RAC Roadside Recovery

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Roadside Cover

For drivers, experiencing a car breakdown can be a real nightmare. A vehicle breakdown is difficult to predict and can happen suddenly, with little or no warning, and at the worst possible time, too. Your car might break down on the way to work, doing the school run, or en route to the airport to catch the flight taking you and your family on holiday.

If you have a breakdown cover policy, you at least have the support of calling for assistance. There are lots of breakdown cover providers to consider - let’s take a look at what roadside recovery means, and what you should consider when searching for roadside recovery deals.


What Is Roadside Recovery?
What is included in Roadside Recovery?
Already Broken Down: Do You Require Immediate Cover?
AA Roadside Recovery vs RAC
Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Roadside Recovery?

The precise terms and conditions will differ with each provider, but roadside recovery typically provides cover if your vehicle breaks down at the roadside. With RAC roadside recovery, you’ll get assistance if your car breaks down at least 1/4 mile away from your home address. If your vehicle can’t be repaired at the roadside - and four of out five cars are fixed, within 30 minutes, by our patrols - it will be towed to a location of your choice within ten miles.

Roadside recovery is included as standard in most breakdown cover policies.

What is included in Roadside Recovery?

If you take out Roadside cover with the RAC, what’s included is assistance if your vehicle breaks down 1/4 mile and more away from your home address - if you’re closer to home than that, you won’t be able to call for support (you’d need to add the At Home level of cover for that). The RAC will attend to try and get your car running again, and recover it to a location within a ten mile radius  - back home or to a garage for further repairs - if not. 

There are options to add to a roadside breakdown package to increase your level of cover, including Battery Replace,   Key Replace, At Home and others - look out for roadside recovery deals which may offer some of these extras for free at certain times.

Be aware that Roadside Recovery usually comes with a limit on how far your vehicle will be recovered if it can’t be repaired at the side of the road. If you want that recovery zone to be extended, over and above the standard ten mile radius, opt for a recovery package that includes nationwide recovery. If your vehicle can’t be fixed, you can get it towed anywhere else within the UK mainland.

Already Broken Down: Do You Require Immediate Cover?

If you suffer a vehicle breakdown and you don’t have cover in place, the first piece of advice is - don’t worry. Immediate cover from the RAC is available, but you need to contact us by phone and not sign up online. It’s quick and easy to do - just call us on 0333 2000 999. We’re available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week and every single day of the year. Read more about our immediate breakdown cover here.

AA Roadside Recovery vs RAC

Of course, the RAC isn’t the only provider of breakdown cover in the UK. The type of service, level of cover, and kind of provision can vary from provider to provider, so if you haven’t taken out membership yet, and are still researching prices, make sure you check the details thoroughly before making a decision. Take a look at this page to see how RAC roadside recovery compares to AA roadside recovery, a leading competitor.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The price of roadside recovery varies depending on whether you opt for personal breakdown cover or vehicle breakdown cover, and costs are liable to change. But, roadside recovery can start from as little as £4.50 a month - Check here for latest prices.

Am I covered abroad?

No - don’t assume that, because you have a UK breakdown policy, you’re covered in Europe, too. You won’t be. If you’re planning to drive in Europe, you’ll need to take out specific European breakdown cover. There’s information about that here.

What if I breakdown at home?

If your vehicle breaks down at home, you won’t be covered for help if you just have roadside recovery membership. That only applies for breakdowns 1/4 mile or more away from your home. You’ll need to add At Home to your package to get breakdown support at home - handy if your car won’t start in the morning. 

How far can my vehicle be recovered?

Again, this depends on the level of breakdown cover you have. A standard roadside cover policy restricts you to a ten-mile radius around the location of your vehicle’s breakdown. Extending that level of cover to Recovery opens that radius up significantly wider - to anywhere within the UK mainland, in fact. It means your vehicle can be towed anywhere within the country.