.5

Type of cover - vehicle or personal?

As you look into breakdown cover comparison, you will be presented with the option of getting vehicle cover or personal cover. Cover for your vehicle protects that single car, whoever is driving it - this may well be your best option if you have one vehicle and more than one driver in the household. Personal cover provides cover for an individual in any vehicle - usually as the driver or the passenger. This is really useful if your household has two or more cars; if you're physically in that car and it breaks down, you're covered.

Level of cover

As you might expect, there are varying levels of vehicle breakdown cover with all three main providers offering several products. Again, don't just be guided on price and be tempted to go for the cheapest - a true breakdown cover comparison requires you to examine the levels of service you can expect for your money.

Typically, the levels of breakdown cover you can expect fall into the following categories:


This is usually included as standard breakdown cover. It means that if your vehicle breaks down a specified distance from home - often 1/4 mile upwards - you'll be covered and your vehicle will be attended to at the roadside.


This is usually an enhanced level of membership. It means that if your vehicle cannot be fixed at the roadside, you, any passengers and the vehicle itself will be taken to an address within the UK - such as a garage.

At Home

This provides cover if your vehicle breaks down closer to home, or even at home, such as failing to start when parked on your driveway. This kind of cover usually protects the vehicle within 1/4 mile of a member's home address.

Onward Travel

Sometimes a problem with a vehicle means it can't be fixed at the roadside - if this happens 100 miles away from home, that's an issue. Onward Travel is a form of breakdown cover that means you'll get a hire car, hotel accommodation or alternative transport to get you home or somewhere else safely.

Obviously, selecting all these options provides the most in-depth cover so it's worth looking at any combination of breakdown and compare terms - so what levels of breakdown cover does the RAC offer, in comparison to competitors?

Breakdown cover by provider RAC AA Green Flag
Fix vehicle at the roadside over 1/4 mile from home? Yes - Roadside Rescue Yes - Roadside Assistance Yes - Roadside Assistance
Recover vehicle and passengers from anywhere in the UK? Yes - Recovery Yes - National Recovery Yes - National Recovery
Cover at home or within 1/4 mile from home? Yes - At Home Yes - At Home Yes - Cover at Home
Onward Travel - car hire, accommodation or public transport if vehicle not fixed straight away? Yes - Onward Travel Yes - Onward Travel Yes - Onward Travel

Other breakdown services & optional extras

Breakdown cover providers also offer several extra options that you can add to your membership, albeit usually at extra cost. When you compare breakdown cover, don't forget that one provider may offer a service another may not.

Breakdown Extras RAC AA Green Flag
European Rescue Yes - in over 49 countries Yes  Yes
Key Replace Yes - up to £1500 towards locks and keys Yes  Information not on website


Aside from breakdown cover, providers may offer other services which are useful for UK motorists. The RAC has a mobile fitting service - if your vehicle's tyres are showing signs of wear and tear or you suspect you have a puncture, our mobile fitting patrols are based in a number of high-traffic locations and can help to get you back on the road. Call outs are FREE for RAC members, the available locations are listed here.

Brand, Reliability and Call Out times

If your vehicle does break down, then it's reassuring to know you're in safe hands. This is when the real mark of breakdown cover quality comes into play - if you're stuck at the roadside awaiting help you need the reassurance that support will be quick and reliable.

The quality of provider is an important factor in any breakdown cover comparison research.

RAC AA Green Flag
Patrols fix 4 out of 5 vehicles at the roadside Yes Yes Yes
Years of breakdown experience 120 years - founded 1897 112 years - founded 1905 46 years - founded 1971
Repairs 30 minutes on average? Yes Yes Information not on website


The cost of breakdown cover is an influencing factor. Any breakdown cover comparison will look at prices across varying levels of membership, and there are frequently discount offers available - though best advice is also to check on the level of cover provided. You may also be able to pay for your breakdown cover on a monthly basis as well as annually.

A basic level of breakdown cover - which will include roadside assistance - is usually priced very competitively. View the current prices for breakdown cover from the RAC, and then build in your desired level of cover by adding in extra options if you need.

Breakdown cover providers often have a range of benefits for members. For example, RAC Members enjoy access to a selection of driving products and other services, including discounts on airports hotels and car parking, travel and car insurance, attractions and theme parks. Other providers have similar member benefits - rewarding loyalty with money off car hire and restaurants.

Comparison summary

In summary, take your time when you compare breakdown cover. The cost of membership is usually the first thing you'll consider when you begin your research but cheap doesn't necessarily mean better. Make sure, whichever provider you choose, that your breakdown cover provides exactly the level of cover that your motoring lifestyle needs - and that the provider is experienced, trusted, reliable and expert.

At the RAC, we're proud of the fact that 92% of our members say they would recommend RAC breakdown cover to their friends and family.


Join the RAC now and start building your breakdown cover

RAC breakdown patrols fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside within an average of 30 minutes.

Get a Quote  

Data Sources

1) Trust Pilot score (correct as of 05/12/2017)

RAC terms and conditions here
AA terms and conditions here
Green flag terms and conditions here

Breakdown cover arranged and administered by RAC Financial Services Limited (Registered No 05171817) and provided by RAC Motoring Services (Registered No 01424399) and/or RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. RAC Motoring Services and RAC Financial Services Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.