Vehicle recovery

If we can't fix you, we'll tow you

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Car and vehicle recovery service

Here at the RAC, we’re proud to fix 4 out of 5 vehicles on the spot. But if we can't fix you there and then for any reason, we'll offer a vehicle recovery service. Exactly how far we can tow you depends on the level of cover you have.

With Standard: You’ll get a 10-mile tow to a local garage or somewhere else, whether you break down at the roadside or at home. This is also known as ‘local recovery’.

With Advanced or Ultimate: You’ll get an unlimited tow to any destination in the UK, whether you break down at the roadside or at home. This is also known as ‘national recovery’.

In this guide, you'll find more information about our vehicle recovery services.

Contents:

What is vehicle recovery?
Do I need nationwide vehicle recovery?
Broken down and need recovery?


What is vehicle recovery?

Vehicle recovery is what happens when your vehicle breaks down and can’t be fixed on the spot. This is usually because it needs further mechanical repair at a garage. Put simply, it’s a kind of towing service. 

With us, you’ll get a 10-mile tow as standard. This could be to the nearest garage or somewhere else within 10 miles. Alternatively, you can upgrade to an unlimited tow – which means we’ll tow you and your family to a destination of your choice anywhere in the UK. We’ll also take you and your passengers with us, with both levels of cover.  


Do I need nationwide vehicle recovery?

The right option for you depends on your driving habits. 

For example, if you often drive far from home, it might be worth having national recovery (we call this an ‘unlimited tow’). This means that wherever you break down, you’ll have the option to be towed to any destination on the UK mainland. This could be to your preferred garage, back home or to your final destination.  

With local recovery (we call this a 10-mile tow), you’re limited to a 10-mile tow from where you break down. We’ll usually tow you to a local garage, but we can tow you somewhere else within a 10-mile radius if you prefer.  


Broken down and need recovery?

If you are an RAC member and your vehicle breaks down, contact us and we'll send one of our dedicated patrols out to you. Just follow these steps:

  • Stop in a safe place
  • Exit the vehicle from the passenger side
  • Find a safe and secure spot for passengers outside of the vehicle
  • Keep pets inside the vehicle
  • The quickest and easiest way to get help today is online. Report your breakdown here.
  • If you would prefer to speak to a member of the team, please call us on 0333 2000 999. Lines open 24/7.

If our patrol can’t fix your vehicle at the side of the road, we’ll recover your vehicle. Remember – how far we can tow you depends on the level of cover you have. For example, if you have our ‘Standard’ level of cover, you’ll get a 10 mile tow to a local garage. If you have ‘Advanced’ or 'Ultimate', you’ll get an unlimited tow to any destination in the UK.  

Check your policy schedule and terms and conditions for more details. 

Not an RAC member?

Vehicle breakdowns can happen at any time, and often at the worst possible time. If need vehicle recovery services but don’t have any breakdown cover, don’t panic, the RAC can still help. Just call 0330 159 8743 and we’ll talk you through your options.

You can read more about immediate breakdown cover and what to do if you need it here.

Make sure you’re covered when out and about on the road - build your level of breakdown cover with the RAC here.

Can I continue my journey if my vehicle can't be fixed?

If your vehicle needs repair at a garage, we can help you keep moving. We include some level of alternative transport with every cover level. This is a type of Onward Travel.

Here's what's included with each of our cover levels:

  • With Standard: a 20-mile taxi from the garage.
  • With Advanced: a hire car or taxi for up to 2 days, up to a maximum of £150.
  • With Ultimate: a hire car or taxi for up to 7 days, up to a maximum of £500.

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